It is located at the foot of the Monjardín and irrigated by the Bueno stream, a tributary of the Salado. Its traditional name is Villamayor, but until the 13th century it was known as Villa Maior. Possibly King Sancho el Fuerte at the end of the 12th century was the one who repopulated it. The history of the municipality is linked to the castle on top of the village. The castle represented the Muslim power in the region and, in a hard fight against its occupants, was taken by King Sancho Garcés I in the year 908.
Sancho II donated it to the Monastery of Irache, but it later passed into the hands of Pamplona Cathedral through a donation by Sancho el Mayor. Due to the marriage of Brianda de Beaumont, Countess of Lerín, with Fernando Álvarez de Toledo in 1564, it is registered as the property of the Duke of Alba. During the Carlist Wars it was occupied alternately by the two armies..
Villamayor de Monjardín, although it has a series of main streets, does not appear to have a visible planned structure. In its town centre we can admire some baroque style coats of arms from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Parish Church of San Andrés, which dates from the second half of the 12th century, stands out. The Romanesque façade with its archivolts, chrismon and precious capitals attracts our attention, one of which represents the battle between two knights, Charlemagne and a Prince of Navarre. Inside the church, we cannot miss the impressive silver parish cross, carved in Romanesque style around 1,200, considered one of the most important Romanesque jewels of Navarre's goldsmithery.
On the outskirts of Villamayor de Monjardín we find the so-called Moorish fountain, a cistern built around 1,200 and reached by going down a staircase after entering through a double arch façade. Going for a walk, we arrive at the pilas de San Salvador, located in the muga between Labeaga and Villamayor de Monjardín, on the path that goes up on the north face to the Castillo de Deio, there are four pilas, fountains, from the year 1800. On the watchtower of San Esteban de Deio de Monjardín, there remains a majestic part of the fortified enclosure of the Banu Qasi, a castle of which only the old sandstone walls remain, and inside a house with a vaulted ceiling, the old cistern. In the enclosure inside the walls was built later the Baroque hermitage of San Esteban or Christ using materials from the medieval fortress, there are also remains of the keep.
Villamayor de Monjardín celebrates fiestas in honour of its patron saint, San Andrés, on the second weekend in September.
Mount Monjardín was formerly known by the name of Deio. Tradition tells us that its current name is given because the Navarrese monarch Sancho Garcés was buried at his death in the castle of San Esteban de Deio, that is to say in the fortress on its summit. The first church where the hermitage is today is believed to have been a royal pantheon, and it is thought that its remains are still there, as no written reference to it has been found. Monjardín would therefore come from Mons Garcini, i.e. Monte de Garcés. Some authors think that it is simply a composite of mountain and garden.
Villamayor de Monjardín is usually known as the village of the four lies, it is neither a villa, nor is it higher, nor has nuns, nor a garden.
There is a Carolingian legend related to Monjardín that tells that being by these places Charlemagne with his army, it came to his ears that the Navarrese warlord Furré intended to wage battle against him. Charlemagne then prayed to God to show him which of his men would die in the scuffle. The weapons of 150 of his knights appearing marked with a red cross, the emperor left them resting in his tents, but when he returned to his camp, after defeating Furré, the 150 dead knights were found.
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To get to Villamayor de Monjardín we can do it by the A-12 Motorway that joins it with Pamplona and Logroño or by the NA-1110 that follows the old national route.
There is a daily bus service that covers the Pamplona/Iruña-Logroño route.
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