We hope that climbing to the peak of Alto del Perdón didn’t take its toll on your knees or ankles. Today’s stage on the Camino de Santiago is much easier than yesterday’s. The pilgrimage route follows a path with gentle ups and downs, with a total elevation gain of under 100 metres.
Let’s continue the French Way!
Throughout today’s journey on the French Way, we will leave behind the grain crops to slowly enter a land of vineyards that announces our arrival to the La Rioja region. Today’s route doesn’t present the pilgrim with any major difficulties, however at the end of the day we will be rewarded with a salt water spring that has healing properties, for those who have begun to feel the effect of all those kilometres.
If you are thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago from Pamplona tell us what your plans are for the Camino de Santiago and we will contact you to advise you on everything you need.
Itinerary stage Puente la Reina – Estella
The fifth stage of the French Way crosses the national road several times on underground passages. However, part of today’s itinerary will follow the ancient Roman road, which will take us back in time to another era, also thanks in part to the many medieval towns we will be passing through.
Puente la Reina (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: The sunrise from Puente la Reina is like a postcard, try not to miss it. Buen Camino!
We begin the day on the French Way passing through the arch that joins the church of the Crucifix with the convent of San Juan, to then get on main street (Calle Mayor). At the end of the street, we find the town’s emblematic bridge, which we cross and turn left to pass the national road.
We leave Puente la Reina through Zubiurrutia, the neighbourhood of nuns where the convent of the Comendadoras del Sancti Spiritus is located. We move along the right bank of the Arga River for a couple of kilometres, to then turn northwest, away from the river, tackling a tough climb that will lead us to the A-12 motorway.
We arrive at Mañeru (km 5.2), a town that gives the region we have just entered its name (Val de Mañeru) and where we can visit the parish of San Pedro. We cross the town on Esperanza street and pass through Los Fueros square, to leave it on Forzosa street.
At the exit, we find a beautiful landscape before us. A path surrounded by grain and vineyards takes us to a medieval village on top of a hill: the town of Cirauqui, our next destination.
We cross this beautiful spot, which looks like something out of a magazine, and we head to the centre of Cirauqui. Walking along the steep streets we reach the centre, and through one of the entrances of the old wall, we go to the streets of Santa Catalina and Portal, followed by the town hall, where you can stamp your Pilgrim Passport (called la credencial de peregrino in Spanish). Next to the route, after passing some stairs on the right, we will find the church of San Román.
Cirauqui (Km. 7,8)
Practical tips for this section: 10 kilometres separate Cirauqui from Villatuerta, however, on the way you will cross through several towns that have both bars and shops. Buen Camino!
We begin the descent to the outskirts of the town. To do so, we will follow a Roman road and cross the Romanesque bridge that goes over the Iguste stream. After a picnic area, we cross the bridge that goes over the A-12 road. We continue to follow the trail with remains from the old Roman road until we reach the bridge that crosses the Dorrondoa stream (km 9.4).
Two kilometres later, we reach a road, we cross under the viaduct of the Alloz canal and end up on the banks of the Salado River (km 12.1). On a medieval bridge, we can cross the river to then face a tough kilometre to Lorca, our next town.
At the entrance to Lorca (km 13.3), we are welcomed by the church of San Salvador, with its prominent apse. We cross the town on main street and take a trail that leads to the cross of Maurien. We reach a passageway that goes under the motorway, from where we head to Villatuerta.
Passing through newly-built housing developments, we continue to the Romanesque bridge over the Iranzu River, which will allow us to leave the new housing developments behind to enter the historic old town of Villatuerta.
Villatuerta (Km. 17,8)
Practical tips for this section: You are less than half an hour away from reaching the end of the stage. Take the opportunity to visit the various medieval architectural monuments that you will encounter. Buen Camino!
On Rúa Nueva street, next to the town hall, we head up to the square, where we’ll find the church of La Asunción. On Camino de Estela street, we follow the route to the hermitage of San Miguel.
We head downhill, leaving the hermitage of San Miguel behind on the left, until we reach a picnic area located at the foot of the NA-132 national road. Here we will find a stone landmark with a virgin and a plaque in honour of the Canadian pilgrim Mary Catherine who died here.
We use another underpass to cross the road and head downhill to the bridge over the Ega River (km 19.5). Following the course of the river, we arrive at Rúa Curtidores street, the doorway to the end of today’s stage in Estella.
