It has the main urban area surrounded by three hills, the Mota, better known as the Castle or Watchtower, Santa Lucia, on this hill were located the threshing floors, where the cereal was threshed and vented, and the hill of Santo Domingo. Haro is bathed by the Tirón that gives its waters to the Ebro as it passes through the city, at the mouth of the Ebro, and flanked by the Obarenes Mountains that end in the Riscos de Bilibio, where the Ebro enters La Rioja through the Conchas de Haro.
On the name of Haro there are theories that argue that in the hill of Mota there was a lighthouse that illuminated the mouth of the river Oja-Tirón in the Ebro, since this area was navigable, and a settlement that would receive the name of Faro, to later evolve and become Haro. At the dawn of history it was populated by Berones, there are written references to the existence of a castro-castle in Las Conchas de Haro which, at the time of the Romanisation of the peninsula, served as a defence and was called Castrum Bilibium, but the foundation of the town dates from the 10th century. Since Haro was donated in 1.017 by Alfonso VI of Castile to the Lord of Vizcaya Don Diego López, for the help given in the battles against the King of Aragon, he added the name Haro to his surname. Alfonso X the Wise in 1254 confirmed the jurisdiction granted in 1.187 by Alfonso VIII of Castile which contained the political, administrative, penal and economic regime of the town.
During the Middle Ages Haro absorbed the population of the nearby villages of Bilibio and Tondón. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the town passed into the hands of the Trastamara family and later to Navarre, until in 1430, John II of Castile donated it to Don Pedro Fernández de Velasco, to whom he gave the title of Count of Haro, for the help received in his fight against John II of Aragon. In 1520 the town rose for the first time against the privileges of the Count of Haro. In 1710, the town was declared loyal to Philip V of Spain, the first Spanish king of the Bourbon house, and in the midst of the War of Succession between the Austrias and the Bourbons, it gave refuge to the future Queen María Luisa Gabriela of Savoy, together with her three-year-old son Luis, Prince of Asturias. That is why King Philip V gave her the title of VERY NOBLE AND VERY LEGAL. It was the scene, like so many other populations, of the Napoleonic wars first, and Carlistas later. In 1891 Queen Regent Maria Cristina granted the town the category of city in recognition of the increase in its population, development of agriculture, industry and commerce, and its constant adherence to the Constitutional Monarchy.
Strolling through its historic quarter, of medieval origin, entering through the arch of Santa Barbara, strolling through the Herradura, enjoying its typical buildings, stately palaces that we find, most built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries with a mixture of styles on their facades, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical ... take us to a more or less distant time loaded with life and history, customs and culture that give character to the city. In the Plaza de la Paz several noble and important buildings come together, the Town Hall, which dates from the 18th century, on its façade reads: Reigning Charles III / Year 1,769; and the clock that crowns it, which was placed in 1,857. The Palace of Bendaña, in the old medieval wall, of plateresque style, with two façades of different centuries one of the XVI and the other of the XVIII and a mudejar gallery of the XV century with intertwined stars and flowers, unique in La Rioja. The only existing remains of the walls, which defended the city of Haro from the 12th century, is the so-called prisoners' tower, a building that was abandoned in the 15th century, passing into private hands for several centuries and which currently houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, El Torreón, next to it another of the entrance gates to the old walled enclosure, the arch of San Bernardo from the 15th-16th century. The Palace of the Sevillanas, baroque of the XVIII century near the Plaza de la Paz and the Tower.
Also almost adjacent to the Town Hall, but in different streets we find the Palace of the Salazar and the Casa Pisón, in the coats of arms of the latter we can read the names of two important families of the city, the Martínez de Medinilla and the Martínez de Pisón, hence the name Casa Pisón. The also known as the Palace of the Storks since the lantern of its vault houses a large nest of these birds so present in our region, Palace of the Bezaras, baroque of the eighteenth century, in its basement houses a medieval winery, is located in the street of the Vega. The Palace of the Counts of Haro, in the Plaza de la Iglesia, from the 17th century; the Palace of Tejada from the 18th century; the Palace of the Condestables. The Parish Church of Santo Tomás, in the flowery Gothic style, is a national monument and was built between the 16th and 17th centuries. The Basilica of Santa María de la Vega, the current construction, of baroque style XVIII century, is the result of the evolution of its history joined to that of Haro, from the primitive hermitage of the X century until today; the convent of the Augustinians of the XVI century...
All this surrounded by a careful landscape environment that gives the opportunity to enjoy and relax, in the midst of nature, thanks to its many parks and gardens. It is essential to go to the nearby Riscos de Bilibio, where on top of the mountain is the hermitage and, as a good watchman, a statue of the patron saint San Felices, as well as from the lookout point, to be able to contemplate all the nearby villages and the entrance of the Ebro in La Rioja as it passes through Las Conchas.
Haro wears his best ornaments twice a year. One to pay homage to its Patron Saint Felices, from June 24th to 29th, Festivities of San Juan, San Felices and San Pedro, with its traditional Battle of Wine and the other to celebrate its Patron Saint the Virgin of La Vega, on September 8th, with the named Procession of the Lanterns also known by the jarreros as Rosario and several days of cultural acts and festive.
El Jarro de Haro, made of glazed ceramics dated 1.776, with the inscription: SOI DLA BILLA De ARO, in the 18th century was used as an urn in the votes for the election of the district mayors that existed in the town. Perforated baked clay balls were placed in the jarro and inside these the ballot with the vote. This jarro was forgotten for years until 1914, when, reviewing the municipal archives, it was found by chance and since then it was agreed that it should be installed in the mayor's office where it continues to be exhibited. Today, a replica is presented as an award in recognition of persons or entities that have been relevant for some reason to the city. Hence the name jarreros, although others attribute it to the custom, in the past, of these people going down the street with a jug in their hand to buy wine in the numerous wineries.
Haro can be said to be the first Spanish town to have public lighting by electricity, the work consisted of lighting all its streets in a total of 62, with 260 points of light and was inaugurated on 17 September 1890. Jerez de la Frontera also had electricity that same year but in 1895 still had only 36 streetlights placed in five streets and three squares, using in the rest of the streets, gas. And it is worth mentioning, of course, its traditional Wine Battle, declared a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest and the Procession of the Lanterns, which is held in honour of its patron saint, the Virgen de la Vega, and is the third oldest in Spain.
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The AP-68 motorway connects Haro with Bilbao, Burgos-Madrid, Logroño and Zaragoza-Barcelona, as well as the N-124 road and the proximity of the N-232 that connect it with the nearby towns of Briñas, Briones, linking here with the regional 210 towards Sonsierra, and San Asensio. The LR-111 that connects with the neighbouring Casalarreina and Santo Domingo de la Calzada and the N-120 that runs parallel to the Way of Saint James, the LR-203 towards Zarratón, the LR-202 towards Anguciana and Cihuri, the LR-401 to Villalba de Rioja.
There are several bus companies that stop in Haro and cover the routes of Bilbao, Vitoria, Logroño, Santander and Burgos.
Plaza Castañares de Rioja, 4
The Bilbao-Zaragoza-Barcelona railway line stops at the train station located in the Barrio de la Estación, 1
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Lo pasamos genial en nuestra visita, Haro tiene un montón de sitios que ver, el barrio de las bodegas, sus iglesias... y que decir de la zona de pinchos.
De visita obligada, destacar sus edificios, sus bares de pinchos, restaurantes, sus fiestas (Batalla del Vino 29 de junio), sus gentes.....
3:15 h.12.7 km.
2:20 h.20.7 km.
3:35 h.14 km.
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