Triora – The Witches’ City

The “city” of Triora, known as the “city” of Witches, is located in Italy and it’s a small village in the hills of the Valle Argentina (not in Argentina of course, we are talking about Italy – Europe) near the border with France.

Much of the architecture of the village dates back to the 12th century, but the most famous period of this village was during the 16th century when a certain number of women (not clear how many, but the number was great enough to be remembered to this day) were sentenced to death by being burned alive by the Inquisition.

In this village, supposedly, a curse overshadowed it during the Middle Ages. Two years of bad weather followed it, as well as drought and famine because of shortages in agriculture, which in the year of 1587 the church and all most of the villages denizens were certain that witches were conspiring against the village. A group of women from Triora and nearby villages were accused of sacrificing infants and offering them to the devil. They were tried, tortured and burned alive during a long period between the years of  1587 and 1589. The ruins of La Cabotina where hypothetically they did their blasphemous rituals still exists to this day.

These women actually had a vast knowledge of medicinal herbs and worked with such herbs, turning them into medicines and oils to heal the sick. A tradition that was passed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter; from generation to generation this traditions was passed down. Apparently this fact was enough evidence to accuse these women of witchcraft.

This dark event in the history of Triora, which led so many to a gruesome and horrible death, is still remembered today. Triora’s residents seem to have a morbid pride about the dark history of their village. A museum, shops with witchcraft items, signage, sculptures, witch houses and various relics were placed and preserved, and can be seen throughout the entire village. There are a number of events and folk festivals, and witches are the main theme (of course). There are three annual festivals: Witchcraft and summer Divinations Festival during August, and two autumn celebrations: the Mushroom Festival in September and Halloween in late October.

Triora has an ethnological museum, old documents and objects that belonged to people who claimed to be witches and a sort of wax museum – reproducing scenes of the arrest and interrogation of women suspected of witchcraft. In the village there is also an association of witches, whose members are descendants of people accused of witchcraft and burned alive.

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