It is located in the extreme east of La Rioja, bathed by the waters of the Ebro and its tributary the Alhama and at the foot of its two mountains, the Yerga and the Tambarria. At 70 km from Logroño, 100 km from Zaragoza and equidistant at 90 km from Soria and Pamplona.
Before Tiberius Gracchus founded Gracuris, there was an Iberian settlement called Llurcis. This Roman city possibly disappeared, as there is no reference to it in the letter of Pope Hilary in the seventh century in which he makes a list of the cities in the region. Later it was called as we know it today, Alfaro. Regarding the name, the most accepted theory is that it comes from Faro, because it seems that from the old castle, by means of fires and smoke, the proximity of the enemy was warned. Let us not forget that due to its location it was almost a natural border with the kingdoms of Navarre, Aragon and Castile. Together with Cervera, it was the population of La Rioja that was subject to Muslim domination for the longest time. In the history of El Cid, Alfaro is mentioned on two occasions. The successive Castilian kings granted it privileges and prebends, the title of Leal and the category of city.
A walk through the streets of the city will make us admire the greatness and splendor of the place through the centuries of history of its palaces and temples. In the Plaza de España we find the Collegiate Church of San Miguel, is the largest temple in La Rioja, a masterpiece of late seventeenth century Baroque Aragon, it took 100 years to build. A brick façade with three doorways sheltered by three arches and on both sides two towers of 50 m. high is erected on a staircase in the shape of a shell.
The church of Nuestra Señora del Burgo, located in the street of the same name, of classicist and baroque style of the XVII century and dedicated to the patron saint of Alfaro. The seventeenth-century convent of San Francisco and that of the Immaculate Conception, also from the seventeenth century and located like the previous one in the street of the same name respectively. The hermitage of Pilar is 3 km. from the town and to which the alfareños go every October 12 to acquire the typical blessed cordons. The old prison, built in 1867, still has cells and basements with chains and rings used for punishments. The most important civil building due to its size is the Abacial Palace. Other palaces and mansions that we can admire are the Sáenz de Heredia Palace, the Remirez, the Town Hall. If we go deep into time, in the Azucarera, there are remains of a Roman necropolis.
In the Eras de San Martín we can see an archaeological site. From the bridge that crosses the river Alhama you can see the Roman Nymphaeum, from the first century, the fountain is the only thing that remains of the hydraulic set of which it formed part. Curious without a doubt is the Museum of the Miniature Bicycle, unique in Spain and with about 1,000 copies. From the viewpoint of La Plana or the Castle that is built next to the remains of an old tower-fortress and crowned by a Cross, you can see Alfaro and its entire landscape. Forming part of this landscape is Mount Yerga, from the top of which we have beautiful views of the surrounding villages and landscapes. And of course, the Ribera el Ebro and Los Sotos that border it. This reserve can be accessed via the Avenida del Ebro. Taking the road of Castejón there are also several accesses. For its extensive and beautiful walks we can enjoy peace and quiet.
The main festivities are in honour of their patron saints San Roque and San Ezequiel Moreno, on 16 August and last for several days. On September 8, in commemoration of the patron saint of the city, Nuestra Señora del Burgo, there are also celebrations, although they tend to be slower than the previous ones. Spring festival, 15th May, usually coinciding with San Isidro.
On the eve of San Antón, 16 January, large bonfires are prepared with the collaboration of neighbours, gangs and peñas, in which potatoes, chistorra and chops are roasted. In the days following the traditional pig slaughter and before Lent, it is typical to go to La Plana to eat culeca, which is bread kneaded and cooked stuffed with chorizo and eggs. On Easter Sunday, in the streets of the village, some dolls representing Judas are burned and made with old clothes, rags and straws, then the festival continues with a meal in the countryside, it is the day of tortillas, and they are eaten stuffed with mushrooms, chorizo, tender garlic,...
The protagonists par excellence of the city of Alfaro, are undoubtedly the storks. Alfaro is currently home to the largest urban colony of White Stork in the world, and the most curious thing about this unique colony is that almost all the couples of storks have chosen the church-collegiate church of San Miguel to make their nests.
The N-232 links Alfaro on one side with Calahorra, Logroño and on the other with Tudela and Zaragoza among other towns. If you take the LR-287 road towards Corella, you can also access the AP-68 motorway. The LR-288 connects it with the nearby town of Castejón de Ebro.
Alfaro has a bus station and regular bus services that connect it with Logroño and Calahorra, as well as with nearby towns.
C/ Ctra. de Zaragoza, nº 2.
Railway station in Avda. de la Vía, s/n.
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3:00 h.11.9 km.
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