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Did you know that... the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

 

It is nestled between the peaks of the Sierra de Aralar, next to the top of Mount Artxueta, in the municipality of Uharte Arakil. The Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar has more than a thousand years of history, because according to excavations carried out it seems that the current temple is located on the site of an earlier one from the Carolingian period of the 9th century, although few remains have been preserved from that period, some horseshoe-shaped windows and ashlars from the outside of the central apse may be reminiscent of it.

Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

A little more history

 

We do not know for sure what could have destroyed this primitive pre-Romanesque temple, perhaps the Muslim hordes when they entered the realm of Pamplona, but according to documents, it was rebuilt in 1032 and consecrated in 1074, during the reign of Sancho Garcés IV. This new Romanesque church was built in two phases, the first comprising the area of the apses and in the second, twelfth century, was expanded with the construction of the three naves and the narthex or interior portico, being again consecrated in the year 1.141. In the time of Sancho the Wise, between 1.170 and 1.180, would rise in the third section of the central nave, the chapel of San Miguel. It is said that it was built in the place where the archangel appeared. The Romanesque complex of the current sanctuary may well be the same as it was in the 12th century.

 

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To discover What to see in the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

 

The closed portico of San Miguel in Excelsis is located at the foot of the church, is like a vaulted nave in which are the three covers of direct access to each of the naves of the temple, being that of the central nave the most monumental, but if something is known to the sanctuary is by the altarpiece of Aralar, beautiful front of enamels and rock crystal, masterpiece of European goldsmithing of the twelfth century, which presides over the presbytery. The sanctuary also keeps the image of San Miguel, which is in itself an 18th century reliquary where a very old wooden carving is kept which, according to tradition, was left by the angel himself in this place.

Chapel of San Miguel in the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

Traditions

 

The image of San Miguel de Aralar, following a deep-rooted custom, goes through hundreds of villages, parishes, schools and entities every year in different outings. It is believed that this tradition arose a long time ago with the aim of bringing the confreres, who because they were sick could not go up to the sanctuary, to their adored, venerated and sacred effigy of the Archangel.

Altarpiece of Aralar in the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

Curiosities

 

From the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar, surrounded by wide meadows, you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view that includes the corridor of Arakil or Barranca, San Donato and the mountain ranges of Urbasa and Andía. Next to the car park is a table explaining the spectacular views from the Sanctuary. The whole Aralar mountain range is a paradise for lovers of walking and hiking, on one side of the mountain range are the Plazaola greenway, the walk that leads to the source of the Larraun or the visit to the caves of Astitz, and the other, the Barranca, with the routes of the dolmens.

Narthex or closed portico in the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

Useful information for visiting the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

 

  • The doors of the sanctuary of Aralar remain open every day of the year.
  • Admission is always free.

 

The Legend

 

Legend has it that Theodosius, a Navarrese knight, left for the war, leaving his young wife Constanza at home. After a long period of absence, on the way home he met the demon disguised as a pilgrim who told him that his wife Constanza had a more intimate relationship with the servant than usual and even shared with him to bed. Theodosius then arrived at his house and when he glimpsed what looked like two bodies in his conjugal bed, blinded by what this affront supposed, he drew his sword and killed them. Crazy with pain went out to the street and what was not his stupor when he saw Constanza returning from the religious services and that with great joy ran towards him telling him that he also had a pleasant surprise because in his absence he had invited Theodosius' parents to live with her. Theodosius changed his anger at the pain when he saw that he had murdered his own parents and to redeem himself he put on a thick chain that united his waist and neck and lazy in the fields far from the villages.

 

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The legend continues

 

One day when the unfortunate penitent was in the Sierra de Aralar, close to a deep abyss, a dragon, who lived here, prepared to attack him and then Theodosius entrusted himself to Saint Michael who appeared surrounded by a great radiance carrying on his head a cross, killed the dragon and broke the chains that imprisoned the man and the legend goes on saying that Theodosius then built a temple where the apparition had taken place and dedicated the rest of his life to the cult of the Archangel; that the wooden effigy, covered with silver today is venerated, was left by the saint himself; that the chains worn by Theodosius are those hanging on the outside of the chapel and that the hole to the right of the altar is the one that communicates with the legendary abyss.

