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Cuevas Eremíticas (Hermit Caves). Nature and quietude.

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    Cuevas Eremíticas (Hermit Caves)
    Villanueva de Valdegovía, Tobillas, Corro, Pinedo (Valdegovía)
    Araba / Álava

The hermitage had a broad development in the north of the peninsula, and that is why we can find up to 16 caves in the valley of Valdegovía, the most important being those of Villanueva de Valdegovía, Tobillas, Corro and Pinedo In the first centuries of the Middle Ages, around the fourth century is demonstrated in the Iberian Peninsula the existence of a strong current of asceticism, fostered by the priscilianist movement, condemned by the Church and by the Spanish-Roman civil authority. In general, the supporters of this way of life oppose the pageantry and ostentation of the Official Church of the moment. The hermit seeks Christian perfection in retirement, solitude, in remote places and in many cases of difficult access. These people will live in dwellings by themselves excavated in the rock, hence they are known as "artificial caves" , which often become temples.

In this framework of eremitism we find three specific functions for these caves:

Temple: usually a larger cavity and divided into several rooms

Room: single chamber cavities, generally small in size, we consider that they have served as an abode for the ascetic, who sought solitude and retirement.

Necropolis: existing burials inside and outside, considering these as older, made directly on the ground without making any type of burial. Those that appear inside the caverns would be more modern, more related to their function of hermitage.

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This project is developed under the Valora POPV ESF 2007-2013, co-funded by 50 % for ESF, and coordinates GARAPEN (Basque Association of Development Agencies).

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