Estella (Km. 22). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this medieval town, you will find all the services and amenities you need, as well as many cultural attractions. If you can, don’t forget to visit the salt water spring. See you tomorrow!
Entering Estella on Curtidores street, we will find the Ordoiz psychosocial rehabilitation centre that offers a pilgrim orientation service. This service has been operating since 2016 and is open between April and September.
The people who collaborate with this centre are people with health problems, who provide information on pilgrim shelters and the different attractions in the town. The project aims to raise awareness in society on these types of diseases, while helping to develop the labour skills of those people who are affected by them.
Shortly after, we will pass in front of the church of San Pedro de la Rúa and, just opposite it, the Palace of the Kings of Navarre. After dropping off our backpacks at the place where we’re staying the night, Estella offers us the possibility of visiting various points of interest, which include:
- Churches: San Pedro de la Rúa, San Juan, San Miguel and Santa María de Jus del Castillo.
- Palaces: Palace of the Kings of Navarre, San Cristóbal, Old Justice Palace and the Governor’s Palace.
- Convents: De Concepcionistas Recoletas, Santa Clara and Santo Domingo.
- Basilicas: De Puy and De Nuestra Señora de Rocamador.
- Other places: Town Hall, the city wall, Carlism Museum, the salt water spring, Fountain of Jets (Fuente de los Chorros) and the “Prison” bridge (puente de la Cárcel).
Comments stage Puente la Reina – Estella
Today’s walk is not particularly complicated, with no tough hills and no confusing junctions. Just like throughout the rest of the French Way, good food will continue to accompany us.
Precautions stage Puente la Reina – Estella
The sections with the greatest elevation gain are the climbs to Mañeru, Cirauqui and Lorca.
Food stage Puente la Reina – Estella
In Estella you will find a wide range of places where you can enjoy the local cuisine. Today’s recommendations are:
- Red beans with bacon or oxtail
- Piquillo peppers
- Rocas del Puy (almonds in chocolate)
- The wine in Estella is excellent, ask for any local wine from the region
Services stage Puente la Reina – Estella
Consult the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the French Way.
Map stage Puente la Reina – Estella
Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.
Profile stage Puente la Reina – Estella
Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.
What to do stage Puente la Reina – Estella
Today you will pass by numerous churches and convents. Below we’ve provided detailed information about these and other points of interest on today’s itinerary.
This small municipality has an area of 13 square kilometres and just under 450 inhabitants. In the town you can visit the church of San Pedro and, near the main square, the “Casa El Palaciano”, which was the set for numerous scenes from the Spanish film “Tasio” directed by Montxo Armendáriz.
Parish Church of San Pedro
The church of San Pedro is located in Mañeru and dates back to the late 16th and early 17th century. Its style is neoclassical and is formed by a Latin cross plan over which a dome rises.
The exterior walls are built with ashlar masonry from where the arms of the transept and the chevet jut out. The main portal houses a lintel door on which there is a carving of Saint Peter that dates back to the 16th century. Next to this structure is a two-storey tower, in a Baroque style. The lower floor dates back to the 16th century, and the upper floor to the 18th.
Inside, we can point out the main altarpiece from 1930 and various carvings such as that of Saint Andrew, Our Lady of the Rosary, Saint Barbara, etc.
The municipality of Cirauqui has an area of 41 square kilometres and just under 500 inhabitants. The town is laid out around the church of San Román and its radial streets are still cobblestoned.
Its predominantly medieval architecture is characterised by the presence of masonry homes on which the name of the owner and date of construction appear.
In addition to the church of San Román, in this town you can visit: the church of Santa Catalina, the cemetery’s chapel and the hermitages of Aniz and San Cristóbal.
Church of San Román
The church of San Román de Cirauqui is a building from the 13th century. It has been subjected to numerous restorations throughout history and of its original structure, only the south door in a Romanesque style remains.
The façade is formed by a horseshoe arch with a lobed form, surrounded by a zigzag moulding. There are eight archivolts on the arch, each with different ornamentation, such as flowers, honeycomb panels, etc.
Inside the temple there are still some remains from the original parish, especially in the last part of the nave, where there are transverse ribs on capitals with plant ornamentation.
Hours: Open every day. From Monday to Sunday (from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Salado River Bridge
The bridge that crosses the Salado River was built between the 12th and 13th century, in order to allow the Roman road to cross it. The bridge is formed by two pointed arches.
