It is situated in the centre-south of a steep valley, on the right bank of the Omecillo stream, and together with Atiega forms the municipality of Añana. The origins of Salinas de Añana are closely related to salt. There have been settlements in this valley since prehistoric times, as pottery and tools from the Iron Age and the Neolithic have been found. The Romans were also present in the place, and with them changed the way of producing salt. Nor was it free of Muslim occupation, since the first document in which it is cited is from the ninth century and always around salt activity, at that time were small villages that settled around the valley and as the Moors were retreating, these were increasing.
This is evidenced by writings of donations to monasteries and the existence of hermitages. Alfonso I the Battler in 1126 unified Salinas at the top of the hill, and in 1140 Alfonso VII grants the town charter to Salinas de Añana, fundamentally regulating the character of ownership of the salt mines as well as the market and production of salt, thus Salinas de Añana became the first royal town in Alava with jurisdiction. Like the whole area, Salinas de Añana underwent the political and economic changes of different periods, sometimes it was a royal town and other times a lordship, until in 1370 the lordship of Salinas de Añana definitively remained under the lineage of the Sarmiento family that held it until the suppression of the lordships in 1843. In 1460 it joined the Brotherhood of Alava and was part of the Cuadrilla de Vitoria until 1840, when the Cuadrilla de Añana, to which it currently belongs, was constituted.
Salinas de Añana not only offers a panoramic view that resembles a white desert in which the sand is not so, since the whole village is like a balcony overlooking the Salt Valley, the walk through its streets is to find curious and well-kept corners. The Town Hall building shows the typical baroque civil architecture of the area, behind it is the Clock Tower, dated in the 17th century. The palace of the Zambrana-Herrán, baroque from the 17th century with coats of arms on the façade that tell us about their lineage. The palace-house of the Ozpinas, built in the first half of the 18th century and in which a gallery attached to the façade at the end of the 19th century attracts attention. The church of Santa María de Villacones dates from the 13th century but has extensions that date back to the 15th century. The Monastery of the Comendadoras de San Juan de Acre is located on a hill overlooking the Salt Valley. Between the years 1187 and 1290 the Order of San Juan of Jerusalem was established in the town, and this convent, it seems to be built around the sixteenth or early seventeenth century, is the last active convent of that order.
Salinas de Añana celebrates its patron saint festivities, in honour of the Virgen del Rosario, on the first Sunday in October. On the second weekend in July, around the festivity of San Cristóbal, a fair is held showing the trades and traditions related to salt, and crafts and products derived from this precious condiment are exhibited.
In Salinas de Añana, in Holy Week, the traditional Burning of Judas is carried out. The act, which represents the expulsion of evil, presents, judges and condemns the character to the bonfire and then processions to Christ. This tradition is believed to have its origin in the incinerations of Carnival and was later Christianized.
The Clock Tower, located at the back of the town hall building, marked the turn of distribution of water from the Salt Valley springs among the owners of the salt farms. The salt flats of the Salt Valley were, together with those of Poza de la Sal, the most important in the entire Peninsula Ibérica.
A popular tale tells how a neighbor of the place after doing the laundry would leave her lying on the branch of the trees all night to dry, when in the morning she went to pick it up she missed it because she lacked clothes and as this happened several times one day she asked her husband to stay watching to see if they caught the thief. The man, resigned, took a piece of bacon, bread and a boot of wine and making a bonfire with the branches of the trees set out to act as a lookout. He strung a piece of bacon on a stick and brought it to the fire and then spread it on the bread. In these he was when, without realizing it, a witch sat next to him, his body covered with hair and a single eye on his forehead, a stick in his hand and a toad pierced through it, and he began to imitate the man who, frightened, put in his eye the stick he had in his hand. The witch, blind and wounded, uttered such a cry that it was heard all over the valley at the same time as he asked the man who he was, to which he did not know what to answer. But then terrified, and at the insistence and wrath of the witch answered, "I am I" and as a soul that carries the devil ran out to his house before other witches came to the place to help the wound. When the new arrivals asked her who had done that to her, who was the cause of so much misdeed, she replied "I, I, I am I" then the indignant witches said to her as they abandoned her to her fate "Well, if it was you that disturbed us" From then on and with great relief from the woman no one again took away the clothes she left lying on the trees. And as the stories end, colorín, colorado...
The A-2622 crosses the town coming from the N-I, reaching it after passing through Pobes and Subijana, the detour for this road is at the height of Nanclares de la Oca. We can also connect with the A-2622 in Pobes following the A-3322 from La Puebla de Arganzón or the A-3310 in Manzanos, both accesses also located on the N-I. By the A-2622 but in opposite direction we will arrive coming from the A-2625, more concretely from the locality of Espejo where we will find the detour towards Salinas de Añana.
Salinas de Añana is served by several regular bus lines that connect it with Vitoria.
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