isaba_vista_aerea

The Bicentennial of Isaba burning by the French army, it left standing only 30 of the 158 households

The Bicentennial of Isaba burning by the French army, it left standing only 30 of the 158 households

A May 13, two hundred years ago, the guerrilla Espoz y Mina rested with his troops in Isaba, where they refuge from Napoleon’s armies who were invading at that time all Navarre. It was no accident that guerrilla took refuge in the town. A very high percentage of its soldiers were Roncalese who planted face to Bonaparte, who demanded submission and homage. The dreaded General Abbe, then military governor of Navarre, was after them in front of 4,000 soldiers, from Ochagavía arriving to Uztárroz the day before with the intention to punish the Isaba villa for being loyal to the guerrilla.

Faced with an army so large nothing could be done. They fled to the mountain. With the first light of day, French troops fell on Isaba. Chronicles say that when General Isaba Abbe arrived, he even had time to see Isaba inhabitants flee to the mountains, bringing with them children and the elderly, with the help of half of the Army of Espoz y Mina, that then he had fled to Roncal. The order was clear: “Set fire to all the houses and all the people”. Isaba was completely burnt. Of 158 households only 30 were without falling. Four years later (1817), there were 30 living and ten reconstructed. Refugees in them, the izabarras rebuilt the town.

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