Municipality of La Rioja belonging to the region of Arnedo is located in a mountainous area in the valley of the river Cidacos, immersed between the mountain ranges of San Cristóbal, the beech forest of Enciso and the beech forest of Santiago. Of course we have a large number of places to see in Enciso and countless things to do, in addition the town of Enciso groups together the villages of Garranzo, Navalsaz and El Villar, and the place of Poyales, thus expanding the places we can visit in this area of La Rioja.
With a possible Celtiberian origin, Enciso is first mentioned in the 12th century, in the false vow that Fernán González granted to San Millán de la Cogolla, which mentions it in the following sentence: "Omnes villa de ambobus cameris, Orticosa, Enciso". Enciso has been both a manorial and a royal villa. In the 13th century, the town and the castle with all its hamlets belonged to the Order of Calatrava; in the same century, the Order ceded the castles of Enciso and Préjano to Don Vela Ladrón de Guevara for life, in exchange for inheritances in Écija. Enciso later formed part of the lordship of Medinaceli, a lordship which, around 1751, received an annual income of around six thousand reales in the form of alcabalas from the neighbourhood. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Enciso was the link between the Meseta and the Ebro Valley, and for this reason its great livestock, industrial and commercial activity was known throughout the peninsula, an activity whose slow but relentless decline continued until the middle of the 20th century. It formed part of the province of Soria until the province of Logroño was created by Royal Decree on 30 November 1833. Enciso is currently a great tourist attraction, both for its historical and artistic heritage and for its beautiful natural surroundings and, of course, its palaeontological wealth.
To walk through the charming village of Enciso is to become immersed in its rich historical and artistic heritage, guarded by the ruins of its medieval castle located on the hill on which the village sits at its feet. In the Plaza Mayor the Dinosaur Clock marks the passing of the hours at 12 o'clock, 2 o'clock at midday and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, with an impressive roar of a carnivorous dinosaur, while we continue to answer our question of what to visit in Enciso, walking through its streets in search of the church of Santa María de la Estrella, located in the upper part of the village, built in different stages between the 15th and 18th centuries. In the lower part of the town we find the church of San Pedro, from the 15th and 16th centuries. Next to the church is the hermitage of Saints Emeterio and Celedonio. The hermitage of La Concepción, which we find on the road towards Arnedo and which is striking for its beautiful Catholic Monarchs style transept, and to which it is attached as an extension of the same, and as an artistic ensemble, from here we can see the medieval bridge of La Concepción, over the river Cidacos.
As Enciso is one of the most important palaeontological sites in Europe and can be visited all year round, it is undoubtedly a good starting point for the Dinosaur Route through La Rioja. As they are in the open air, all you have to do is follow the signs for the different hiking routes that lead to them, such as Virgen del Campo, La Senoba, Valdecevillo, etc., which will delight any good hiker, as you will also be able to admire the beautiful surroundings in which they are located. For mountaineers and hikers who will enjoy treading the peaks that surround Enciso or discovering unique corners and, why not, taking the GR 93 Munilla-Enciso and Enciso-Cornago stages, the area offers an infinite number of possibilities and activities to do in Enciso.
The patron saint festivities of Enciso are on 29 June, the feast of San Pedro, and on 15 and 16 August they celebrate San Roque and the Virgen de la Estrella, patron saint of the town.
Enciso is a town with interesting traditions and cultural events such as the Traditional Carnival of Enciso, the Street and Patio Theatre and Art Show or Encinart or the Roast Veal Day of the Sierra Riojana, around the 12th of October, as well as the pilgrimage in honour of San Sebastián, at Pentecost, which is held in Enciso and in El Villar. The Enciso Carnival is always held the weekend after the official Carnival. In it, more than seventy carnival characters, some from Enciso, others from different parts of La Rioja, the country and even from overseas, parade through the streets in a beautiful parade. But a fortnight before the carnival, Enciso lives with joy the Sábado Lardero, the streets of the village are decorated and in the afternoon a series of traditional games suitable for all ages are the preamble to a great popular snack around the carnival food par excellence, the chorizo and the egg.
There was a time when some local people thought that the ichnites were the footprints of Santiago's horse. Nowadays, Enciso is renowned for its exceptional paleoicnological heritage, with more than 3,000 catalogued ichnites, which are more than 120 million years old. Walking along the hiking routes that take you to the Ichnites will also allow you to enjoy the beautiful landscapes where they are located. The Paleontological Centre of Enciso, The museum, housed in a former slipper factory and dedicated to research on dinosaur remains from La Rioja, is a good starting point for visiting the paleoicnological sites.
The Virgin of Santa María de la Estrella, venerated in Enciso, is attributed with an infinity of miracles and, of course, a multitude of legends surround her. In the past, the carving of the Virgin could only be seen and venerated directly by the faithful during the important festivities and celebrations of the town and the legend tells us that in the fire that took place in the church in 1918, the curtain that covered the carving of the Virgin was burnt, but that it did not burn, although in the image you can see signs of having suffered the attack of the flames..
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The LR-115 road is the main road to Enciso and connects it with Arnedillo on one side and with Yanguas in Soria on the other. Enciso is also reached by the LR-286, which connects it with Cornago, as well as with the nearby villages.
Enciso has a daily bus service with different timetables that connects it with Logroño, Rincón de Soto, Arnedo, Quel, Autol, Calahorra... with stops in the different villages along the way.
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