Reference is made to this point of the French Way in the Codex Calixtinus, with the following appearing:
“Beware from drinking its waters or from watering your horse in its stream, for this river is deadly. While we were proceeding towards Santiago, we found two Navarrese seated on its banks and sharpening their knives; they make a habit of skinning the mounts of the pilgrims that drink from the river and die. To our questions they answered with a lie, saying that the water was indeed healthy and drinkable. Accordingly, we watered our horses in the stream, and had no sooner done so, than two of them died: these the men skinned on the spot”.
Currently, the Salado River, which flows out of the Andía mountain range and into the Arga River, passes under this bridge with little water. And there is no evidence that the narrative in the Codex Calixtinus has any real basis or that the river is as deadly as narrated in the text.
The town of Lorca belongs to the municipality of Valle de Yerri, and more than 120 people reside here. Its name, of Arab origin, is a reflection of the battle in which King Sancho I of Navarre was defeated by a Muslim named Abenlope. In this small town, you can visit the church of San Salvador.
Church of San Salvador
The church of San Salvador, located in Lorca, dates back to the 12th century. Its original style is Romanesque, which is hardly appreciable after the numerous restorations it was subjected to throughout history.
The building is made of ashlar masonry and has a semi-circular apse, which preserves its original Romanesque style. Between the adjacent columns, blinded openings appear that rise up all the way to the cornice that is ornamented with corbels.
The façade is equipped with external buttresses, next to which is the bell tower from the 20th century, on which there is a cornice also adorned with corbels.
The municipality of Villatuerta currently has 1,200 inhabitants. It is one of the most powerful municipalities in Navarre, with an important industrial sector, which has been growing since the 1960s, as well as a consolidated agricultural industry.
The name of the town is of Roman origin and comes from the word “vilatorta”, which means “crooked village”. In the town centre, you can visit the church of La Asunción, and the hermitages of San Miguel Arcángel and San Román.
Parish Church of la Asunción
La iglesia de la Asunción situada en Villatuerta resulta imponte para quienes la visitan. Su robusta construcción en un entorno ausente de edificios le confieren un aire majestuoso.
La construcción data de inicios del siglo XIII, aunque de las construcción original queda sólo la torre, ya que en 1378, durante el enfrentamiento entre Navarra y Castilla, la iglesia fue casi destruida. La posterior reconstrucción se realizó en estilo gótico a finales del siglo XIV, principios del XV.
La torre está formada por tres plantas que se superponen. El piso inferior está protegido por una bóveda de cañón, sobre la que se levanta el piso superior, el cual está cubierto por una bóveda de crucería. En la última planta se ubica el campanario apoyado en figuras con forma humana.
De la reconstrucción realizadas entre los siglos XIV y XV se pueden apreciar las ventanas, para lo cual merece la pena bordear toda las construcción. La portada principal también pertenece a este periodo.
En los jardines del templo, se puede observar una antigua pila bautismal y la denominada “piedra de la monja”. Esta piedra es un sepulcro medieval que fue extraído de su ubicación original durante las guerras carlista para usarlo como muro-trinchera.
En la plaza situada frente a la iglesia, se encuentra el monumento de San Veremundo, patrono de la localidad y del Camino Francés en su paso por Navarra. En este espacio también se ubica un fuente y una placa que explica la protección que ejerce el Santo entre los peregrinos.
Doña Elisa San Martín es una vecina del pueblo que se encarga de abrir la iglesia para que los peregrinos que pasan junto a ella puedan visitarla. En su interior, destaca el retablo presidido por la Virgen de la Asunción, del siglo XVII.
Horario: Abre todos los días. De lunes a domingo (de 10:00 a 13:00 y de 17:00 a 20:00).
The municipality of Estella (or Lizarra, in the Basque language), crossed by the Ega River, has a population of close to 14,000 inhabitants. The origin of the town, as we know it today, dates back to the year 1090, moment in which King Sancho Ramírez decided the Camino de Santiago was to pass through this town, granting it a charter.
The charter allows the town to be in the possession of advantageous laws, especially for the Franks (pilgrims from other parts of Europe, especially France, who settled in Spain following the rise of the Camino de Santiago in the 12th century). The town’s present architecture reflects the influences from that time, in which the Franks settled down forming villages and bringing numerous artistic influences with them.
San Pedro de la Rúa
The church of San Pedro de la Rúa is located in Estella. To reach it, you must go up the staircase between the streets of Rúa and San Nicolás, which was built in the 1970s. The Romanesque-style temple dates back to the 12th century and has undergone numerous restorations, the last of which was recently completed in 2012. In the year 1256, it was designated the largest church in the city.
