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Viana

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Calles de Viana
Portada de Sta. María
Retablo de Sta. María
Viana
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Calles de Viana Viana, perched up on a hill, gazes serenely towards the horizon. It no longer keeps guard; it is resting after a turbulent historical past as a defensive garrison town against Castile and the frequent residence of monarchs.

Its walls now open their gates to give way to numerous fascinating mansion houses, palaces and churches that demonstrate the magnificence of the town between the 16th and 18th centuries.

With its rich gastronomy and refined wines, the town welcomes visitors and bids farewell to the pilgrims who cross through the last town on the Navarrese section of the Pilgrims' Way to Santiago.

Viana is the last Navarrese town on the Pilgrim's Way, on the border with La Rioja just 3.5 kilometres from Logroño. Fields of cereals, vines, almond and olive trees surround this small town of 4,000 inhabitants, distinguished by the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela and the economic and cultural boom it experienced between the 16th and 18th centuries. This era has left us some fascinating examples of civil and religious architecture.

A brief history

King Sancho VII 'the Strong' officially founded Viana in 1219 with a clearly defensive objective against the Kingdom of Castile. Perched up on a hill, the urban layout is that of a fortified square, with narrow streets surrounded by part of its thick medieval wall. It was a frequent command post for monarchs. In 1423, King Carlos III 'the Noble' created the title of Prince of Viana; today, Prince Felipe of Spain and his wife Princess Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano hold the title of Princes of Viana, and turned the town into the head of a Principality made up of 14 villages.

Viana experienced its greatest development between the 16th and 18th centuries. After obtaining the status of city in 1630, the nobles who settled there gave orders for numerous civil and religious buildings to be constructed.

Religious architecture

In Viana you will find two major examples of religious art: the churches of Santa María and San Pedro. The majestic church of Santa María is one of the most striking monuments in the town. It was built between 1250 and 1312 in Gothic style. The tower and the southern doorway were added, in Renaissance style, in the 16th century. At the foot of the church, under the slabs of the atrium, lie the remains of the soldier, prince and cardinal Cesare Borgia, who died close to Viana in 1507.

Although the 13th-century church of San Pedro is in ruins its Baroque façade dating from the 18th century is still in good condition, with a niche that houses the image of St. Peter, and the old cemetery, which has now been turned into a park. From here you can enjoy a wonderful view of the medieval walls and the nearby lands of La Rioja and Álava.

Other interesting religious buildings in the town and its surroundings include the convent of San Francisco and the chapels of Our Lady of Cuevas, Trinidad de Cuevas, Las Cruces, Calvario and San Martín de Tidón.

Civil architecture

Viana also boasts numerous palace-houses with noble coats of arms, such as those of the Añoa and Busto families on Calle Santa María; the stately façade of Tuscan pilasters of the Ripa family home; the eaves and large interior dome of the Ichaso mansion; the wrought-iron balconies of the Múzquiz-Aldunate family house; the palaces of the Dicastillo, Urra and Cereceda families and the former hospital of Our Lady of Grace, now a Cultural Centre and Public Library.

The two baroque buildings, both dating from the 17th century, are also very interesting: one in the Plaza del Coso, with an encircling balcony that served as the box of honour during bullfighting festivals, and the one in the Plaza de los Fueros, with a colonnade, Tuscan pilasters and a coat of arms is the actual town hall.

Gastronomy

If you are a lover of good food, the town's Gastronomic Weekend is held in the middle of October. The bars of the town offer a varied assortment of pinchos (tapas) which you can wash down with the excellent wines made in the bodegas of Viana and Aras, which fall within the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin.

In addition, on 11th November the festival of St. Martin is celebrated by cooking cabbage with snails and frittata, and on 16th January the townsfolk roast potatoes with meat, chorizo and garlic. Other notable gastronomic specialities in Viana are the home-made sausages, kidney beans, españoletas and mantecadas (cookies and lardy cakes) and Pacharán (sloe anise) made at one of the oldest distilleries in Navarre.

Other sights of interest

Between Viana and Logroño, do not miss the opportunity to visit the nearby reservoir of Las Cañas. It was declared a Nature Reserve in 1987 and an Area of Special Protection for Birds in 1990, and is home to numerous species and an observatory.

Along the road to Aras you will come to the Hipogeo de Longar, a funerary chamber of around 4,500 years old. Close to Viana there are also hunting areas and unrestricted fishing zones.
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Location

How to get there and move around

Salir de Pamplona por la A-12 dirección Logroño hasta la salida de Viana.

Wifi zone: calle Rúa de Santa María, plaza de los Fueros y calle Navarro Villoslada (Camino de Santiago, a su paso por la localidad) y biblioteca (948 645 249).

Guided visit

Description: disfruta de una visita guiada por la localidad de Viana, donde conocerás su patrimonio lleno de arte y de historias fascinantes.

Price of the visit: consultar.

Service provider: contactar con la Oficina de Turismo de Viana (948 446 302).

Services

  • Accommodation
  • Bank
  • Cashpoint
  • Child-park
  • Cinema
  • Fronton
  • Guided visits
  • Health centre
  • Internet
  • Medical centre
  • Outdoor sports area
  • Petrol station
  • Pharmacy
  • Picnic spot
  • Pub
  • Restaurant / coffee-houses
  • Shpping centre
  • Spa
  • Sports centre
  • Supermarket / shop
  • Swimming-pool
  • Theatre
  • Tourist Office

Observations

el mercado semanal se celebra los viernes.

Observations

Oficina de Turismo de Viana (948 446 302).

  • Horario de invierno: de lunes a sábado, de 10:00 a 14:00. Domingos, cerrado.
  • Horario de verano: de lunes a sábado de 9:00 a 14:00 y de 17:00 a 19:00. Domingos y festivos de 10:00 a 14:00.

Opening hours, dates and guide prices. We recommend you confirm with the entity in question.

Practical information