Friday, May 18, 2007

THE VILLAGE OF SAN SABASTIAN DE GARABANDAL

The very typical village of San Sebastian de Garabandal.

Set in the midst of the Cantabrian chain of mountains of which the Pena Sagra is the highest peak of about 6,700 feet (2,040 meters), "Garabandal" is the name of the mountain rising north of the village.

The historical origins of the village itself are difficult to
establish. We may think that, during the fourteenth century at the
latest, the inhabitants of the valley searched for new grazing grounds on this shoulder at an altitude of some 1,500 feet.

Several religious designs appearing in the coats of arms carved
out in the stone of the dwellings are proofs of the faith of the ancient village. We can also suppose that part of the first inhabitants were lords, who, dispossessed of their fief by the Moorish invaders, became shepherds.

On the eve of the events, in June 1961, San Sebastian de
Garabandal was a poor and isolated village of about 300 inhabitants and seventy houses.

No stores. No bakery. No market either. The villagers lived from
livestock raising and work in the fields. A routine life of labor and solidarity.

Neither any telephones, nor television. In the houses, lighting
was limited to one or two 40 watt light bulbs. The only source of heat was the fireplace.
[Excerpted from 'Garabandal' Book, page 12.]