Divided in two by the river Najerilla and protected by hills with its own name, such as the Malpica or the Castle, the Malvecino or the Horca, twenty-six km separate it from Logroño. Before the Romans arrived in these lands, they inhabited, near the rocks that surround the city, the Berones, then the Visigoths settled, but it seems that it was the Arabs who gave it the name of Naxara, which means place between rocks or place at noon. The kingdom of Nájera was born in 918 when the king of Pamplona, Sancho Garcés, donated to his son García Sánchez the lands that stretched from Miranda to Tudela. Sancho el Mayor, who made it the capital of Navarre, built a palace and also made the Way of Saint James pass through here.
For a century and a half, the Court of the Kings of Pamplona and Nájera had its seat here. It was the birthplace of kings such as, for example, Alfonso VIII, at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The Catholic Monarchs confirmed the title of Duke of Nájera to Pedro Manrique, Count of Treviño, to whom Henry IV had donated the city. The Manrique-Lara were in charge of appointing the mayor until 1808. Today it is a beautiful and prosperous city of the 21st century.
The old part of the city can be reached via the bridge over the Najerilla, which has replaced the medieval bridge built one day by San Juan de Ortega. Walking through its streets lined with beautiful arcades we will discover churches and important buildings such as the palace and the house of the Count of Rodezno, both from the 16th century. But its true historical jewel is the Monastery of Santa María La Real, inaugurated in 1052 and rebuilt in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with its famous Cloister of the Knights, a choir with a gothic masonry in bloom, under the church is the Royal Pantheon and the Infantes, say that after El Escorial is the most important pantheon of Spanish Kings, and also the Miraculous Cave with the image of Santa Maria, the lamp and the vase, alluding to the legend. Nájera also has gardens and parks surrounded by leafy trees and poplar groves. We can take a pleasant walk out of Plaza España, go up the Costanilla and the old Alesanco road and along a pine path next to the castle, passing through the old cemetery, by the stairs we return to Santa María.
On the 28th of April San Prudencio, patron saint of the city, is celebrated. From 24 to 30 June are the festivities in honour of San Juan and San Pedro, with their famous vueltas. In September they are in honour of San Juan Mártir and Santa María La Real, they are celebrated from the 15th to the 18th.
The laps of San Juan day are inexplicably full of sensations that attract both locals and outsiders to participate in them as soon as they feel the music playing in the kiosk of the ride, after the typical lunch. The squads, after turns and turns around the kiosk, head down the Calle Mayor to Plaza España where they go around more. All this folklore and tradition is celebrated year after year and begins at midday.
It is considered the city of furniture by the number of companies dedicated to this sector. In Easter is celebrated the Furniture Fair, open to the general public and with great importance in northern Spain.
"Legend has it that while the Navarrese king Don García IV was hunting back in 1.044, his falcon entered a cave chasing a partridge, tired of waiting for it to come out, he went in to look for it and what he found was marvellous because a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary appeared before him, a lamp lit, a silent bell, and a vase with flowers and at the feet of the image with their heads inclined were the falcon and the partridge. This cave is today inside Santa María La Real."
To get to Nájera by private transport, the main access roads are the A-12, the N-120, which connects Nájera with Logroño and Burgos, and the LR-113, which connects it with nearby towns.
The intercity bus arrives at the Nájera bus station, with daily service from Monday to Saturday. There is also a regular bus stop between Burgos and Logroño.
C/ Paseo de San Julián s/n
Nájera, La Rioja
Hours: Monday to Saturday. Open from 8:30 am and closed on Sundays.
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