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Santa Fe de Epároz

Churches and chapels

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Santa Fe Epároz - Grain store
Santa Fe Epároz
Claustro Santa Fe
Claustro Santa Fe
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Santa Fe Epároz - Grain store
A supreme sense of tranquillity envelops Santa Fe de Epároz. You reach it via an irregularly-shaped valley, watched over by the haughty gaze of the Peña Izaga and the Sierra de Leire and the imposing peaks of the Pyrenees and circling vultures in the distance. Its solitude is overwhelming, and its interior fascinating. A 15th-century hórreo (grain store) welcomes us, giving way to an austere cloister with robust lines which, between the play of light and shade, allows a glimpse of the basilica, one of the finest examples of late Romanesque architecture in Navarre.

Nowadays, part of the ensemnle has been converted into a rural guest house. If you want to switch off from busy daily life, the Santa Fe hostel invites you to do exactly that.

Santa Fe is located in the remote Valley of Urraul Alto, in the north-east of the Navarre in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The beautiful architectural complex, declared a Site of Cultural Interest by the Government of Navarre, is made up of the basilica, the cloister and a number of civil buildings that form a courtyard, notable amongst which is the spectacular hórreo and a restored house with a kitchen with a typical Pyrenean circular fireplace, now converted into a charming rutal guest house. The surroundings are typical of a transitional landscape. There are several pine trees in the vicinity and a few old oaks still survive alongside hills dense with boxwood and juniper.

Santa Fe is reached by the road that links Aoiz and Lumbier. Between Artajo and Rípodas you come across two turnoffs that meet before reaching Epároz. A little further on, up on a ridge, stands Santa Fe. You can park at the crossroads or go up along a short track until you reach the esplanade next to the architectural complex.

Entrance to the cloister and hórreo is free, but the church is only open on certain dates. In the summer there are guided tours which can be arranged at the Pyrenees Consortium or at the Lumbier Interpretation Centre.

  • The Basilica

    The Basilica of Santa Fe stands up above the rest of the complex. It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and was founded by the French monks of Santa Fe de Conques. It is one of the most notable examples of late Romanesque architecture in Navarre. In the gable-wall, underneath the bell-tower, is a trabeated entrance door flanked by two semicircular arched windows. On the southern side there is a door with three pointed archivolts which rest on pilasters with bevelled imposts and a rain shelter decorated with balls and finished off at the base with the head of the king and queen. The apse is divided into three stretches by buttresses. If you do not have the good fortune to visit the interior of the church, you should know that it has a nave in three sections with a pointed barrel vault roof and a semicircular apse with a furnace roof.



  • The Cloister


    The 17th-century cloister is beautifully paved with a mosaic of pebbles, typical of the region. In some of the houses in the valleys of Salazar and Roncal you can still see this kind of stonework.



  • The hórreo

    The 15th-century hórreo stands in a rectangular open courtyard. It is supported on wooden beams held up by 12 stone posts finished with circular slabs. It was completely restored between 1980 and 1981, after taking it apart and numbering all the pieces so they could be put back in their original positions.



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    Location

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    Remarks: gratuito.

    Observations

    existen dos accesos: desde el establecimiento turístico de la hospedería o desde la parte trasera de la misma.

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