Picture courtesy of the Government of Navarre
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY: Chartered Community of Navarre
DISTANCE TO SANTIAGO: 710 km
Calle Mayor, 2
Tel.: [+34] 948 871 411
LINKS OF INTEREST
- Monreal Pilgrim Hostel
- Calle Santa Bárbara, 4
[+34] 683 147 640 (Eleonora)
FESTIVALS & OTHER EVENTS
- Patron Saint’s Days: September 8th, Nuestra Señora de la Natividad (Our Lady of the Nativity).
Monreal is a town bathed by the river Elorz, which is why a medieval bridge was built – and still remains. The castle built by the kings of Navarre was not that lucky, as it was ordered to be demolished after the Castilian conquest of the kingdom, although its ruins have been recovered lately. During the Middle Ages, it was awarded the Charter of Estella, with the right to hold a weekly market, thus attracting Frankish and Jewish merchants who settled in the town, each group establishing their own district.
- Medieval bridge: this bridge is peculiar because it only has two spans, when the usual thing was to have an odd number of spans.
- Church of the Nativity: the church has a strange design, since the altar was moved to the opposite end when the church was reformed in the 18th century.
- Archaeological remains of the castle: located on the hill overlooking the town, this medieval fortress was the residence of the monarchs of Navarre, and this means that the “Cortes” or royal assembly met there. An archaeological campaign has recently been carried out to clear the ground, excavate the site and recover the castle's plan.
Track Monreal - Puente la Reina
NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST
- Top of the Higa de Monreal/Elomendi: breathtaking views of the Elorz valley, Izagaondoa, the Pamplona Basin and the Pyrenees to the northeast. The summit can be reached both on foot and by car.
- Diablozulo Waterfall: in the final section of the Diablozulo or Jehesua ravine, it is a small but very beautiful waterfall. It is usually dry, except during thaw season of after heavy rains.
- Salinas de Ibargoiti: it has a medieval bridge with a pointed arch span overcoming the unevenness of the river through which the Way of Saint James runs. The name “Salinas” comes from the fact that the locality had salt works consisting of eight brine water wells and their corresponding ponds.
- Artáiz: Romanesque complex with fountain, church and doorway, the latter being one of the main works of 12th-century sculpture in Navarre.
- Yárnoz: medieval tower.
- Castle-palace of Tiebas: recovered ruins of a 13th-century palace with a cistern and views over the Carrascal pass.
- Olcoz: restored medieval tower whose top holds the Museum of the Valley. The Romanesque façade mirrors that of Santa María de Eunate.
- Eunate: in any of the branches of the Way of Saint James we are bound to find dozens of churches, but there is no doubt that this one, located on a lonely plain just two kilometres from the municipality of Muruzábal is strikingly unique. The Romanesque hermitage of Santa María de Eunate (12th century), surrounded by an enigmatic halo of esoteric mysteries about its origin and purpose, has become one of the legendary temples on the Way of Saint James. Some theories claim that it was built by the Order of the Knights Templar in imitation of the Temple of Jerusalem, but others point to the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, while popular belief says it was founded by a queen. Be that as it may, the hermitage, with an octagonal plan and surrounded by an arcaded gallery, is of extraordinary beauty and austerity.