Otsagabia in Basque, is located to the north of the Salazar Valley in the Foral Community of Navarre, next to the Irati Forest and where the rivers Zatoya and Anduña join. It is one of the beautiful and typical villages of the Navarrese Pyrenees. Already in documents from the 11th century Ochagavía is named "Osxagauia" and "Oxssagauia" and when the Salazar Valley in the 14th century was divided into three demarcations or quiñones, the town formed one of them. The valley was administrated politically and economically by a Junta and this continued to exist as Junta General del Valle after the administrative disintegration of 1864. During the French invasion, in 1794, Ochagavía was destroyed by a fire, from which the sanctuary of Muskilda was saved. By the middle of the nineteenth century the village was completely rebuilt and in the same location.
The Anduña river crosses the village and around it is distributed the hamlet of Ochagavía whose architecture stands out for its sloping roofs, in which its traditional wooden roofs were replaced by other flat tile when the village was rebuilt after the fire. These typical oak plank roofs can still be admired in the church tower and Muskilda sanctuary. Among its houses, most of which are made of stone, are some with coats of arms from the 18th and 19th centuries and also the medieval palaces of Urrutia, Iriarte and Donamaría. A beautiful mid-sixteenth-century transept welcomes the visitor right at the entrance to the village, where the rivers Zatoya and Anduña meet. It is a beautiful and perfectly cared for medieval bridge that allows to save the Anduña, and the one that imprints stamp of identity to the town along with its cobblestone streets. The parish church of San Juan Evangelista preserves medieval remains from the 11th century and also from the 16th and 17th centuries. On Mount Muskilda, four kilometres from the village, is the shrine of Our Lady of Muskilda, a 12th-century Romanesque shrine that was reformed in the mid-17th century and surrounded by a wall.
And if what the visitor wants is to know more about the valley's ecosystem, what traditions there were and how they lived, the Nature Interpretation Centre is in charge of satisfying his curiosity and desire to know. In addition, the surroundings of Ochagavía offer the opportunity for numerous activities such as hiking, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, horseback riding or mountain biking... which delight locals and visitors alike.
Ochagavía celebrates its patron saint fiestas in honour of the Virgin of Muskilda on 8 September and on 27 December it celebrates its patron saint, Saint John the Evangelist. The 26th of July is the feast day of Saint Anne and a pilgrimage to Muskilda is also celebrated on the same day.
One of the oldest rituals in the Navarrese Pyrenees are the dances held in Ochagavía in honour of the Virgin of Muskilda. They are held on 26 July and 8 September to celebrate the feasts of Saint Anne and the Virgin of Muskilda respectively. Four palos dances are performed, called Emperador, Katxutxa, Danza and Modorro, a dance with handkerchiefs, and the Jota. All of them date back to the 17th century. The dancers are led by a masked character, "the Bobo".
The last weekend in August is celebrated in Ochagavía the Orhipean, professions and traditions. For two days the village and its people return to the past, more or less a hundred years ago, and stage and recall the way of life of that time, their day to day, occupations, customs ...
Legend has it that one day a shepherd was looking for a bull that had gone astray and found it, after much searching, next to an oak tree. As he approached, he noticed with astonishment that at the foot of the tree there was an image of the Virgin. When he was going to take it he realized that his cows were out of control and having to go after them to regroup them it was said that he would come back for the image the next day, but when he looked back he realized that the image was no longer there. Once the day was over and he returned home, he missed the bull again, which he found next to the image and in the same tree. Then the shepherd took the carving of the Virgin in his hands with such bad fortune that at that moment a man passed by and accused him of having stolen it. Taking the poor shepherd and the Virgin to Ochagavía, the shepherd locked him in a small room and the image of the Virgin I take her to the church, but what was her surprise when the next day neither the Virgin nor the shepherd were where he had left them, finding both again in the oak. Since then, the little shepherd became a hermit and fervent custodian of the Virgin, dedicating himself with every effort to the construction of a temple for Her. And it is said that he remained preparing the new load of stones while his animal carried them alone to the oak.
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We arrive at Ochagavía following the NA-140 that reaches the locality from the N-135 that joins Pamplona with Roncesvalles, finding the detour shortly before arriving at Roncesvalles, just in the section that goes from Espinal to Burguete. This same road NA-140 but on the other side connects Ochagavía with Isaba and France. You can also get there via the NA-178 which, at Lumbier, links the A-21 motorway between Pamplona and Jaca with the NA-140 in Ezcároz, a neighbouring town of Ochagavía.
Ochagavía has a bus service from Monday to Saturday, both inclusive, which makes the route Pamplona-Ochagavía-Pamplona.
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10:00 h.501 km.
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