It is located in La Rioja Alta, protected by the Obarenes Mountains and surrounded by the river Ea. It seems that Sajazarra was mentioned for the first time, with the name of Saggazahar, in a writing of the Navarrese king Sancho el de Peñalén on the occasion of a donation to the Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla, although a few years later, in 1099, it is mentioned as Saja in the Fuero de Miranda. At that time it was a village located at the top of the mountains Zaharra and Hornazas. Its current name is included in the Cerezo charter granted by Alfonso VII in 1146. Alfonso VIII donates the town to the monastery of Valdefuentes and it was later handed over to the monastery of Bugedo. Between the 12th and 13th centuries Sajazarra was walled and fortified and the castle was built at the end of the 13th century. The castle and village belonged to the Counts of Nieva, but its greatest splendour came in the second half of the 15th century, when the village became the lordship of the Velasco family. At this time the town participated, together with Vitoria, Miranda de Ebro, Pancorbo and Salvatierra, in the foundation of the Brotherhood of Alava. The times are running and today Sajazarra is a small town proud of its history and monuments, and taken care of with great care.
Sajazarra is a beautiful town whose town planning corresponds to that of a fortified town, with a network of streets in which you can see mansions and palaces with coats of arms, mixed with some stupendous stone houses, among them the house of the Loma Osorio, baroque of the seventeenth century. The house of the Ruiz Loizaga family is also Baroque, but this later one, from the second half of the 18th century, and which is displayed on its façade, as well as the family coat of arms, a curious sundial, is located in the Plaza Mayor. The parish church of Santa María de la Asunción is located very close to the castle, its origin is late Romanesque, possibly from the 13th century, although it has later undergone several reforms and added constructions from different periods. One of the naves could have been a small chapel that was joined to the original church. The current temple is attached to the wall by one of its walls and inside keeps an image of the Virgin of Antigua. Of the layout of the wall, which dates back to the time of Alfonso X the Wise in the 13th century, only remains remain and form part of the back of the houses. It had four doors but nothing more remains standing than the one known as the door of the Arch which is located between the church and the old town hall. The current town hall building dates from the end of the 19th century and its façades overlook the Plaza Mayor and the main one towards Calle de la Rosa. Of its spectacular castle, although with a previous origin, the current construction is the result of the extension undertaken by the Velasco family in the fifteenth century converted it into a palace-fortress, stands out in the center its great homage tower that seems in itself the castle itself.
In San Juan street, next to the river Mardancho, some singular constructions come out to meet the visitor, they are the cellars that in their interior lodge the underground coves where the wine rests calm waiting for the moment to fill of pleasure the palate of the people who taste it. After touring Sajazarra and enjoying beautiful and cozy corners and little squares, you can see the sanctuary where the image of the patron saint of the village comes from, which is kept in the parish church, the hermitage of Santa María de Cillas which, located little more a kilometre from the village, is a simple Romanesque building that was renovated between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Sajazarra honours its patron saint San Marcos on 25 April and at the end of August, the last weekend it celebrates its patron saint the Virgen de Cillas.
The river that surrounds almost all the urban helmet is the river Mardancho, in its high course it is known as river Roganto, but according to the cartography, from century XIX it is called river Ea. Some say that this name is due to Foncea, where it flows, Font-Ea, source of the Ea, and others to avoid the double name, Mardancho or Roganto.
In Sajazarra, on the last Sunday of July, there is a fair of all kinds of antique items and objects, collector's pieces, works of art, furniture... and all kinds of rare objects that are difficult to find. In this fair, which has come to be known as the Unpacking of Antiquities, the objects on display are mixed with the architecture and landscape of the place, as it is the streets of the village that turn into an attractive open-air museum for a day.
Legend has it that Juan Martinez, born in Alfaro and in the year 1467 intervened in the defense of Calahorra, when he was imprisoned and confined in the Castle of Sajazarra, through the intercession of the Virgin of Vico was miraculously released.
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To get to Sajazarra we have to follow the LR-209 that passes through the locality from Tirgo, after crossing with the N-232 in its section between Casalarreina and Pancorbo and with the LR-202 from Haro and Anguciana. This same road LR-209, but in its Burgos slope, the BU-733 reaches Sajazarra from Miranda de Ebro.
Sajazarra has a bus service that connects it with nearby towns from Monday to Friday and covers the San Millán de Yécora-Haro route.
The closest train stations to Sajazarra are Miranda de Ebro and Haro.
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