It is difficult to imagine that the pilgrim who leads his steps in the direction of Estella, previously presenting his respects to San Veremundo (1), or placing his stone or 'milladoiro' on the altar of the hermitage of San Miguel, there, in Villatuerta, drop, a few kilometers further, by Aberin.

Above all, if during his journey, following that magical and imaginary Way of the Stars, is aware, at all times, that his boots are leaving traces in Templar land, emulating the steps of thousands of pilgrims who stopped before him in the hostel-hospital of your charge.

Because here, in Aberin, one could say that the story revolves around one of the few examples of Templar encomienda that have survived to this day, more or less intact.

A walled structure that, together with the church of San Juan Bautista, offers a generous vision of the organizational level of an Order of chivalry, of a religious-military nature, whose vicissitudes continue to arouse interest and admiration in the 21st century.

It is not difficult, therefore, to imagine the history of a rural community that was created around the supervision and protection of some freires that had a special role in the tasks of repopulating territories as the Reconquista was snatching them from the Muslim invader.

A perfect organization, that of the Templar encomiendas (civil and military buildings), under whose excellent work and control it contributed decisively to sustain the costly permanence of its militant brothers in the Holy Land.

Regardless of the curious symbolism displayed on the capitals of the portico of entrance to the church of San Juan, and the cryptography carved into the ashlars by the stonemasons, it is not difficult, either, to have a purely romantic vision of Aberin and its surroundings: a environment constituted, above all, by fields of work and generous extensions of olive trees.

Some fields that, seen in spring, dazzle with emerald shades and the occasional gold, which increases when the afternoon declines and the sun's rays draw fleeting good-byes on the land, before getting lost in a distant horizon, unreachable like the idus of a History that still has many things to tell.

At one end of the old encomienda (building), a peasant shakes the earth from a small orchard with his hoe. The wrinkles of his forehead, blackened by laborious days in the sun, are like the rings of trees: they indicate a long age and a sure wisdom.

When he turns, his eyes, brown as the earth he is stirring, rest for a moment on the figure of a thin man, who carries a small black bag on his shoulder and keeps taking pictures of the walled enclosure from all sides. imaginable angles and perspectives:

  • Interesting, right ?, he says, while a smile is drawn on his face, acquiring the shape of a half moon.
    If it were not for the monotonous noise of his hoe, someone might think that the wind, singular and mocking, repeats with nostalgic intensity the ancient Templar motto: Non nobis, Domine, non nobis sed Nomini tua da gloriam ...

    Aberin: a whole experience.


(1) San Veremundo -according to some, born in the neighboring town of Villatuerta- is a saint of obscure origin, like others who make up the Christian saints, and he is also the Patron of the Pilgrims in Navarre. His name, as you might think that another enigma that was Fulcanelli, the author of 'The mystery of the cathedrals' and 'Philosophical dwellings', already seems, in itself, to have an argotic sense and lends itself to an interpretation very consistent with the Way and the adventure of walking, which in the background, and symbolically speaking, is life: Veremundo = see the world.

NOTICE: originally posted on my blog MEMORIES OF A PILGRIM. Both the text and the photographs are my exclusive intellectual property. The original entry, where you can check the authorship of juancar347, can be found at the following address: https://jc347.blogspot.com/2011/07/aberin.html

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[Martial, latin poet]

Ars vtinam more Animvm qve effingere. Posses pulchrior in ter. Ris nvlla tabella foret.
Arte Ojala pudieras representar. el carácter y el espíritu. No habría sobre la tierra. Imagen más bella

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