Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum

Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum
Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum
Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum
Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum

Tourist Office and the Kurutzesantu Museum

The Tourist Office is located in the Kurutzesantu Museum. 

The Museum houses the Cross of Kurutziaga, a cross of outstanding gothic beauty that has merited the status of Historic Artistic Monument.

The Cross of Kurutziaga dates from the late XV century or early XVI century.

This cross tells a story, beginning at the lower part of the column, which represents Sin and Retribution. Then rising to the capital, which represents the Church and the Gospel, arriving at the crosspiece, representing Redemption, that is to say, the message of Pardon and Salvation; Hope.

It is of gothic style with a clear Flemish, German influence. It would appear that whoever sculpted it was perfectly in tune with the artistic trends of that era.

There are several versions of the exact meaning of the Cross. The most commonly-held belief is that it refers to the heretics of Durango. However, certain historians maintain its relation to the brotherhood and chapel of Vera Cruz, while others point to a quite different function, that of marking a boundary

The Heretics of Durango

One wide-spread theory is that the Cross was erected as an expiatory monument, owing to the presence in the town, in the XV century, of a dissident religious group known as "The Heretics of Durango".

It is related that Fray Alonso de Mella, along with other Franciscans, expounded their heterodox beliefs and preached, around 1437-1441, on the coming of the Age of the Holy Spirit.

This movement had numerous followers, especially amongst the poor and opressed, those who suffered most during the medieval crisis.

It was brutally repressed and some of its followers were sentenced to death and burned at the stake.

The brotherhood of Vera Cruz

However, the iconography points to a relationship with the brotherhood of Vera Cruz, whose central meeting hall was the chapel of Vera Cruz.

The worship of the Cross, of the Precious Blood of Christ, the preparation for one's death, as well as the figure of the Virgin as a co-redeemer and Queen of the Angels. All these were disseminated by the Brotherhood of Vera Cruz.

This form of worship spread throughout Europe from the XIII century, and it is known that during the XVI century there were important and abundant brotherhoods in the Basque Country.

Boundary Function

The Cross of Kurutziaga could also have served to mark the jurisdictional limits of the town. 

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