 

 

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Get to the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Aralar

 

To access the sanctuary we can do so from the town of Huarte-Araquil, in the middle of the A-10 motorway that links Pamplona-Iruña and Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is on the old NA-2410 road that borders this town and links it to nearby towns, where we find the beginning of the narrow asphalted track that climbs up to the sanctuary. Another option is to do so from Lekunberri, on the A-15 motorway between Pamplona-Iruña and San Sebastián-Donostia, from there the NA-7510 road starts, which takes us through the beautiful spots of the Sierra de Aralar to the sanctuary without loss.

 

Once there

 

In the vicinity of the San Miguel de Aralar sanctuary we will have several parking areas where we can park our vehicle and get close to the site to make the visit.

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
PATHS IN FAMILY
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:10 h.7 km.

Reservoir of Lareo from Lizarrusti
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or slopes.
MOUNTAIN
1
Difficulty-Moderate

4:10 h.8.9 km.

Txindoki from Larraitz
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, more steep or have a specific difficulty.
FLORA AND FAUNA IN FAMILY
0
Difficulty-Low

0:35 h.2 km.

Monumental Robles of Jauntsarats
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little slope and without difficulties.
PATHS IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:45 h.7 km.

Enchanted forest of Urbasa
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
FLORA AND FAUNA IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.7.4 km.

The Source of the Urederra
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
FLORA AND FAUNA IN FAMILY
1
Difficulty-Adapted

0:40 h.2.6 km.

Orgi Forest
Difficulty-AdaptedGreen difficulty category, level 1. Itineraries conditioned and prepared for the use and enjoyment of persons with reduced mobility.
MOUNTAIN PATHS CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

3:00 h.7.8 km.

Mount Aratz by the San Adrián Tunnel
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not even over great distances or unevenness.
PATHS IN FAMILY
1
Difficulty-Low

1:35 h.4 km.

Path of the Source of the River Zirauntza
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
TOURISM
1
Difficulty-Low

72:00 h.521 km.

Route through the charming villages of Navarra
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not overcoming either great distances or unevenness.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
0
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.6.4 km.

Route of the Centenary Oaks
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or slopes.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

3:30 h.11 km.

Path of Irretarazu
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding either great distances or slopes.
TOURISM
1
Difficulty-Low

8:50 h.378 km.

Route of the Castles and Fortresses of Navarra
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Routes with little slope and without difficulties.
Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía
Zudaire, Navarra
Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía

Between the mountains and the Middle Zone of Navarre

Monastery of Santa María la Real in Iranzu
Abárzuza, Navarra
Monastery of Santa María la Real in Iranzu

At the bottom of a valley near a river and as horizon the sky

Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park
Oñati, Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa
Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park

Where the highest peaks of the Basque Country can be found

Saint Mary of Eunate
Muruzábal, Navarra
Saint Mary of Eunate

Singular and mysterious temple surrounded by a serene beauty

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu
Oñati, Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu
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Oyeregui/Oieregi, Navarra
Señorío de Bertiz Natural Park

The historical and artistic garden of Bertiz

Dolmen of Sorginetxe and Dolmen of Aizkomendi
Arrizala, Álava - Araba
Dolmen of Sorginetxe and Dolmen of Aizkomendi
Sanctuary of Loyola
Azpeitia, Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa
Sanctuary of Loyola

Monumental, spiritual and religious complex

Royal Eugi Ammunition Factory
Eugui/Eugi, Navarra
Royal Eugi Ammunition Factory

A milestone in the economic history of Navarre and Spain in the 18th century

The Cerco de Artajona
Artajona, Navarra
The Cerco de Artajona

Citadel surrounded by walls

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Codés
Torralba del Río, Navarra
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Codés
Izki Natural Park
Corres-Korres, Álava - Araba
Izki Natural Park
Cave of Zugarramurdi
Zugarramurdi, Navarra
Cave of Zugarramurdi
See restaurants in Pamplona - Iruña
Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra
See restaurants in Pamplona - Iruña

Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra

See accommodation in Pamplona - Iruña
Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra
See accommodation in Pamplona - Iruña

Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra

See things to do in Pamplona - Iruña
Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra
See things to do in Pamplona - Iruña

Pamplona-Iruña, Navarra

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