The witches of Zugarramurdi and the Spanish Inquisition

The witches of Zugarramurdi and the Spanish Inquisition


Inquisitorial documents proved that up two thousand people (including children)  were accused of sorcery from 1609 to 1614 in a process which started in Zugarramurdi, Navarra (Spain) and had his worst moment in the “Auto de Fe” of Logroño (also Spain), where Inquisition burnt eleven people the 7th of November, 1610. They wanted to keep on with the process, but some clever people as Alonso de Salazar y Frias, a brave inquisitor who criticized the way of obtaining the information (tortures) and the veracity of the whole process claimed: “Here, witches and sorcery started the day we began to look for them and never before”.

Zugarramurdi was a tiny village in the Basque country, full of peculiar myths and legends since it had been isolated of the Christian culture and of the rest of Spain. The pagan Basque tradition was pursued by the Spanish Inquisition during centuries and this was its most terrible consequence.

Witches were accused of celebrating pagan rites in a cave. The process was a nonsense because some of them only spoke Basque language and inquisitors Spanish language or Latin.

Today, Zugarramurdi is proud of its witches and they celebrate in their honor.

What a crazy world!



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