Its northern façade (the main façade) dates back to the first half of the 13th century. It has ten arches of Arab influence with a lobed form, and a varied Romanesque decoration, with plant, figurative and geometric motifs.
The construction of the cloister goes back to the year 1170, although the two demolished sides have been missing since 1572, when King Philip II ordered the demolition of the Zalatambor castle. The cloister has enormous sculptural value, since the capitals include historical elements on the life of warriors, saints, mythological subjects, etc., which were all designed and built by various artists.
Its structure is divided into three naves. One of them, the left nave (Gospel), contains the chapel of San Andrés, from 1696. It has intense ornamentation and a beautiful altarpiece from the late 18th century.
Inside the temple, there are elements from the 12th century such as the baptismal font, along with the chevet, composed of three apses that are accessed by a stairway from the year 1893, which was the work of Cayetano Echauri.
The parish is presided over by the figure of Saint Peter, built in 1687. Next to the saint is Our Lady of the Rosary and the Our Lady of the O, both from the first half of the 17th century.
The church can be visited on your own, either during the hours the parish is open or by attending mass, or with a guided tour. The guided tours are organised by two companies: Navark and Nahiaz.
Hours: Open every day. From Monday to Saturday (from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, and from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) and on Sundays (from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm).
Mass hours: Every day. From Monday to Saturday (7:00 pm) and Sundays (12:30 pm).
Guided visits: The company Navark offers tours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (11:00 am). Another time slot can be organised if booked in advance.
The company Nahiaz organises visits every day, you must make a reservation in advance and set the time with them.
Booking number for Navark: +34 948 550 070
Booking number for Nahiaz: +34 609 372 816 / +34 948 107 632
Admission: Visit to the church (free), guided tour with Navark (€3.75) and with Nahiaz (€5).
Palace of the Kings of Navarre
The Palace of the Kings of Navarre, also known as the Palace of the Dukes of Granada de Ega, is located in the Plaza de San Martín square in Estella. The Romanesque-style building is reminiscent of the ancient medieval city that was populated by Franks and Jews.
It was built in the 12th century, oriented towards the church of San Pedro de la Rúa. At present, after the restoration carried out in 1975, its facilities have been transformed into the headquarters of the Gustavo de Maeztu Museum.
The building’s most significant element is its rectangular floor plan and its beautiful façade, which is formed by three floors and two towers. The ground floor consists of three arches, with four large windows on the second floor, which in turn are subdivided into four arches. Finally, the upper structure, which was built later on in the 17th century, is made with ashlar masonry framed by two towers.
On the sides of the façade, there are two striking capitals with historical representations: one capital represents the struggle between Roldán and the giant Ferragut; while other representations appear on the capital on the right without any connection between them: the fable of the donkey that plays the harp while the lion listens, and that of two ambitious people who carry bags of money hanging from their necks as they walk holding a trap.
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Friday (from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm), weekends and holidays (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm).
Basílica of Puy
The basilica of Puy is located in Estella and its construction began in 1929 by the architect Víctor Eusa. Later, in 1949, the same architect remodelled the initial plan, and the work was completed in 1951.
The basilica owes its name to the fact that, in 1085, the image of the Our Lady of Le Puy appeared in the place where the building is located. It was Royal Patronage of the Kings of Spain up until 1895, year in which the regent queen renounced it and the bishop of Pamplona took possession of it.
Inside, you can see the Gothic image of Our Lady of Le Puy, dating back to the 14th century, and two representations of Christ on the cross from the 17th century. From the basilica you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views.
Hours: Open every day (from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Mass hours: Saturdays (7:25 am) and Sundays (1:00 pm).
Convent of Concepcionistas Recoletas
The convent of Concepcionistas Recoletas is located in Estella. It took a total of fifty years to build, officially opening in 1731. The building attempts to imitate the convent of Ágreda.
Its façade is divided into three sections and ends in a pediment that reproduces the shapes of the Carmelite architect, Alberto de la Madre de Dios, in the early 17th century.
The temple is formed by a nave divided into three sections. The structure is covered by a barrel vault dome.
Inside, the altarpieces stand out in a late Baroque style. The most modern is the altarpiece of San Miguel, which dates back to the 18th century in a neo-Gothic style.
