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Route of the Renaissance in Central Navarre

Artistic, Historical, Thematic


Route of the Renaissance in Central Navarre - Lerín
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Route of the Renaissance in Central Navarre - Larraga
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Route of the Renaissance in Central Navarre - Tafalla
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Route of the Renaissance in Central Navarre - Larraga
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Lerín The Renaissance era coincides with the most turbulent period in our history and the disappearance of the Kingdom of Navarre as an independent entity in 1512. Nevertheless, it was a golden age for Navarrese art, as witnessed by the numerous works of architecture, sculpture and painting that have been preserved.

The most emblematic monuments were erected in the 16th century, the period when the best examples of Renaissance art were created in Navarre. The historic quarters of towns in the Zona Media (Central Zone) such as Tafalla, Larraga, Lerín, Mendigorría and Miranda de Arga are home to churches, houses with coats of arms on their façades and noble houses/palaces that reflect the beauty, balance and symmetry of the Renaissance style.
Main examples of Renaissance architecture in the area:

Tafalla, located at the heart of the Central Zone, has long and winding streets that reveal part of its history and contain jewels such as the altarpiece of the church of Santa María by Juan de Anchieta, who introduced the Romanismo style to Navarre. The altar piece shows the author's best pieces in the scenes on its dual panels, rounded off by the Santo Cristo Miserere de la Epístola. The second most important church in the town is San Pedro, of mediaeval origin. In the header there is a large altarpiece whose central panel is the work of Roland de Mois, a Flemish painter who introduced Mannerism to the area.

As for civil architecture, the outstanding examples are the Palacio de los Mencos and Los Mariscales. The first was built between the 16th and 17th centuries and it has a magnificent 16th-century Pietà, among other elements. The Palacio de los Mariscales de Navarra has a masonry stone façade with a large rounded arch. The towers have large viewpoints on their fronts, with footings and mullions.

Mendigorría. Nearby is the Roman city of Andelos, one of the best-conserved historical sites in Navarre and even Roman Spain. It has a magnificent church, the Parish Church of San Pedro. Inside, there is a main altarpiece with models and forms very similar to those used by Juan de Anchieta. It is the work of Bernabé Imberto, a sculptor from Estella-Lizarra. 

Larraga stands on top of a hill from where you can overlook almost all of the Central Zone of Navarre. In 1571 the architect Juan de Villarreal created one of his greatest works in the Church of San Miguel Arcángel: the sanctuary and the transept. The architect freed himself of the Gothic tradition and included authentic Renaissance designs and decorative motifs.

Lerín. The town is located on top of a hill with excellent views over the plains down to the valley of the river Ebro. The Renaissance-style church of la Asunción was designed by Juan de Orbara. Although the main chapel is covered with an excellent Baroque altarpiece, its architecture is from the 16th century and consists of an elegant shell shape.

Miranda de Arga. This locality stands out for the Renaissance masonry chorus in the church of la Asunción.

If you are an enthusiast of this artistic era, do not miss other Renaissance monuments that are also worth a visit:

In religious architecture, the following churches: San Juan Bautista in Cintruénigo, la Asunción in Cascante, Santa María de Viana, Santiago de Puente la Reina, Santo Domingo in Pamplona, Santa María de Los Arcos, Aibar and Ziga. As for civil architecture, highlights are the façade of the Casa del Déan and the Casa del Almirante in Tudela, the Palacio de San Cristóbal Cruzat in Estella-Lizarra and the present Museo de Navarra.

Navarre is also home to several Renaissance altarpieces, such as those in Isaba, Unzu, Cintruénigo and Burlada, although the Romanic examples in the churches of Aoiz, Cáseda, Ochagavía or Lumbier are more abundant.

Panel painting is reflected in a series of altarpieces such as those in the church of San Saturnino in Artajona, one of those in Pamplona cathedral, the church of Santa María de Olite or the parish church in Cintruénigo. As an exception, we would mention the murals of Óriz (now in the Museo de Navarra).


Route: Tafalla, Larraga, Lerín, Mendigorría and Miranda de Arga.

Remarks: Durante el mes de septiembre se ha organizado un ciclo de Conferencias denominado "El Patrimonio Cultural del Renacimiento en las localidades de la Zona Media de Navarra". Descárgate el cartel con la programación.

Route: Tafalla, Larraga, Lerín, Mendigorría and Miranda de Arga.

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