Estella – Lizarra

The Capital of the Carlists

Located on the slopes of Montejurra was the Carlist Capital with the eight-pointed star that guided the pilgrims and the miraculous virgin on Santiago Way. The monuments and the numerous historical events occurred there make it an epic place to visit.

Plan your visit to Estella – Lizarra

To see all there is and understand Estella, you will need one full day at the minimum. Furthermore, it is a place where it is essential to read our section on its history to understand what you are visiting. Of their many attractions, it boasts the excursions through the Navarra. This is the best option for hiking and other active tourist activities near the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía. To find out about the sites and places to eat, and how to make reservations – keep reading!

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It’s original name in Basque, Lizarra (land of ash trees) denotes the ancient this abundance of tree species on the banks of the meandering of the river Ega. The Castilian name Estella (derived from Latin Stella) is due to its significant location on the Santiago Way; the eight-pointed star of Its first buildings and the shield has Remained as an emblem of the city.

The place made its entrance into history when the Muslims were reconquered by Sancho Garcés I in the year 904. In 1090 Sancho Ramirez founded a borough of francs serving European pilgrims on their way to Santiago. The pilgrims must have been satisfied with the service judging from Aymeric Picaud who wrote in 1140 in his Liber peregrinationis : “Estella is a city of good bread, excellent wine, much meat and fish and all kinds of happiness.”

Since the earlier days, in the neighborhood of San Pedro de Rua was a Jewish quarter. This Jewish quarter was the 3rd most important place in Navarre. In fact, the people of Estella ( ” estelleses ”) are called Jews in that region due to their abundant population during the Middle Ages. On the other side of the river, there was a celebration of a market on the day of San Miguel. This triggered the formation of the village of San Miguel. Sancho VI the Wise founded the village of San Juan in 1187 for people of various social classes. Minorities lived there in excellent conditions: such as the rights to French, putting Their living condition of the Navarre above those Christian servants and of the higher class Jews. This contributed to the murders of Jews on June 3, 1328.

In 1512 was the invasion of the Castilian army of the Duke of Alba. The population surrendered, but Juan Castillo -defended resisted by Velaz of Medrano Until the a portion of the Estella people Belonging to the party revolted Agramontes Against the Spaniards and Expelled them from the city. But a few weeks later the people of Estella who supported the beamonteses (and the Castilians) opened their doors to the co-religionists, who returned to take over the castle on October 31. King Ferdinand Remained an important garrison and commanded fortifying the town in 1520, which did not prevent the Agramontes people from rioting in 1521 and 1547.

On November 14, 1833 the main military troops that supported the dynastic rights of Carlos de Borbon met in Estella, appointing General Thomas Zumalacárregui as the commander of the insurrection. It was a Carlist stronghold until the summer of 1839, when General Maroto made a pact, the Embrace of Vergara , a few months after shooting the generals who refused to negotiate in Estella .

At the start of the last Carlist War in 1872, the government garrison and liberalist volunteers controlled the fort of San Francisco until they were besieged by the Carlist General Dorregaray in July the following year. After a dramatic siege they were rescued by the army, but the Carlists reclaimed them a few weeks after getting attacked. For two and a half years in Estella, the Carlist emergenct bureaucracy of the State was organized. This is where the Officials for War, Justice and Finance, and Foreign Affairs reside.

On June 14, 1931 many mayors of the Carlist, Basque nationalist and rightist parties, who were in support of a Statute of Autonomy met in Estella. Their drafts were prepared by experts from the Society of Basque Studies ( Eusko Ikaskuntza ). The initiative did not materialize, but planted an important precedent in the history of Estella.

Estella was Governed in 1936 by a Basque nationalist higher (Fortunato Aguirre) and the government of Madrid Warned of the details of the uprising. On July 16 the General Batet (sent by the government) went to the Monastery of General Irache  to meet with Mola (head of the conspirators). The latter solemnly gave his word of honor that he was loyal to the Second Republic. Two days later came the revolt, Both Batet and the General would be shot by the rebels.

Que ver en Estella
Plazuela de San Francisco in the early 20th century

In the fifteenth century it was known as “Estella the beautiful”. Its monumental center is concentrated around the Plaza de San Martin , with its fountain of jets from the sixteenth century, the left side of the Sugar Bridge. There, next to the grand staircase leads to San Pedro that was the eighteenth-century Old Town Hall (now Regional Court). In the 16th century a Renaissance building was built on a frank chapel; with two coats of arms of the city adorned On Its facade.

