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The Vákner is a wild beast, with a presence as fleeting and enigmatic as it is dangerous and harmful, that lived in the mountains that separated the plateau of the Xallas and the coast of Fisterra. In the lands that stand in the Camino Xacobeo from Santiago de Compostela to the end of the world of the ancients.
The Armenian bishop, Martyr of Arzendján, made a pilgrimage from the monastery of St. Ciriaco of Norkiegh (Anatolia Peninsula, present-day Turkey) where he resided to Fisterra. It was he who recorded the presence of the Vákner in the lands of Dumbría.
It all began on October 29, 1489, when Bishop Martyr began his pilgrimage through much of the then known world and would not end until 1496. His journey took him through Constantinople, Venice, Ancona, Rome, Constance, Basel, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Strasbourg, Cologne, Espira, Aachen, Besaçon, Flanders, Normandy, Paris, Étampes, Tours Poitiers, Bayonne, Donostia, Portugalete, Santander, Santillana del Mar, San Vicente de la Barquera, Oviedo and Betanzos, from where he arrived in Santiago from Compostela and, after staying there for 84 days, to Cabo Fisterra.
The brief account of the journey to the town of Santo Cristo and to Cabo Fisterra is as follows:
“I received the blessing of Santiago, got on the road and reached the end of the mound, the beach of the Holy Virgin, a building that was built by the hand of the apostle St. Paul and that the Franks call St. Mary of Finisterre.
I suffered a lot of work and fatigue on this journey, in which I came across a lot of wild and dangerous beasts. We found the vákner, a large and very harmful wild animal. They said to me: How could you save yourself, when companies of twenty people could not pass?
I went straight to the country of Holani, whose inhabitants also fed on fish, and whose language I did not understand. They treated me with the utmost consideration, taking me from house to house and admiring that I might have escaped the vákner. ”
What seemingly large, solitary, and fearsome animal is Martyr talking about when he mentions the vákner, singled out as the worst of a generation of wild and dangerous beasts lurking in the users of this route? It's a mystery!
Well we just have to go in search of it to find out! Are you excited?
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