It is situated between the Sierra del Toloño and the river Ebro, forming part of the Rioja Alavesa. Labastida originated as a village in the houses built around the castle that in the Tolonio mountain, today Toloño, the first Navarrese kings are said to have built possibly in the 11th century. The origin of its name Bastion or fortified place speaks of the wartime past and defender of the town, which was an important stronghold of the kingdoms, depending on touch, Castilian or Navarrese. At that time Labastida was walled and at the top of the village, vigilant, the fortress-temple of the Santo Cristo. In the 15th century it became part of the Cuadrilla de Álava.
The 17th and 18th centuries gave Labastida a long period of prosperity and tranquillity, reflected in its constructions and town planning. Then the ups and downs of history, with its different wars, the French, the Carlists... bring decadence and poverty to the town, as to all the villages in the area. But Labastida began to resurface in the mid-twentieth century and today is a prosperous town that shows in its historic centre its great legacy that have made it worthy of being declared a Monumental Site.
Walking around Labastida means changing from one century to the next as you pass through the different neighbourhoods and historical centres. Beginning with the high or medieval quarters such as La Mota, with its Renaissance palaces, emblazoned houses and the old town hall, and El Olmo, both crowned and protected by the Santo Cristo hermitage, a temple initially Romanesque, from this time XI or XII centuries is preserved its beautiful facade, which was up to 1602 parish church. In this area of the town you can also see the remains of its walls and the Arch of Toloño, which was a gate of the medieval wall. Around the grandiose 16th century parish church of La Asunción, located in the Square of La Paz, as well as the 18th century Town Hall and the Palace of the Salazar family, the other historic quarter of Labastida grew, with the High Street flanked by mansions and baroque palaces, such as the 16th century House of Paternina, which makes it monumental in itself.
From the Santo Cristo hermitage a short walk leads to a viewpoint where you can appreciate a magnificent view of the town and its surroundings. Walks around Labastida discovering winepresses in the rocks, parks, such as San Ginés, fountains, hermitages or simply enjoying nature, together with good gastronomy paired with the rich wines that the cellars of the town offer, complete the attractive visit to this beautiful village.
Labastida celebrates its patron saint festivities on the first Sunday, between the 6th and 12th of August, in honour of San Pedro and San Esteban, saints martyrs of Cardeña who, although they died in Burgos, their relics are kept in Labastida because they come from here. These festivities are known as the Fiesta de las Reliquias. In mid-November the Grape Harvest Thanksgiving Festival is celebrated.
Labastida celebrates in Carnival the Thursday of all, also known as fat Thursday or Thursday of lardero, in him they are the children the protagonists. In the past, in the pig slaughter, a special chorizo was prepared for each child's snack on this lardero Thursday. This snack was offered in the house that by lottery had corresponded to him and to which went the children, who were those who on this day were disguised, provided with bread and eggs and of course the chorizo.
On the first Sunday of June there is an ascent to the Toloño, this mountain march is shared by the people of Labastida, who climb from San Ginés, those of Saliniñas de Buradon, from this village, a town that is integrated in the municipality of Labastida, and from the port of Rivas also climb. At 11 a.m. they all gather in Zazpituri where a good lunch is served with the Triki-tixa, Basque music par excellence.
Legend has it that in the pastures around the hermitage of Santo Cristo, the sheep did not want to graze despite the insistence of the shepherds to take them there and the good quality and quantity of yerba mate, a fact that led the local people to say that this was an enigmatic and miraculous site.
Labastida can be reached by following the N-232a from the nearby Briñas in the middle of the N-124 between Vitoria and Haro. Also from Haro, more specifically from the Barrio de las Bodegas, there is a regional road that joins both towns. This same N-232a or as it is also called A-124 arrives at Labastida from Logroño, passing before through Laguardia, Samaniego and the outskirts of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, among other localities.
Labastida has a bus service that connects it with Logroño, Vitoria, Bilbao and Haro as well as the nearby towns.
The nearest train station to Labastida is in Haro.
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