Although it is not possible to put an exact date on its origins, it is believed that a small congregation of Augustinians established a pilgrims' hospital here in the 11th century
In the 12th and 13th centuries
the hospital was occupied by the Premonstratensian order, but it does not conserve any features from that era. It reached its maximum splendour in the 16th and 18th centuries
, the period corresponding to the current constructions, characterised by the pinkish colour typical of the stone from the Baztan valley.
The monastery suffered two major fires: in 1526
, when Navarre lost its independence, and in 1793,
during the National Convention in France, when French troops invaded the area and razed the monastery and the town of Urdazubi/Urdax to the ground. In the second fire, the monastery's great library (with over 9,000 volumes) was destroyed. As a result, the monks had to take refuge in the Sanctuary of Loyola until 1806.
A short time after, in 1839
, the desamortización de Mendizábal
(confiscation of church property) took place. The Premonstratensians left the abbey for ever and its church became a parish church.
Only the church and the cloister remain of the old monastery, which now contains a permanent collection of contemporary painting and sculpture. The monastery museum is located over the cloister, with audio-visuals and panels explaining the history of Urdazubi/Urdax, its role in the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago de Compostela and its monastic past.
Museo de San Salvador: adultos 3€, niños (5-16 años) 2€. Exposición pintura del claustro: adultos 3€, niños (0-16 años) gratuito. Precio museo + claustro: adultos 5€, niños (5-16 años) 2€.