August 19, 2008

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


Phytteran localities in Spain

Mr. Jesús Tanco Lerga.
Vice-president of the association of Journalists of Navarra.

The name of the towns often defines and also projects their personality. The towns that delimit geographical or social communities usually have names such as Frontera, Jerez de la Frontera, or Limitaciones, such as the mountain of the same name in Navarra, or allude to the roads at the end of the term. Another group of descriptions of boundary points is that of the fiteros.

It is about glossing and I do it in terms of fraternal comparison, the other villages of Spain that with logical variations, of linguistic use, bear the same name as the abbey town, which perhaps could have been called, for example, Santa María with or without Fitero, Castellón, Villarreal, Niencebas, etc. Fitero and its personality is traced by these aspects, and to a great extent its religious and civil character is marked by them.

Fitero, the link of kingdoms, is a stone's throw away from Soria in the historic Castile, from that peculiar region with Navarrese-Castilian roots that is the Rioja and from the Aragonese kingdom. The Table or the cairn of the Three Kings with that stone landmark is representative of what Fitero is and means. A town that could not have a better name, or at least the most appropriate name than Fitero or the stone marker that marks the beginning of Navarre and delimits a special corner of our Spanish geography. There are other towns located in the same area that have the same name, and all the Fiteros are border towns that share the quality of marking the end or the beginning of a demarcation, of a kingdom in the past, of a province or district, of a circumscription. The fita stone is the cairn that is physically visible, marking the beginning or end of a territory with its own personality. The word fita or ficta derives from the Latin verb fígere, to nail.Itero del Castillo, province of Burgos, the one in Fernán González's poem:

"Entonces era Castiella un pequeño rincón/ era de castellanos Montes de Oca mojón/ e de la otra parte Fitero el fondón".

On the other side of the bridge over the Pisuerga, Itero de la Vega, province of Palencia, begins there, in Tierra de Campos, the ancient Campi Gothorum, the Fields of the Goths, of the Albeldense Chronicle.

In the province of Palencia, in the judicial district of Saldaña, there is another homonym, Itero Seco. Piedrafita del Cebreiro. Within the municipality, and linked by a mountain road, is the emblematic village with sanctuary and obligatory stop for pilgrims Piedrafita de Jaca, marked the boundary of the demarcation of the city jacetana, with Roman foundation and focus of resistance to the Saracens. Piedrahita, town of Avila, head of the judicial district, at the foot of Gredos with magnificent tourist attractions. Piedrahita, place and municipality of Teruel, about twenty kilometers away are the towns of Herrera de los Navarros and Villar de los Navarros. Piedrahita de Castro, town and municipality of Zamora, in the region of Castro and a stone's throw from the banks of the Esla about to yield waters to the Duero. There are more similar denominations. The town of Hita, in Guadalajara, also has the same root and meaning as fiteros or piedrafitas.