Viana

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Viana

The historical and monumental town of Viana, 81 Km from Pamplona and 9 from Logroño, is situated in the south-west of Navarre, between the Sierra of Codés and the fertile plain of the Ebro.Its foundation dates from 1219 when the Navarrese king Sancho VII el Fuerte reconstructed it, conferfing upon it the “Fuero” or the “Eagle Concession”.

The archaeological excavations are bringing to light about fifty prehistoric and historical sites which confirm this area is one of the richest ones.

Viana is home to many gems: it´s a town charged with art and history, an authentic museum of civil and religious architecture, whose acces was gained thought five old ramparts that were closed every night until the end of 19 th century. Its streets should be gone over in an unhurried way, allowing us to be amaze by its impressive ancestral homes and emblazoned fronts that evoke its flourishing past.

We might start visiting the Saint Peter ruins (next to the hotel) where a wonderful view can be admired: Sierra (range) de Cantabria, La Vega (meadows) del Ebro, Logroño, la Sierra de la Demanda with San Lorenzo (2040m).

After passing ahead of the house where Navarro Villoslada, a famous writer “Cantor de la raza vasca”, was born, we arrive at Santa María de la Asunción church, an architectural jewel which amazes due to its magnificence. Its impressive main front, built between 1530 and 1560, is considered the most amazing stone work the Navarrese renaissance. At its foot Caesar Borgia is buried, who was a legendary character, supreme commander of the Navarrese army and Pope Alexander VI´s son. In the Gothic naves there are hidden treasures such as Luis Paret´s paintings who, together with Goya, is considered one of the best painters of the 17th century.

Beside Santa María church is the Fueros Square that is the centre of the town´s activity. The town hall, built out of stone, and the fountain, steemed by the locals and visitors alike, turn this square into an unique place where pilgrims can rest.

The Coso Square is dominated by the bull balcony of the town hall. It was here where was situated the castle-fortification that protected the Kingdom from the Castilian attacks. Unfortunately, there is only a stone wall left as a silent representation of glorious days.

Outside the ramparts you can visit the convent and San Francisco church at whose main door is the Caesar Borgia´s bust.

Within the municipal limit there are two important points: the nature reserve of La Laguna de las Cañas. It has a great ecological value due to the diversity of birds that live and nest there. This reserve has an Interpretation Nature Centre in which the water life can be observed and you can get information about the different species.

The Hipogeo del Longar, the second sight is a 4000-year-old subterranean funeral monument which was discovered recently and has already been restored. It is thought to be one of the most original and important in Navarre.

The surroundings

The strategic situation of Viana, bordering Alava and La Rioja, turns it into a place where excursions and rural walks can be planned.

Different ideas to spend the day can be proposed:
  • Tourist itinerary through nearby villages:
    Torres del Río and Santo Sepulcro, a Romanesque church whose octagonal nave is higher than other churches. Inside, the cupola has a ribbed vault shaped like an eight-pointed star that suggests Moslem inspiration, which evokes the Cordoba mosque.

  • Los Arcos
    Whose church has one of the most beautiful towers of Navarre. The Basilica of San Gregorio in Sorlada, a rococo jewel in which a wonderful sight and special rocky formation can be admired. The Sierra de Codés with the monastery from where you can climb Ioar Mountain (1414m).
  • Excursion to Val de Lana (Valley of Lana):
    A peculiar geological enclave in which the charcoal production has endured. It is an ideal place to visit the five villages that compose it.

  • Excursion to nacedero del Urederra (source of the Uredera stream):
    It is situated in the natural park of the Sierra de Urbasa. The way that leads to it goes across an old glacier cirque. The water of emerald colour justifies the river’s name since Urederra means beautiful water in Basque.

  • Excursion to Rioja Alavesa:
    We can visit the roman bridge of Mantible, the medieval town of Laguardia, the village of La Hoya and the cellars of this area (an old Principality of Viana) with their recognized wines.

Visit to the nearby town Logroño: to enjoy its monuments, its gastronomy and to go shopping.

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