Where they begin, for the east, the Montes Obarenes, guarding the entrance of the Ebro in La Rioja, crowning some steep rocks of name Los Riscos de Bilibio, is located the hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio. Due to the natural gateway to the valley formed by the Shells of Haro, in times prior to the 5th century a Roman defensive castro Castellum Bilibium was erected in these rocks, of which there are still remains of one of its walls.
From the 5th to the 10th century, on the southern slope of these cliffs and in its shelter, was the village called Bilibio. The one who made this place famous was Felices de Bilibio, born in the year 443 in this village in the bosom of a humble and pious Christian family, the desire of knowledge of all kinds of subjects and above all of the divine subjects lead him to be ordained priest and years later he retires to pray in the place known today as the Riscos de Bilibio, soon he was known as "holy man" among the inhabitants of the nearby towns and villages; He was about 50 years old when Millán, the later Saint de la Cogolla, a young shepherd from Berceo who had heard of Felices, went to these cliffs to teach him in the search for God through prayer and meditation, being with him for three years he then returned to his native Berceo and entered the Cogollanos mountains in a continuous asceticism. Felices died when he was almost 100 years old, being buried in the mount of Bilibio.
In 714 the castle of Bilibio, which housed the chapel and sepulchre of San Felices, defended itself against the Arab invasion, but the Visigoths did not endure the Muslim thrust, the struggles being continuous until its reconquest by Sancho I Garcés in the 10th century. In 1.076 King Alfonso VI ceded the castle of Bilibio to the father of Don Diego Lope de Haro, Don Lope Díaz, VII Señor de Vizcaya, Álava, Guipúzcoa and Nájera from that same year. In the middle of the 11th century the inhabitants of Bilibio moved to the present Haro and the remains of San Felices, after a first unsuccessful attempt by the Bishop of Álava García and other personalities sent by King Don García of Navarra-Nájera to take the body of San Felices de Bilibio to Santa María La Real de Nájera, are taken to the Monastery of Yuso, after more than 500 years of being the body of the anchorite saint in the Riscos de Bilibio, by the abbot Don Blas and twelve monks of San Millán, with the permissions of Don Alfonso VI and Don Lope Díaz de Haro.
In 1710, construction began on a hermitage in honour of San Felices, where the castle of Bilibio used to stand. Throughout the 18th century it underwent constant alterations, and was rebuilt in 1862 and later in 1942. The panoramic view from the viewpoint that surrounds the image is impressive and as far as the eye can see the Ebro snaking through groves, vineyards, fields and villages and cutting the horizon the mountain ranges that surround the valley, but that in the distance because just below our feet what gives us is a pleasant recreation area with tables, grills and trees that protect us from the relentless summer sun.
The hermitage and its enclave welcome several traditions throughout the year led by the devotees and not so devotees of San Felices, the most famous is the Battle of Wine. It seems that with the construction of the first chapel in Los Riscos at the beginning of the 18th century, local people began to go on pilgrimage to it. That pilgrimage became what is now known as "Battle of Wine" has its origin in the party that was mounted during lunch that the pilgrims made after attending mass in the chapel, animated as they were, jokes were played between them and began to stain themselves with wine they had to drink. The Battle is celebrated every year on Saint Peter's Day, 29th June, after the mass in the hermitage, in the meadow at the foot of the Saint there is a fight in which the bullet is red wine and the winner is the one who ends up wetter and purer.
Another pilgrimage to Los Riscos takes place on the first Sunday in September, and the brotherhood of San Felices de Bilibio celebrates in early January, with anyone who wants to join, the traditional pilgrimage of Paso de la Hoja, the first of the year to the hermitage of the patron saint of Haro. In both the pilgrimage on 29 June and the first Sunday in September, the Procurador-Síndico places the city's purple banner over the San Felices hermitage. Tradition has it that if this was not done, the Riscos de Bilibio would pass into the jurisdiction of Miranda de Ebro according to the Executory Charter and the sentence on the various lawsuits arising from the possession of terms and pastures in the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, between the town of Miranda and Haro.Look at the picture of 360º
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Legend or popular history is that when the Navarrese king García consecrated the Monastery of Santa María la Real, which he himself had ordered built, he wanted to move the remains of Felices that were in the sepulchre that the chapel of Bilibio Castle had taken in. With the agreement of the bishops of Pamplona, Burgos and Alava, it was the latter, García el de Álava, who went with numerous knights to the Riscos de Bilibio in order to carry out the transfer, but when he opened the tomb he felt himself separate from the tumulus and his mouth twisted, triggering a great storm. When they understood that the sky was opposed to the transfer, they left, but it seems that the bishop would keep the deformation of his face for life. When the abbot Blas of the Monastery of Yuso, having read in the life of San Millán that his master San Felices had died in the Castle of Bilibio and was buried there, decided to move the relics to his monastery, asked permission to King Alfonso VI who, given the background, replied "It seems father Abbot business serious and difficult to disturb or move the body of a saint; but because it does not seem that I am contrary to such just desires go with the blessing of God and if it pleases you to move the Body of Saint Felices as you wish it and if in this happens some bad event or misfortune does not load to me the guilt that from here I desligo to this transfer ". But this time neither the Saint nor heaven opposed it and the remains were successfully transferred.
You can get to Riscos de Bilibio from Haro following the LR-306 or from Miranda de Ebro along the C-122 that joins the two towns. In both cases, take the detour that goes up directly to the vicinity of the hermitage.
We can go up a short but quite demanding path that borders the Riscos or following a more comfortable and conditioned path with stairs and cobblestone ramps, which crosses the opposite side of the mountain.
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Bonito sitio y las vistas espectaculares!!!
LA ERMITA DE SAN FELICES, MEJOR RINCON DE ESPAÑA 2014 POR LA GUIA REPSOL, NO PIERDAS LA OPORTUNIDAD DE CONOCER UNO DE LOS LUGARES MAS BONITOS DE ESPAÑA.
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Es un precioso lugar con unas vistas maravillosas.
3:15 h.12.7 km.
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