Picture courtesy of the Government of Navarre
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY: Chartered Community of Navarre
DISTANCE TO SANTIAGO: 744 km
Calle Mayor, 2
Tel.: [+34] 948 871 411
LINKS OF INTEREST
Civil protection: [+34] 649 944 278
Health Centre: [+34] 948 871 440
FESTIVALS & OTHER EVENTS
- Patron Saint’s Days: September 11th-17th, in honour of Saint Sebastian.
- “Auto de los Reyes Magos” (celebration of the Three Wise Men): declared a Festival of Tourist Interest of Navarre, it is held on January 6th every year.
A border town in the Way of Saint James, hospitable and monumental, Sangüesa is a mixture between hilly and river landscapes, a city to contemplate and live.
It is located on a terrace near the river Aragon, into which flows the Onsella river. The floods of 1787 swept the 120-m long seven-spanned medieval bridge, which enabled pilgrims to continue their journey towards Compostela. It was replaced in 1891 by the current iron bridge, with a cross structure similar to that of the Eiffel Tower, being a work of contemporary engineering.
The municipality consists of the city of Sangüesa, plus the localities of Rocaforte and Gabarderal, the two latter amounting in 2018 to a population of 168.
- Church of Santa María la Real: a national monument since 1889, it is considered one of the greatest Romanesque works of all times and places. The sculptures in the magnificent façade and the 15th-century Gothic monstrance are the most valuable elements in the church. The church holds a statue of the Virgin of Rocamador, of French origin, that is also represented in other temples along the Way. The Virgin is associated with miracles related to water and nature.
- Church of Santiago: late Romanesque style. Among other treasures, we can admire the Plateresque altarpiece of San Eloy, a stone statue of the Apostle Saint James, the crenellated tower and the Romanesque façade. Pilgrim’s blessing every day. The tympanum in the front contains representations of two pilgrims on each side of the figure of the apostle. Inside it holds a Christ believed to have worked miracles, and whom visitors pray to for water and fight pests and diseases, as well as a 14th-century sculpture of Saint James the Apostle measuring two metres.
- Palace of the Prince of Viana: Gothic building with austere walls, the only testimony of the ancient city walls, whose current moat is as deep as the original one.
- Palace of Ongay-Vallesantoro: current Cultural Centre or “Casa de Cultura”, the façade is topped by an impressive wooden eave carved with horses, lions and atlantes.
- City Hall: it dates from 1570 and consists of a simple Renaissance façade with a coat of arms, a very prominent eave and a peculiar porch-like gallery that runs along the entire lower part of the building.
- Palaces on Calle Mayor: the Palace of Añués and the adjoining Palace of Íñiguez-Abarca; the Palace of Sebastianes, where Enrique II of Albret, King of Navarre, was born; the Palace of París Íñiguez-Abarca. They all have brick façades, ground floors built in stone and richly carved protruding eaves.
- Convent of San Francisco de Asís: this 13th century saint made a pilgrimage to Santiago from his native Assisi, passing through Sangüesa, where the first Franciscan convent in Spain was founded. The beauty of its cloister lies in its simplicity, rhythmically repeating a light arcade of trilobed arches.
- Hermitage of San Adrián de Vadoluengo: just 1.5 kilometres before the historic city centre we find this beautiful Romanesque hermitage, unusually topped off by a tower and decorated with checkered patterns so typical of the monuments of the Way of Saint James.
Track Sangüesa - Monreal
NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST
- Castle of Javier: towers, battlements, walls and dungeons invite us to discover the place where Saint Francis Xavier, patron saint of Navarre and the patron saint of tourism, was born and lived. This is the end point of popular local pilgrimages known as “Javieradas”.
- Monastery of San Salvador de Leyre: ancient monastery nestled in the foothills of the Leyre mountain range. Its most relevant features include the 11th-century crypt, a 12th-century sculpted doorway and the fact that this was the pantheon of the first kings of Navarre. The monastery of Leyre also celebrates something very special: Gregorian chant, based on melodies that date back to the 8th century. In Leyre, Gregorian monodies are heard in their true context: the celebration of the monastic liturgy in the incomparable setting of the pre-Romanesque abbey church of San Salvador (11th-12th centuries).
- Bridge of Roncaleses: nowadays it is broken down, so it no longer serves its original purpose, that is, allowing shepherds coming from the Pyrenees to cross the river Aragón with their flocks of sheep by the nearby town of Yesa.
- Roman Villa of Liédena: this huge archaeological site unveils the plan of one of the many villas that the Roman Empire had in the territory of Navarre.
- Gorge of Lumbier: spectacular rocky gorge, cut by the Irati river, whose erosive action over millions of years has created this natural corridor. The greenway of the former Irati Railway, the first electric train ever in Spain, crosses the gorge. Today it offers a pleasant natural walk where you can see the natural habitat of numerous pairs of griffon vultures.
- Roman city of Santa Criz de Eslava: another of the main archaeological sites of the Chartered Community of Navarre. Although the Latin name remains unknown today, the excavation work carried out has unearthed part of the forum and a necropolis, with a cryptoportico and columns of great architectural value.
- Gallipienzo: medieval town located atop a high point, watching over the river Aragón. It holds remains of walls, cobbled streets and the hermitage of San Salvador, with a beautiful Romanesque crypt.
- Aibar: beautiful medieval town with narrow cobbled streets. The Romanesque church of San Pedro is one of the few in Navarre that is divided into once central nave and two aisles. The martyrdom of Saint Peter, who asked to be crucified upside down, is depicted in the altarpiece.
- Cáseda: it holds remains of medieval walls, an altarpiece of great sculptural quality carved by Juan de Anchieta and, on the outskirts, the Gothic hermitage of San Zoilo with its wall paintings.
LEGENDS OF THE WAY:
- Fountain and miracle of Virila (Monastery of Leyre): Tradition has it that one of the most popular miracles of the Camino took place by this fountain near the monastery. According to legend, in the year 928, the abbot Virila of the monastery of Leyre went for a walk. He sat by the fountain meditating and listening in wonder to the song of a nightingale. After a while he returned to the sanctuary, but found that 300 years had lapsed since that day he left. The monks who lived in the monastery at that time were able to find a chronicle among 300-year-old manuscripts recounting the disappearance of Abbot Virila.
- Hermitage of San Bartolomé, also known as “ermita de los arbolicos”, in Rocaforte: At the entrance of this 12th century hermitage there is a tree to which healing properties are attributed. Tradition has it that Saint Francis of Assisi on his way to Santiago encountered a sick man and asked Brother Bernardo de Quintavalle to take care of the man. After hitting the ground with his crosier, a mulberry tree sprang that gained miraculous fame.