Located in the Valdizarbe or Izarbe Valley, Muruzábal is close to Puente la Reina/Gares and only 26 kilometres from Pamplona/Iruña. In 1407, Charles III of Navarre gave his brother Leonel, the bastard of Charles II, the viscounty of Muruzábal on the occasion of his wedding to Estefanía de Luna and Xérica. In 1652, the right to call Cortes to the solar house of the Juániz de Muruzábal was granted. In 1665, Muruzábal obtained from the king the quality of villa and the civil jurisdiction, for 5280 reales that he gave to the treasury, separating from Valdizarbe although this was not definitive until 1730.
In 1691 Francisco Juániz de Muruzábal y Echálaz was named Marquis of Zabalegui by Charles II the Bewitched. During the Napoleonic invasion, in 1812, the second battalion of Francisco Espoz y Mina's guerrilla division was in Muruzábal. It marched to Mañeru to join the rest of the division and attack the French troops. At the end of the 18th century there was a flour mill in the town, it also had a school and for communications there were only local roads. At the beginning of the 20th century there was an old people's home.
The archaeological settlement of Murundigáin is located in the municipality of Muruzábal. The municipality has some monumental quality, the church of San Esteban, Gothic, with work of the seventeenth century, where its magnificent portico, three arcades, protects a portal with a beautiful Gothic entrance, also highlights the palace of the Marquis of Zabalegui, air classicist built in the seventeenth century, with three heights and towers at the ends of the facade.
The hermitages of San Blas, Santa Lucía and San Pedro de Auritz and in a solitary enclave, halfway to Obanos, the late Romanesque church of Santa María de Eunate stands simple, original and mysterious.
It celebrates the 15 of May, San Isidro. The patron saint fiestas are celebrated on 3 August.
In Muruzábal it has been customary since time immemorial to celebrate a children's festival on 6 December, the day of Saint Nicholas. The older children of the school walk through the houses of the village preceded by one of them, who, dressed as a bishop, represents Saint Nicholas. The chosen child will be touched by a mitre and covered with a cape. The bishop is followed by an acolyte, with holy water and hyssop, and another with a tin box to collect donations from neighbors. After the main mass and dressed in their habits, after saying goodbye to Saint Stephen and the Virgin, they go outside the church, and immediately go to the first house on the way, the Parish House.
There they receive the first cash donations, singing this song in chorus: "Saint Nicholas crowned Archbishop very honored, if they don't give us, don't give us, they won't stop us here, because we are escolanos, of Saint Nicholas. Alleluia, Alleluia, let's celebrate all day, and in honor of St. Nicholas, the meriendica will fall". Then, surrounded by all the children, they continue approaching all the houses of the town, where they pass the piggy bank, with the legend "Whoever gives for Saint Nicholas, one hundred years will live". If there are animals in the house, Saint Nicholas blesses them with the hyssop. On each visit they receive nuts, chestnuts, apples, pasta and money. Afterwards they celebrated the feast by playing with each other the money to the plates.
Muruzábal is home to one of the most beautiful constructions in Navarre and on the Jacobean Route. Santa María de Eunate from 1170 is of Romanesque style and has an octagonal plan. It was a pilgrims' hospital, a church for the dead and a guide for walkers. It is surrounded by a beautiful porticoed gallery with 33 arches. As a curiosity, in Olcoz is the church of San Miguel, with an identical facade to that of Eunate, but the other way around.
Legend has it that a stonemason was commissioned to carve the portico of Santa María de Eunate and that in order to inspire himself he retired to think how to do it and when he returned he found that a giant stonemason, endowed with supernatural powers, had already finished the work that had been entrusted to him. Indignant, he went to protest to the Abbot and he told him that his absence had been interpreted as a lack of respect towards his person and that of the monks and that as compensation he had to sculpt an equal work, but that he had to finish it in the same term used by the giant stonemason, neither more nor less than three days. However, the witch Laminak felt sorry for him and entrusted him with the magic secret that would solve his problem. She followed his advice and took the Moonstone that a great serpent kept in its mouth, and that it would deposit in the bank of the river the night of San Juan. According to the spell, with the light of the moon reflected in the stone, the chalice and the water of Nequeas, the miracle was worked, but something failed and the cover emerged inverted, as reflected in a mirror. Nevertheless, the town was astonished and the giant stonemason, invaded by anger, gave such a kick to his work that it ended up in a nearby town. Those who cannot resist his curiosity, should know that the work of this stonemason is in the church of Olcoz, and the same cover but opposite, in the church of Santa Maria de Eunate.
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To the town of Muruzábal we arrive following the NA-6012 that either from Obanos or from Uterga arrive to this town.
Muruzábal has a bus service that connects it with Pamplona/Iruña and nearby towns.
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At the bottom of a valley near a river and as horizon the sky
Jewel of Ujué, ordered to be constructed by kings
Jewel of Romanesque architecture, centre of spirituality
Between the mountains and the Middle Zone of Navarre
A milestone in the economic history of Navarre and Spain in the 18th century
First Museum in La Rioja de Pasos de Semana Santa
Pilgrimage destination in honour of the patron saint of Navarre, Saint Francis Xavier
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