Standing on a hill in the Izco mountain range in eastern Navarre 4 miles from Sangüesa
is Aibar, the village of the magic spirits
as it is traditionally called; a nickname that originated in the mists of time that attributes strange powers to them. The frontier location of this beautiful mediaeval village
, close to the Kingdom
of Aragon, led to its construction as a vantage point and its function as a defensive fortress.
It was the scene of bloody crusades against the Muslims and historical events such as the battle between the Prince of Viana and his father Juan II for the succession to the throne. Prince Carlos, who was imprisoned by his father in 1451, enjoyed Aibar's support and in return he granted the town the title of very loyal and most faithful
. Aibar was also home to romances such as the one between King Sancho III and Dame Sancha of Aibar. They had a child, Ramiro, who later became King of Aragon.
The urban structure of Aibar conserves a typical mediaeval layout
. Narrow, stony streets lined by noble houses, arches and buildings from several epochs. Among the oldest the Hueca gate and the house of the Iziz family stand out. It is thought that both were part of the old walls. A labyrinth of streets goes up to the Romanesque church of San Pedro
, which overlooks the town. Inside stands a two-metre-high Gothic sculpture of Jesus Christ.
Other striking 'snapshots' of Aibar are the house of Dame Sancha, the square dedicated to the Virgin Mary with its beautiful arcades that contain a ring to which blasphemers were chained, a very old washing place between arches or the old town hall, now a Renewable energy training centre
The surrounding area has paths
that take you to two of the prettiest spots near Aibar: the old 'Biscay fridge'
in the wind farm on the Izco mountain range, and the well of ivy
, a delightful place where the people of Aibar used to swim in summer until just a few decades ago.
visita por la Villa Medieval.
Price of the visit:
Gesartur (622 305 052) y Sangüesa Tour (620 110 581).