Napoleonic, WSS & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Monday 29 May 2023

Goya Also Does Vitoria

 Once again, I am delighted to piggy-back on Count Goya's travels. On his recent Spanish campaign, in addition to looking around the battlefield at Salamanca, he also visited part of the field of Vitoria. The scope of what he could attempt in the time available was obviously limited, but I very much appreciate his sending me some photos, and I thought they were interesting enough to share here.

The next voice you hear will be Goya's...


It was much more difficult to get an overall view of this battle as it is more spread out, and the local transport wasn’t ideal. I only got to see the south-west corner.

Here’s the bridge at Puebla del Arganzon where Hill crossed the Zadorra

I walked to Nanclares with a slight detour up the Puebla heights. The striking points are that the gorge is narrow, the heights are high and the vegetation is thick. The visibility is 5 yards in places and there is no way that troops could do anything other than skirmish.

Looking north east

From Nanclares
Bridge at Nanclares where D’Urban crossed

 After this, things went a bit awry and I only just managed to get to Villodas in time to catch the last bus. 

Here’s another bridge and general views

What is striking is how much greener and steeper it is than Salamanca

Here’s the monument in the city of Vitoria



  1. Interesting stuff! Looking at the landscapes it occurs to me that the 'heights' are indeed pretty high, and it can be a fairly rocky and not always very green landscape, though the river valleys clearly are more temperate. Gamers re-creating battles should perhaps bear that in mind - it's a bit different to the Low Countries or 'HIgher Germany'. The same thoughts have dawned on me re: my WW2 Italian campaign aspirations...

    1. Yes indeed - I have read previously that Vitoria is also a battlefield which has been greatly affected by the building of motor highways and the expansion of towns. I think this is probably the way it should be - in Europe we are running out of the space needed to preserve the site of everything that ever happened. Evidence the housing scheme built on the site of Bannockburn...

  2. I always enjoy seeing others' battlefield walks and tours. Goya's account is no exception. The photo of the arched stone bridge receding into the distance under a heavy sky looks like a painting. Beautiful!

    1. Hi Jon - actual pictures of a battlefield seldom look like how I imagined it! My recent trip to Waterloo changed my views on a number of things, especially the topography.

  3. Another splendid set of photos. And instructive as David mentions. Señor Goya certainly gets around. What next, the Pyrenees? Toulouse?

    1. There are mutterings of another group trip - maybe next year. One particular location has been discussed - all just feasibility at the moment. I think Borodino was crossed off the bucket list for the moment.