It is located between Sierra Cantabria and the river Ebro which receives the waters of the river Mayor on whose bank lies the town of Elciego, which is part of the Cuadrilla de Laguardia-Rioja Alavesa. The first written testimony about Elciego appears in the Cartulario de San Millán de la Cogolla, in the year 1067, which mentions a town called El Zieko, although its history is linked to the Fuero de Laguardia, a town of which it formed part as a village until Philip II in the sixteenth century granted it the Carta Privilegio separating it from Laguardia and giving it its own jurisdiction. The town took as its coat of arms that of the king who granted them the villazgo. From the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the wine industry spread throughout the area, resulting in Elciego, between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the economic prosperity that this activity produced was reflected in their homes. From this period are the typical stately homes and blazoned palaces whose façades have beautiful iron balconies. Nowadays, to speak of Elciego is to speak of the culture of wine.
In addition to Elciego winegrowing, where several wineries carry out guided visits, tastings.... the environment where the locality is located invites you to enjoy nature and the landscape, for this foreigners and locals can follow its hiking routes such as the Route of San Vicente and Vereda del Ebro, Route of the Navaridas Forest, Landscape Route "Between Vineyards" or the Natural Route of the Ebro GR-99.
A visit to the urban framework of Elciego, which revolves around the Main Square, with the 18th century town hall building, will allow the traveller to discover the mansions and palaces that characterise this beautiful town; the Navarrete Ladrón de Guevara palace known as " House of the Iron", baroque that shows in its facade an impressive balcony run and esquinado, the palace Zárate Nabar, of century XVIII, the two baroque palaces of centuries XVII and XVIII that together form the palace Ramírez de la Piscina, the hermitage of the Virgen de la Plaza constructed in century XVIII on another previous temple possibly of century XIV, the Picota, the Transept, and on the banks of the river Mayor the beautiful Gothic-Renaissance church of San Andrés of the sixteenth century that curiously enough to leave it at level was necessary to build a large platform giving it, along with its unequal towers, from the perspective of the river an image that is impressive.
Elciego celebrates its patron saint festivities of the Virgen de la Plaza on 8 September. On the 30th of November the festival is for San Andrés, patron saint of the parish. The last Saturday in November is Thanksgiving Day. The festivities of Santa Isabel on the 2nd of July, although the truth is that the festivities have nothing to do with the saint. The brotherhoods also celebrate their saints, San Gregorio is celebrated on the 9th of May, on the 16th of August the feast is for San Roque, on the last Saturday of August the feast of San Vicente is celebrated.
In Elciego there are still an important number of traditions, in La Candelaria, on 2 February from 1746, there is the custom of offering the Virgin a lighted candle. In San Blas they take to bless diverse products so that they serve as remedy against the evils of the throat. On Lardero's Thursday the cards are thrown and the one who has the ace of gold (the cock) has to invite in his house to have a snack of the typical tortilla de chorizo. But the tradition par excellence that like a real jewel Elciego looks like are the autochthonous dances that, accompanied by the music of the Gaiteros and Tamboril, every September 8 festivity of its patron saint the Virgen de La Plaza, the people dances faithfully.
In the Square of the Cruise, in the past, the mayor, the síndico and the parish priest received the bulero who brought the episcopal bulls. In the centre of the square is the transept, although it does not denote a crossroads nor was this its original location, but rather in reality it is a cross that could well have formed part of an existing Via Crucis or Calvary on the Villabuena road, in which it also resists, but in very bad conditions, what could be a chapel where people prayed at the end of the Via Crucis and which in Elciego is known as the "Bones of Jesus Christ".
There is a popular belief that the name Elciego is given because in the primitive local nucleus, called San Andrés de la Ribera, which was in the place where the San Vicente hermitage is now located, a blind neighbour of the locality founded a sale in order to accommodate passers-by and travellers and which was popularly known as Venta del Ciego (Sale of the Blind).
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To get to Elciego we can do so from the town of Cenicero in the middle of the N-232 and next to the AP-68 motorway, we can also get there from the nearby towns of Laguardia, Samaniego or Leza, the first two on the N-232a road. Elciego is also reached by a local road that connects it with Lapuebla de Labarca.
Elciego has a bus stop that covers the Logroño - Villabuena de Álava route daily and at different times.
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Romanesque jewel from La Rioja
Emblematic place that reflects the stages of history, art and culture of the area
An emblematic place where devotion and tradition come together
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