Pamplona

Day Trip Pamplona: Sangüesa, Castle of Xavier and Monastery of Leyre

23 Sep 2019
 Traveling not more than 50 km to the southwest of Pamplona, you will find this spectacular area where a lot can be seen. The small town of Sangüesa (Zangoza) is known thanks to Camino de Santiago but is also praised for the beautiful architecture and the dazzling beauty of nature around. The bridge over the Aragon River was built more than ten centuries ago. Sangüesa was an important town in the Kingdom of Navarre. Some of the notable buildings date back to that period (Palace of the Prince of Viana, for example. Built in the 13th century, it was a residence of the kings of Navarre). However, many other significant sights hold the mark of the Spanish conquest (Palace of the marquises of Valle-Santoro or Palace of the Counts of Guendulain).
 
In this area, you can visit the stunning Castle of Xavier (or Javier). Built more than ten centuries ago, it was the birthplace of Saint Francis Xavier, a patron saint of Navarre. This medieval fortress was one of the instrumental strongholds of the Kingdom of Navarre, and it never fell in French hands even when the land was vassal to France. The name Xavier derives from Basque Etxeberri or “new house.”
 
Monastery of Leyre undoubtedly should be included in your list if you decide to go for that specific tour. The religious complex is one of the most important of that kind in the history of Spain. The oldest records of the Monastery of Leyre date from 842, when Íñigo Arista, considered the first king of Pamplona, donated to the monastery. Several kings of Navarre were buried in the premises of the monastery.

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