A popular church and palace
Elizondo is nowadays a modern city that still conserves within its streets the historic center with the flavor of the lines of the great families of its past. The current Iglesia de Santiago was built in the 20th century on top of the old building from the 16th century. The floods of 1913 left the building so damaged that it was decided that the best thing to do would be to rebuild it completely rather than restore it. It is in the Neogothic style, and it has the typical red ashlar of the area, and two square-floor-plan towers with small domes stretching out of its exterior walls. It also displays beautiful and colorful images on its façade.
The most well-known building of the city, and the best example of the architecture of the nobility in the valley, is the Palacio Arizkunenea. Its construction was ordered in the 17th century by Miguel de Arizcun, the first Marquis of Iturbieta. With a floor plan in the shape of a “U,” it has a façade of recessed stone. A large coat of arms with ornamental motifs of animals, flowers, and horns of abundance is housed within its center. It currently hosts cultural activities. It is located on the street Jaime Urrutia, which is famous for its arcades and arches immortalized by Javier Ciga and the cultural center of Elizando.
Church of Santiago
The Town Hall, the administrative center of the Valley of Baztán, is another great building to see in Elizondo. It is a Baroque building erected in 1696 and inspired by the Palacio Jaiola de Elvetea. It is a building of reddish and white stones articulated in three floors and crowned by a remarkable wooden eave.
Houses with a lot of history
Another intriguing building is the Casa Istekonea, associated with Pedro de Mendinueta. It has an arched portico on its ground floor and wooden eaves cut by three attic windows. It highlights its crest, with the representative weapons, aligning it with the line of the Palacio de Arizkunenea. On its outskirts, lies the Palacio de Datue, a typical Baztanesa construction that was brought to life by Agustín de Jauregui, viceroy of Perú and governor of Chile in the 18th century.
In the Casa Puriosenea you can find the Museo Etnográfico Jorge Oteiza, funded by private donations from the valley’s inhabitants. The space is organized into three sections that come together to create a tour through the traditional way of life of Baztán. The second floor also contains a permanent exhibition with the work of the painter Javier Ciga.
Elizondo is only a few kilometers away from the Señorío de Bertiz Natural Park, an area that belonged to the same family until 1898, when it was acquired and remodeled for its following assignment to the Chartered Community of Navarre. It houses in its interior a beautiful and diverse botanical collection.
As for its cuisine, Elizondo is famous for its Urrakin Egina (literally “made with hazlenuts”), a sweet consisting of pieces of chocolate filled with whole hazelnuts, which will delight any lover of sweets.