The villa sits on a hill of gypsum, with an open landscape in a gently undulating terrain and crossed by the river Odrón. Although the origin of Los Arcos dates back to medieval times, there is evidence of an ancient Roman settlement called Cornonium. Archaeological remains have also been found in the Castle, dating from the Iron Age. Thanks to its enclave on the French Way, it developed rapidly. Already in the 12th century Sancho VI granted it privileges and granted it the holding of a weekly market. From the middle of the 15th century until the middle of the 18th century it was part of Castile, although it kept its privileges and customs.
Its urban centre maintains the classic medieval trace of its origin, with parallel streets that were once surrounded by a belt of walls of which two entrances remain, that of the Estanco and the Puerta de Castilla, the latter, the main access to the western area, and which was built during the times when Los Arcos was part of Castilla, has the arms of Felipe V of Spain, and it is through this that we enter the porticoed square of Santa María. It houses the church of the same name, whose origin dates back to the end of the 12th century, although it has undergone numerous transformations which, together with those of its interior, mean that as a whole it presents a surprising Navarrese Baroque. The bell tower is Gothic-Renaissance from the mid-sixteenth century.
Also worth a visit is the hermitage of San Blas, called before San Lázaro, located on the old Way of Saint James, that of Calvary or that of San Lorenzo, without forgetting the Convent of Conceptionists in the year 1660, which was originally that of Capuchins. Along the Calle Mayor, as well as in the square of Santa María, we find blazoned buildings, almost all from the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the Town Hall or a baroque mansion. In the square of the Coso is the old House of the Villa. Los Arcos also offers an endless number of walks with which to enjoy nature, getting closer to its fountains or going up to the upper part of the village where there was a 13th century castle that was demolished in the 18th century. Very close to this place we find an old fridge from the year 1720.
The patron saint fiestas in honour of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and San Roque are celebrated between 14 and 20 August. On the Saturday before the festivities, the town celebrates the Fair of the Way of Saint James in which all kinds of exhibitions of handcrafted products are exhibited, sold and carried out. On 3 February there is a pilgrimage and San Blas is celebrated, on 10 August San Lorenzo, with a pilgrimage included, as well as on the second day of Easter of Pentecost they approach the Basilica of San Gregorio Ostiense which is about 6 km. on top of a mountain.
In the center of the portico of the church of Santa Maria, there is a beautiful carving of the Virgin, is a Black Virgin of polychrome wood of the thirteenth century, known in the village as the "morenica de los eyes zarcos. It is always protected and in the shade, but the popular voice assures that on June 15, and only that day, it is caressed by a ray of sunshine.
In the Middle Ages, in the village of Los Arcos, the bell of the rooster, placed in the primitive dome of the parish of Santa María, was played to guide the pilgrim who had difficulty in seeing the village, to which he never seemed to arrive.
In the surroundings of the hermitage of San Vicente, old church of Yaniz, there were three "menhirs" popularly known as "piedras mormas", and around them grew the legend that counts as a mother doing work in the field, sent her daughters to go to Mass of Yániz telling them "Yes to Mass of Yániz no vais, piedras mormas os volváis". Another legend tells us, that inside the Basilica of San Gregorio Ostiense there is a brick, that if you step on it with faith, you will get a husband. Although of so sought-after brick nobody knows for sure its location.
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Los Arcos is located in the middle of the A-12 motorway between Pamplona/Iruña and Logroño. It is crossed by the NA-1110, the old national road that connects it with Viana, Torres del Río and Sansol. Los Arcos is also reached by the NA-129, which connects it with Sesma and Lodosa on one side and with Mendaza and Acedo on the other.
There is a daily bus service covering the Logroño-Pamplona/Iruña route.
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