It is located in the north of Navarra, close to the town from which it takes its name. The Cave of Zugarramurdi is a prehistoric site in which some archaeological remains have been found. These karstic cavities and, above all, the cave was drilled by the river Olabidea, also known as Infernuko Erreka or Arroyo del Infierno, this stream that continues to erode the cave, as its course, still plentiful, crosses it, and also lends its name to this cave because it is known as Infernuko Erreka. This wide tunnel, which is what it resembles as it has two entrance openings, is 120 metres long, being wider in one area than in another, and a significant height, housing two other galleries in its upper part, one of them acting as a viewpoint. The whole complex is called Sorginen Leizea, "the witches' cave". In the visit to the cave neither cave paintings nor stalactites are seen, but the halo of mystery that is breathed in the environment can reach the visitor eager for magic..
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Sorgins gathered in the cave, as the people were called, who, knowing in depth nature and the means it put at their disposal, used them to cure and prevent illnesses of their fellow men, attend births, etc. It was here where they celebrated their rites and ceremonies and also their festivities, because they said that the place represented Mother Earth, being accepted by their fellow citizens until in a moment of history, with the Inquisition, all this was called satanism and witchcraft and what in the beginning were mere neighborhood meetings, as a social club, in which they danced, sang, ate and drank, the accusers called them aquelarres, is believed because next to the cave there is a meadow called Aquelarre or Campo del Macho Cabrío, and the goat was related to the devil, and led to many people in the village, who here made their meetings and celebrations, were judged for witchcraft, being the process of the witches of Zugarramurdi, as it is known, one of the most resounding and important that the Inquisition carried out. The tour and the visit to the Cave of the Witches takes you for a walk along the paths that surround the caves and to enter them perhaps looking for a magic trace, who knows, maybe you hear a little song that these people hummed "Porla se, zalpate, funte fa, funte fú, txiri biri, ekatzu, ekatzu, amen".
The tradition speaks of Maria Ximilegui, active participant of aquelarres and then originator of the greatest witch-hunt to give notice of the parties that took place every night. Could she be the one who told, there in the year 1610, that she had seen in dreams how some neighbors of the town of Zugarramurdi participated in a coven in the cave?
The year 2010 commemorated the 400th anniversary of the Auto de Fe de Logroño, which was one of the cruelest historical episodes of the 17th century. In the process carried out by the Inquisition, which lasted from 1609 to 1614, residents of Zugarramurdi were accused of practising witchcraft and worshipping the devil. In an attempt to put an end to the tortures inflicted on them, some pleaded guilty. The Inquisition Court sentenced 11 people to death at the stake and since five of them had already died in prison during the trial, they made an image of them and also burned it. This punishment was the last Auto de Fe in Europe.
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Legend has it that one day three witches were singing a song when they stopped to rest next to a bridge and began to comment that one of the richest women in the village was sick and that was what had to be done to heal her. A poor young man, who was hiding under the bridge, listened to the conversation and going to the lady's house he practiced the remedy with such good fortune that the woman healed and in gratitude married him, thus changing the boy's luck.
Zugarramurdi can be reached from Pamplona via the NA-121 which, at Oronoz, forks into 121-A and 121-B. We must take the 121-B towards Dantxarinea and France, once we have passed the port of Otsondo, we leave the Urdazubi-Urdax junction on the left and then at the Dantxarinea roundabout follow the NA-4401 road towards Zugarramurdi.
Once in Zugarramurdi we will find the caves less than 500 m from the town centre, on the old road that linked the town with the nearby French town of Sara.
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8:05 h.24.8 km.
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