On the way to La Rioja, and a few kilometers before Estella, the pilgrim seeks accommodation and shelter in this picturesque village in Navarra de Cirauqui. Although brief, of my stay in Cirauqui I remember, with nostalgic clarity, a morning where the clouds had conspired to subtract a leading role from a sun willing to gild some fields that exuded the freshness of a wet winter.
A narrow and steep Scala Dei, which is its main street, which leads to the pilgrims' lodge, a few meters from stone steps that lead to the small square located at the foot of the main portico of entrance to the church of San Román .
This beautiful example of the Romanesque Navarrese of the twelfth century, is possibly, in essence, the most emblematic place of the town. That neuralgic point, which concentrates the attention of the pilgrim from time immemorial, offering him, through the symbolism of his curious capitals, subliminal messages that expert hands consigned, working magic in the hitherto unarmed stone.
A magic that invented the Little Mermaid centuries before Andersen dreamed his story and Copenhagen turned it into a national emblem; a national emblem that, curiously, suffers continuous and similar aguillotinamientos that the figures of many of our temples.
In front of her, two confronting griffins continue that virtually symbolic journey that associates mythological elements with virtues and sins, which must orient the spiritual path of faithful born at an abysmal distance from access to Culture.
Something further down, although not far from where a stele of the late sixteenth century reminds us of the veneration of Navarre by this archaic funerary ornament, the church of Santa Catalina, located opposite the pediment of the town, occasionally converted into a market, continues to exercise -although with the pages of their capitals terribly gnawed by the moths of time- that medieval pedagogical work, introducing, in the corbels of its apse, an element that is observed in numerous temples of the province: the twins.
But without a doubt, the image that more clearly and in a more endearing way comes punctually to my memory every time I think of Cirauqui, is not the figure of that black cat that crosses in front of me with that distant elegance of model characteristic of the felines - staring at you, as if you wanted to say; 'Friend, you have piffed her: you have crossed paths with a black cat. If you are superstitious, you know the bad luck that awaits you - but the vision of those brothers of the Way who, alone or as a group, climb the hill indolently, their faces weathered by the days and nights spent in the open air and thoughts flying, excited and transcendentally, behind the next stage.
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/2011/06/cirauqui.html
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[Martial, latin poet]