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Church of Santa María de Eguiarte

Churches and chapels


Church of Santa María de Eguiarte - Atrio
icono pie de fotoAtrio
Church of Santa María de Eguiarte - Capitel Adoración Reyes
icono pie de fotoCapitel Adoración Reyes
Church of Santa María de Eguiarte - Interior
icono pie de fotoInterior
Church of Santa María de Eguiarte - Virgen de la leche
icono pie de fotoVirgen de la leche
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This is a beautiful Romanesque church belonging to the valley of Yerri. It stands half-way between Lácar and Alloz. The majestic steep profile of its wall of Urbasa-Andía limestone marks out the surrounding landscape, tinged with cereal fields and hills. It is a mysterious, enigmatic, magical structure... The access to it along an asphalted road and the buildings that surround it mean that you cannot really see it until you reach the portico, increase the appeal of this historical monument that has been declared a Site of Cultural Interest.

Indeed, the portico is the first thing that draws your attention. Round arches, wooden beams and rectangular columns are built over an old cemetery covered this stone slabs. Sit down and let the wind whisper the secrets of the place while distant church bells ring out or birds chirp away overhead. See the differences between the original Romanesque construction and the baroque extension or search for hidden symbols such as the Templars' cross. The references to astronomy of this symbol strengthen the impression of the arcane nature of the enclave.

Romanesque simplicity combines with elements of great sculptural wealth on the capitals of the front. The first two on the left are attributed to the sculptor of the church of San Miguel in Estella-Lizarra and show moments of the childhood of Jesus Christ with an expressiveness that indicates the proto-Gothic style. Those on the right show the duality of good and evil through the centaur aiming his arrow at some monstrous birds.

The church had the status of a Basilica, hence its wealth of construction and ornamentation with which its interior was reformed in the baroque style in the 17th century. From the primitive Romanesque factory we can still see two very well preserved capitals. Light flows inside, highlighting the altar pieces covered in metal leaf, fine sheets made from the gold of a viceroy. On the main altar piece the highlight is the allusion to the sky through the presence of elements such as the sun. The Virgin Mary of Eguiarte deserves a special mention for the careful treatment of the effigy. She is also known as the 'Milk Virgin' because she is breast feeding her child.

A twisted mediaeval spiral staircase leads up to the belfry. Wooden beams, ashlars and large bells in the windows accentuate the rural appearance of this particular structure. The view from the top is excellent. Let your gaze wander while you imagine battles such as the one that took place in Lácar during the Carlist Wars. If you would like to see a recreation of the battle, it is re-enacted every two years.


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