Hours: Closed on Saturdays. From Monday to Friday (from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm), Sundays and holidays (from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Estella’s Town Hall was built at the beginning of the 20th century in an eclectic style. It was constructed on the former site of the convent of San Francisco, which acted as a military fort during the third Carlist War. Once it had been destroyed by mines, burned and ravaged by the battles, the municipal schools and the current Town Hall were built on top of it.
Convent of Santa Clara
The convent of Santa Clara is located in the medieval village of Los Llanos, in Estella. There is evidence of its existence as far back as the 13th century. However, its current appearance is the result of a restoration by Juan de Larrañaga that began in 1635 and was completed in 1654.
The temple has a Latin cross plan and a straight chevet. A barrel vault rises over the structure. We can point out the presence of a well-defined transept with a dome over pendentives.
Inside, the convent is organised around a courtyard with a rectangular shape. The paintings that adorn its walls date back to 1905 and are the work of Juan Ros de San Miguel.
Another striking element is the main altarpiece, designed and built in 1679 by the architect from Pamplona, Juan Barón de Guerendiaín. It is surrounded by two other spaces, where figures depicting the Immaculate Conception and the Holy Trinity appear, both in a Baroque style from the 18th century.
Convent of Santo Domingo
The convent of Santo Domingo is located in Estella and was built in 1259 under a Gothic influence. The building was made to welcome the Dominican religious under the order of King Theobald II of Navarre.
In 1839, the building passed into public hands and underwent a major restoration, although you can still see remains from the original church and one of the sections of the monastery. It is currently a nursing home belonging to the Government of Navarre.
Church of San Juan
The church of San Juan, located in the Plaza de los Fueros square in Estella, was built at the end of the 13th century. The Romanesque building was made on a vineyard owned by King Sancho the Wise. The temple has been modified several times and of its original structure, only the left nave’s portal remains.
In 1846, the bell tower collapsed, which led to a major restoration initiated by the local architect Anselmo Vicuña and completed by Florencio Ansoleaga at the beginning of the 20th century. The Neoclassical portal that can be seen today is attributed to the first of these architects.
Its structure is formed by three naves covered with vaults. There is a barrel vault with lunettes over the central nave, with a polygonal chevet. This structure is the result of a remodelling that was carried out in the 16th century.
Inside, you can find the main altarpiece by Pierres Picart, and the sculptures designed by Fray Juan Beauvais.
Hours: Open every day. From Monday to Friday (1:00 pm) and Saturdays and Sundays (from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Church of San Miguel
The church of San Miguel in Estella dates back to 1145. However, it has been subjected to several restorations throughout history, which have added elements to the building.
Its structure consists of three naves from the last quarter of the 12th century in a Romanesque style. We can highlight the chevet with a triple semi-circular apse. Over the transept there is a tower built in brick that was added in the 18th century.
The temple has three accesses: two next to the Epistle, in a very simple style, and the left-hand portal, which is very elaborate.
Hours: Open every day. From Monday to Sunday (from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Church of the Santo Sepulcro
The church of the Santo Sepulcro is located on Curtidores street in Estella. This temple has not operated as a parish since 1881. All the objects that were inside were moved to other churches, such as the church of San Pedro de la Rúa.
The old parish consists of three naves. The left nave (Gospel) has a semi-circular structure in a Romanesque style and dates back to the 12th century. In the 14th century, two pentagonal apses were added, giving the construction a monumental character, in addition to one of the portals. Both elements are in a Gothic style with French influence.
Estella’s old city wall was built as a result of the Charter granted by King Sancho Ramírez, in the year 1090. From that moment on, the town began to significantly develop economically, which allowed for the construction of several fortified temples, such as the wall, the church of San Pedro de la Rúa, hospitals, hostelries, etc.
This boom gave rise to walled neighbourhoods that were built around the churches of San Juan and San Miguel, which were connected by gateways and bridges. This fact explains the structure of the wall, formed by three walled enclosures that were defended by the castles of Atalaya, Balmecher and Zalatambor.
You can still see some of the original sections of the wall, such as the Puerta de San Nicolás gateway as well as the remains of the Puerta de Santa María gateway.
In the Carlism Museum in Estella, you can find collections and exhibitions on the history of Carlism from the 19th and 20th century.
Telephone: +34 948 552 111
Email: [email protected]
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Saturday (from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm). Sundays and holidays (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm).
Admission: General (€2). On Saturday afternoons and on Sundays, admission is free.
