Sangüesa is one of the main historical cities in Navarre. The city is found on the left bank of the Aragon River and is full of mansions, feudal manor houses, churches, and convents that make it an appealing tourist destination.
The city’s crown jewel is the Church of Santa María la Real, a Romanesque building with Gothic additions dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. Its façade is one of the most significant examples of the Navarrese Romanesque style. The church’s magnificent décor includes religious artwork and several reliefs of people and animals. In 1131, Alfonso I the Warrior donated the church to the Order of Saint John. It has been declared a National Monument.
El Salvador Church was built in the 13th century. Its façade depicts Judgment Day and its portico was built in the 16th century to protect the façade. Built in the Romanesque style, with later Gothic additions, the Church of Santiago is embedded in a section of the old defensive wall that surrounded the city. It has the appearance of a fortress, and its large tower with battlements stands out. Inside the church houses a 14th-century stone sculpture of Saint James the Pilgrim.
On the outskirts of Sangüesa, Saint Francis of Assisi Convent is a must-see. Its construction is attributed to the saint on his return from Santiago de Compostela in 1213. The convent has a noteworthy cloister and Gothic church.
When it comes to civil architecture, the Town Hall was built in 1570, making it one of the oldest city halls in all of Navarre. The ground floor has a colonnade with diminished arches. Another one of the city’s most important buildings is the Ongay-Vallesantoro Mansion, a 17th-century Baroque building whose ground floor is made of stone, the rest of the building being made of brick. It is notable for its main façade, featuring a family crest and indiano elements attributed to a former viceroy of New Spain. Its wooden roof has several corbels in the shape of animals.
Another important building is the Palace of the Prince of Viana, built in the 13th century as a royal residence. The palace is framed by two towers and throughout history it has hosted several meetings of the royal court. The Íñiguez Abarca Mansion, in the Renaissance style, has a notable gallery of arches on the top floor and a wooden roof. Finally, the Sebastianes Mansion is another of Sangüesa’s most significant monuments. It once belonged to a wealthy family of merchants and royal moneylenders. In 1503, it was the birthplace of Henry II of Albret, Prince of Viana and the last king of Navarre.
Over the Aragon River you can see the famous Iron Bridge (Puente de Hierro), which in 1820 replaced an old medieval bridge dating from the 11th century.