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Quinto Real Forest

Forests

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Hayedo
Quinto Real. Embalse Eugi
Eugi
Quinto Real en otoño
Hayedo
This is a beech forest located in north-western Navarre. The valleys of Baztan, Erro, Esteribar and Alduides share the property of this natural space sprinkled with rivulets. Crossed by the river Arga, the extensive forest hides some unique sights, such as the ruins of the Royal Arms Factory in Eugi and the Odia beech forest.

The characteristics of the area make it one of the most important forested regions in Navarre. Under the gaze of Mount Adi, this zone bears a name dating back to the Middle Ages that attests to its importance. In the 13th century, the "quinta" was the portion paid to the kings of Navarre for pastures and forestry uses.

The natural wealth of this area is reflected in a varied flora and fauna. Local animal species include doves, peregrine falcons and griffon vultures that rule over the skies of the Quinto Real while deer, roebuck and wild boar inhabit the forest floor. In fact, the migrating doves and the deer provide some of the most enchanting scenes in autumn. During the dove migrations, in the nearby Etxalar you can admire the local net hunting techniques, one of the most ancient dove hunting methods that is still employed today. Meanwhile, the deer take care of the forest's sound effects. It is the bellowing season. During the mating season, the stags attempt to attract the does with their own particular antiphonies, a prelude to the fierce horn-locking contests that will determine who is to be the dominant male.

Another curious aspect of the Quinto Real is the large number of fresh-water sources and rivers with a marked personality, such as the Arga. The river provides the water supply for Pamplona, thanks to the Eugi reservoir. This particular utilization prevents its use for recreational purposes, but the picture postcard image of Eugi reflected on the still waters of the reservoir is certainly breathtaking. At the bottom of the reservoir lie the ruins of the old Eugi arms factory. However, the remains of a newer arms factory that nonetheless predates the Orbaitzeta factory, is to be found under the ivy at the heart of the Quinto Real forest.

This smithy was built in the 16th century and closed down a century later, when it ran out of raw materials, which led to the construction of the factory in Orbaitzeta. In Eugi they used to manufacture mainly cannon balls and small arms. Today, only a few walls and arches are left standing, silent witnesses of times gone by.

Overlooked by mount Adi, this is a special place, as its name evokes. It is a place name with history behind it, as it comes from the Middle Ages. At the time (13th century) quinta was the part that was paid to the monarchs of Navarre for the right to exploit pastures and forests.

The natural wealth of this area is seen in the great variety of flora and fauna. Of the animal species we would highlight the doves, peregrine falcons and griffon vultures that dominate the skies above Quinto Real while deer, roebucks and boar live on the ground. Indeed, the passing doves and the deer at the kings of autumn, providing scenes full of charm. In the dove hunting season in nearby Etxalar you can see the ancestral tradition of hunting doves with nets. For their part, the deer give the forest its strongest sound: the berrea. In the mating seasons the male deer try to attract the females with their special calls, which are a prelude to the fights they will have with other males to become the dominant deer

Another feature of Quinto Real is the high number of freshwater springs and fast-flowing rivers that begin there, such as the Arga. This river supplies Pamplona through the reservoir at Eugi. The reservoir cannot be used for recreation as a result, but the view of Eugi reflected in its blue waters is spectacular.

At the bottom of the reservoir lie the remains of the old weapons factory of Eugi. Nevertheless, the remains of a more modern arms factory - that of Orbaitzeta - are hidden below the ivy in the heart of the forest of Quinto Real. The foundry at Eugi was built in the 16th century and closed a century later when its resources ran out, which led to the construction of the factory at Orbaitzeta. In Eugi the main items were projectiles for cannons and lighter arms. Nowadays, just a few of its walls and arches survive as dumb witnesses to that period. There is a path starting from Eugi, which takes you through oaks and beeches around the reservoir. This is the best way to get to know this corner of Navarre. There is an easy path which, starting from Eugi, will take you through oaks and beeches around the reservoir for about an hour- the best way to get to know this particular corner of Navarre.

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