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Tironcillo Hermitage

From Cuzcurrita towards the neighbouring village of Cihuri, along Calle Rincón, there is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo, approximately 3 km from the Plaza Mayor.

It is a pleasant walk that allows us to get closer to knowing one of the hermitages of Cuzcurrita. There is a pilgrimage to there, twice a year, with the image of Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo to ask for health and an abundant harvest. One is celebrated in September and the other in May.

The village has two religious devotions (Nuestra Señora de Sorejana and Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo). The latter, the name is taken from the river that crosses Cuzcurrita using the affectionate nickname of Tironcillo, because the Tirón comes narrow. To get to this hermitage, the village of Tirgo, an adjoining location, is crossed, and it is for this reason that it became a tradition for the Town Hall to request permission from Tirgo to cross its territory. The traditional exchange of command sticks between the two mayors used to take place on the bridge over Tirón river. The first written reference to this procession dates from the year 1714.

The village has two religious devotions (Nuestra Señora de Sorejana and Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo). The latter, the name is taken from the river that crosses Cuzcurrita using the affectionate nickname of Tironcillo, because the Tirón comes narrow. To get to this hermitage, the village of Tirgo, an adjoining location, is crossed, and it is for this reason that it became a tradition for the Town Hall to request permission from Tirgo to cross its territory. The traditional exchange of command sticks between the two mayors used to take place on the bridge over Tirón river. The first written reference to this procession dates from the year 1714.

From the outside, it can already be seen that the building has a Latin cross plan and a single nave. The date 1744 is engraved on the main door. However, it is known that the oldest written reference is from the year 1694, in which the mayor met with the neighbours. Then he decreed that “despite the voluntary contribution of the neighbourhood to make the factory of the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo and since the amount is not enough, the Town Hall contributes 1000 reais from the common goods, to go to such mercy work and the devotion of said Holy Image”.

“despite the voluntary contribution of the neighbourhood to make the factory of the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Tironcillo and since the amount is not enough, the Town Hall contributes 1000 reais from the common goods, to go to such mercy work and the devotion of said Holy Image”

In 1719, important works were started by Francisco de Landa, master stonemason for the expansion of the hermitage. The dressing room chapel and the stone seats that surround the hermitage were also added, as well as the tiling and three new altars. It also appears in the documentation that “the main door was opened to the cierzo wind and the hermit’s house was built. “ As usual, the works were financed not only with money but also with contributions from farm products such as cereals or wine.

Interestingly, the locals of Cuzcurrita and the region use local phrases to name the winds:

  • Cierzo: north wind, the coldest.

  • Ábrego: south wind, sheltered, warm.

  • Solano: east wind, where the sun rises.

  • Regañón: west wind. The saying goes: Regañón, no water, no sun, no shelter in any corner. That is, neither satisfies anyone nor is there a way to get rid of it.

We said that the hermitage main door was opened to the cierzo air, but the improvements of the hermitage continued for years until they finished in 1744, the year in which the last 60 reais were paid to the master stonemason. There are also numerous references to the figure of the hermit. His job was to take care of and watch over the hermitage, due to its remoteness from the village. Normally the enjoyment of vineyards and land for cultivation was granted as payment, with the condition of residing in the place to avoid theft and looting, which usually occurred. His responsibility was that “whether the image was in it or not, take care of the hermitage, clean it and ring the bell early in the morning and the Ave María at all times between two lights”.

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