The Cistercian Church of San Pedro de la Rua is a Gothic building of three ships With three apses modeling the late twelfth century Romanesque style. Inside there are murals and chapels of later works: such as the Baroque dome plasterwork in the Chapel of San Andrés (1596). From the epistle you enter the cloister, Which has the north Pandas (galleries) With scenes of saints and the life of Christ and the west gallery with plant motifs and four columns entwined in center the arches (also seen in the Burgo de Osma and Santo Domingo de Silos ). The rest were lost in 1572 coinciding With the demolition of the castle located above. Each section consists of nine arches, supported by columns paired with beautiful capitals. The main entrance has Cistercians and Moorish influences like the lobed arch. The rectangular tower with arrow slits gives an appearance of a church-fortress.

The Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra or Palace of the Dukes of Granada de Ega, from the late twelfth century, is the only example of Romanesque civilization remaining in Estella and the rest of the Navarre community. There, on the left side of the facade to the street of San Nicolas, is the famous Capital narrating the fight between Roldán and Ferragut. At the southern end of this street is the Puerta de Castilla, the only one surviving are the walls. The Palace houses are dedicated to Gustavo Maeztu Museum, a painter of Generation of ’98 . Located next door is the Tourist Office.

In cavalcade of Tabernacles (named after the old Gothic arches giving Jacobean entrance to shops and hostelries) is the House of Culture Fray Diego , a plateresco sixteenth century palace with a beautiful courtyard. Later the Governor ‘s Palace , buildt in 1613, that has been attached to an new building, includes the Museum Carlismo guarding the collections donated by the Carlist Party.

On Tanners Street preceding the Prison Bridge or San Agustín, you must stop at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This building is from the Romanesque XIII century. The cover of twelve archivolts on the street of the pilgrims is from the fourteenth century and is decorated with statues of the apostles and Santiago Peregrino. The Tanners street leads to the Jewish quarter. There you will find the Gothic convent of Santo Domingo founded in 1259, focus of academic and cultural activity. Next to it stands today’s Church of Santa María Jus del Castillo founded in 1145 and built on the ancient synagogue. Its name refers to the castle of Zalatambor, of which some remains are preserved. It combines Romanesque apses along with Gothic and Baroque façades inside. After years of being closed, it has finally been opened as suitable for the Navarra Romanesque Exhibition.

Upon crossing the Jail Bridge you will arrive at the Church of San Miguel (XII-XIV centuries). The most remarkable aspect is the northern front, with a strong Romanesque sculpture of Cluniac influence. The head of the temple is composed of three apses of the Romanesque style, with the central pointed arch. The altarpiece of Santa Elena is composed of 13 sections of Gothic painting. The altarpiece is done in the baroque style.

On the street Ruiz de Alda, neighboring the church is the Renaissance Palace Eguía (XVI) and the stately mansion of the Ruiz de Alda (XVII), which has a splendid baroque staircase.

The meeting point for the neighbors is the Plaza de los Fueros , surrounded by beautiful buildings (two of them belonging to the eighteenth century) and the Church of San Juan Bautista with its neoclassical facade of the primitive 13th century construction, like the Virgin of the Torches. The Pierres Ricart (1562) inside the altarpiece is particularly noteworthy.

Outside the city lies the Basilica of Our Lady of Puy, a patron saint dedicated to the city, the pilgrimage place, and the place where several miraculous events occured. The present basilica is a 1951 building that retains the old porch.  The image of the Virgin of Puy under a canopy shaped eight – pointed star which was used by Charles VII in the First Carlist War is also well preserved.

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Train station

It is advisable to walk through the park, Paseo Los Llanos, surrounded by the Ega river before cooling off in the Agua Salada, a natural pool with medicinal properties located in one of the riverbanks.

A 11 km of Estella, in the valley of Allín, lies the Museum of Truffle that features content panels, interactive multimedia and audiovisual projections and life cycle search, display cases, a children ‘s interactive post, and different little stores.


Que ver en Estella
Monastery of Oña
Que ver en Estella
La Resina Museum

Practical Data


42º 44’ 05’’N, 3º24’ 50’’W


Burgos 64 km, Bilbao 89 km, Madrid 311 km

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