It is located in the so-called Atlantic Pyrenees, in the region of Xareta in Navarre, between the mountains of Navarre and the Cantabrian Sea and a few kilometres from the border with France. The first written references mention Zugarramurdi as a farm under the protection of the Monastery of the Premonstratense Order of San Salvador de Urdax. It was a settlement made up of farmhouses around this monastery until, after years of litigation between those of Zugarramurdi, the monastery and the Baztan Valley, they succeeded in acquiring civil jurisdiction and being declared a village in 1667, but the monastery will continue to be the one that names the mayor of Zugarramurdi. In the War of the Convention, in 1973, the French troops set fire to and destroyed Zugarramurdi. In 1845 the village became an independent town hall.
The urban nucleus of Zugarramurdi is formed by four scattered districts. Walking through its streets you can see that the palaces are intermingled with the popular architecture and all this contrasts with the different tones of the forests that surround it. The only building that survived the fire and therefore the oldest in the village is the mansion of Beretxea, a typical example of the architecture of the area. In the square is the parish church of the Assumption, which dates from the late eighteenth century, although it has undergone several reforms. The palace Dutaria is reminiscent of the houses of the Indians. A member of this family founded a convent and hospital in 1788, which was rebuilt after the fire and today houses the Museum of the Witches. In Zugarramurdi you can enjoy nature walking its paths, many of them are those used in the past by smugglers. A pleasant walk is the path that joins the caves of Urdax, Zugarramurdi and Sara. After visiting the Cave of Zugarramurdi what better than to know the rich gastronomy that the town offers.
Zugarramurdi celebrates its patron saint fiestas in honour of Our Lady of the Assumption from 14 to 18 August.
Oral history tells how smugglers were frequent in the place, on both sides of the border, here they were known as mugalariak. Carabineros and mugalariak knew each other because they all lived in the same town. The smugglers used some codes that only they knew and that served them to know which route they had to use in order not to meet with the agents of order. In addition among the people of the village it had emerged as a kind of pact, if the smugglers were caught infraganti by the carabineros they gave a shot to the air while the mugalariak left the merchandise and fled.
The traditional zikiro-jate goes back to 1.911 when the Pery- Mendiburu couple return from Argentina to the Barrenetxea house and to celebrate it they organize a lamb barbecue, only for men. Nowadays, the zikiro-jate is celebrated in the Zugarramurdi cave on August 18, in the preparation of this popular meal based on lamb, roasted on the floor and in the open air, all the inhabitants of the village and outsiders who want to join the celebration participate. However, the Refeta, which is held on the second Sunday after the festivities, the zikiro-jate is for the people of the village. Another curious fact is the celebration, in 1966, of a congress of smugglers from both sides of the border, which took place in the Zugarramurdi Cave.
Legend has it that many, many years ago Mother Earth, "Ama Lur", created the moon and the sun in order to protect men from fantastic and mythological beings, but she realized that the slight light of the moon was not enough to prevent these creatures from lurking at night. Thinking about how to solve it, he came up with the idea of blossoming a flower that looked like the sun so that people could hang it from the door lintel of their homes and thus prevent the shapes of the night from disturbing them. This flower is neither more nor less than the thistle flower known as the sunflower "Eguzki Lore".
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Zugarramurdi can be reached from Pamplona via the NA-121, which at Oronoz forks into 121-A and 121-B. To continue towards the town, take the 121-B towards France, once you have passed the port of Otsondo, leave the Urdazubi-Urdax junction on the left and at the Dantxarinea roundabout follow the NA-4401 towards Zugarramurdi.
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