Located in the center of the Valley of Baztán, surrounded by mountains, and having for axis the river Bidasoa or Baztán, since the locality extends to both sides of him, it is the capital of this valley. With innumerable vestiges of a very ancient past, its neighbours were officially recognised as nobles by King Charles III of Navarre, the Noble, in the year 1397. The town was the scene of confrontations and wars. The village house or Herriko etxea, the place where the villagers celebrate the traditional batzarre in which aspects and needs of the daily life of the locality are consulted and discussed, was burned up to three times, in 1794 by the French, and in 1835 and 1866 by the Spaniards, and after all of them rebuilt. Elizondo was from July 1834, and for a short period, the court of Carlos María Isidro, Carlos V, on his return from England, where he took refuge from the Elizabethans after he proclaimed himself King of Spain through the Manifesto of Abrantes on 1 October 1833 and which was proclaimed and recognised as such in Tricio, La Rioja, by the general Santos Ladrón de Cegama, thus initiating the First Carlist War. Elizondo is currently the geographical and neuralgic centre of the Baztan Valley.
Elizondo, which still preserves several hamlets scattered around the Bearzun regatta, keeps in its palatial houses and monumental buildings all the fame and manor that precedes it. Between idyllic and beautiful corners, visitors find palaces such as Arizkunenea or the Governors' Palace, built in the Baroque style in the year 1730, it is Elizondo's most emblematic building. In the same square as Elizondo is the Town Hall, also Baroque from the early 18th century. The Datue palace, built between the 17th and 18th centuries. The house of the Viceroy, as the palace of Istekonea is known. The Puriosenea house, which is the oldest building in the locality, from the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century, or the Baroque palace of Beramundea... The church of Santiago, built at the beginning of the 20th century, where a monumental façade is flanked by two Baroque towers, also attracts its well-deserved attention. To complete this beautiful walk, and after having enjoyed its landscape walking around its surroundings some entertaining hiking routes, what better than regaining strength with one of its typical sweets, the "urrakin egina", a delicious chocolate with whole hazelnuts that will delight both the sweet tooth and those who are not.
Elizondo celebrates its patron saint fiestas in honour of Santiago Apóstol on 25 July.
Traditionally, since 1963, the Baztandarren Biltzarra has been held in Elizondo on the Sunday before the festival of Santiago, in which the residents of the fifteen villages that make up the valley run through the streets of the town in their floats. Txistu, dance, fair, market and popular food are guaranteed.
The menhir de Soalar, found in the garden of the Baztan Ethnographic Museum in Elizondo, is a large stone weighing over 3000 kg and about four and a half metres high that was found on Mount Soalar, near Elizondo. The menhir had a history of disappearances and apparitions in different places and was destined for different uses until a group of scholars discovered in it a series of engravings more than 4000 years old. These engravings convert it into the category of funerary stele, in which a heavily armed warrior is represented.
Until 1918 the church of Santiago was in the square together with the town hall, in that year it was decided to move it stone by stone and rebuild it in its current location. Of the two towers the one with the clock is original. The elizondarras say that after the severe floods that devastated the valley in 1913, the image of the Sacred Heart of the old church appeared floating in the waters.
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Elizondo can be reached following the N-121-B, which starts from the N-121-A and joins Pamplona on one side and France on the other.
Elizondo has a daily bus service with different timetables that connect it with Donostia/San Sebastián and Iruña/Pamplona as well as with the different villages along the route.
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A milestone in the economic history of Navarre and Spain in the 18th century
Jewel of Romanesque architecture, centre of spirituality
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