San Cristóbal Palace
The San Cristóbal Palace is located in the town of Estella. Its construction dates back to 1540, ordered to be built by Diego de San Cristóbal Ballesteros Eguía and his wife María Cruzat y Jaso.
Upon looking at the building, we are taken aback by its elegant brick façade. The building’s stone portal is enclosed by an alfiz from which two small sculptures with the heads of two men appear. An emblem decorated with fruit garlands is a tribute to the San Cristóbal and Cruzat lineage.
The second floor is made up of two balconies surrounded by balustrade columns reinforced by small figures that end in a frieze. This plant supports a curved tympanum decorated with the figures of children.
On the balcony situated on the left, the frieze depicts four of the Labours of Hercules: fighting against the centaur; facing the Nemean lion; fighting with the giant Antaeus; and fighting Lernaean Hydra with his friend Yolao. On the mouldings over this frieze, we can see two busts: one female, who could be Diana, Hebe or Minerva, and another male, who could represent the figure of Hercules.
The interior layout of the building revolves around a central courtyard with two storeys of different heights, with polygonal Solomonic columns. On both floors there is a capital on which carvings of cherubs appear along with busts of angels, men and women.
The Governor´s Palace
The Governor’s Palace in the town of Estelle has a beautiful interior courtyard, consisting of two floors resting on Tuscan columns.
As for its exterior, we are drawn to its horizontal structure and subdued style, as it has no other sculptural decoration other than the heraldic shields. The construction stands on a stone base and is made entirely of brick, with the exception of the window frames and the main entrance.
These last two elements are made of stone. This combination of materials is characteristic of the typical architecture in the old centre of Madrid. The main axis of the façade is framed by a balcony, and on the upper part there are two coats of arms and the inscription of the year 1613.
Salt Water Spring
The salt water spring is located next to Estella’s municipal pools and the Ega River. This spring originates from a rock, creating a pool with a whitish colour due to the high concentration of salts in the water.
Residents of this town are so interested in this spot because they say that the water has healing properties.
Fountain of Jets
The fountain of jets (Fuente de los Chorros) is located in the Plaza de San Martín square in Estella and is also known as the Mona fountain. The construction dates back to the 16th century and is built in a Renaissance style. The figure of a lion with Estella’s coat of arms preside over the fountain.
The Prison bridge (Puente de la Cárcel) crosses the Ega River in Estella. The construction is of medieval origin; however, the original structure was demolished in 1873 during the Carlist Wars. In 1975, the bridge was completely rebuilt.
Currently, it consists of a single arch and two steep hills that have led it to also be known as the “pointed” bridge.
Church of Santa María de Jus del Castillo
The church of Santa María de Jus del Castillo is located at the top of the Castillo mountain in Estella, next to the convent of Santo Domingo. The construction was built on an old Jewish synagogue and is consecrated to St Mary and All Saints.
The temple consists of a Romanesque apse and a single nave, divided into three sections separated by Romanesque pilasters, over which there is a ribbed vault with figurative motifs.
The church of Santa María de Jus del Castillo was declared a Spanish Historic/Artistic Monument and is currently home to the Romanesque and Camino de Santiago Interpretation Centre.
Two expositions can be visited inside.
One is focused on the kings and borders of Navarre, with informative panels explaining the lineage of the kings of Navarre and the evolution of the borders of the Kingdom of Navarre. The other covers Romanesque architecture and the Camino de Santiago, using visual material to demonstrate the importance of these two elements in the Middle Ages.
Hours: Closed on Mondays. From Tuesday to Saturday (from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, and from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm), Sundays and holidays (from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm).
Old Palace of Jutice
The Old Palace of Justice in Estella dates back to the 18th century. It the past, the building also housed the Town Hall.
The best part of this building is its façade, characterised by the sculptural volume of its columns. On the façade, we can find decoration based on naked young men, slightly modest, reflecting the Renaissance style.
Basílica of Nuestra Señora de Rocamador
The basilica of Nuestra Señora de Rocamador is located in Estella on the way to Irache, at the exit of the Puerta de Castilla (Castille’s Gate). It was built between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th.
Nevertheless, of the original structure, only the semi-circular chevet remains, which is preceded by a straight section and covered by a barrel vault. The church’s other elements were added later on, in approximately 1691, under the Baroque influence.
The façade, just like the other religious buildings in the town, grabs your attention due to its verticality. It displays a stone sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus in her arms. Inside, we can point out the carving of Our Lady of Rocamador, made at the end of the 12th century.