The Jacobean village of Los Arcos is located between Estella and Viana and is crossed by the river Odrón. Every corner of this town is a perfect blend of history, artistic folklore and gastronomy, arts that have been strengthened thanks to the fact that this town is an important stopping point on the Camino de Santiago.
The French Way runs along the main street of the city. It was once full of inns and buildings that still reflect the prosperity of the place thanks to its strategic location as a crossroads and the constant flow of pilgrims.
What to see and do in Los Arcos
Basilica of Santa Maria
The Basilica of Santa María de Los Arcos is the oldest religious temple in Navarre, and one of the most beautiful. It was originally a Roman mausoleum from the 3rd century, which was transformed into a Christian basilica in the 5th century, reusing architectural elements from the ancient Roman city of Tritium Megallum, Tricio la Grande, which included the current village of Tricio, Nájera and other nearby towns.
Under the floor of the basilica were discovered burials of paleochristian tombs from the 5th and 6th centuries, some Roman sarcophagi from the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD. C. reused and other medieval ones; as well as Roman funerary stelae and another paleochristian one. In the chancel there are remains of the Romanesque paintings from the end of the 12th century, repainted over the original Paleo-Christian ones from the 5th century.
Gates of the walls
The primitive medieval wall that encircled the town, today used in later houses and buildings, opened through several gates. Next to the river and at the northwest end of the town centre is the gateway known as the “Estanco” with a wide semicircular arch of large ashlars.
Also on the banks of the river and at the opposite end of the town stands the Portal de Castilla, next to the tower and the parish church.
Santa Maria Square
From the Portal de Castilla you can access the Plaza de Santa María, a very picturesque urban complex and the true nerve centre of the town. Its southern flank is occupied by the portico of the parish church and other outbuildings, while the other sides of the square have 17th century buildings.
The Refrigerator of the Arches
Can a fridge be a tourist attraction? Yes, especially when we are talking about the first refrigerators in history. This curious construction was the work of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Souls of Purgatory in 1720. Its function was none other than to collect the snow in winter, avoiding its evaporation with straw. The sale of snow was made in March and intensified in summer due to the popularity of iced drinks and their use in food preservation.
Thyssen-Bornemisza House of Culture
Inaugurated in 2000 in honour of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose maternal grandparents were originally from this town.
Holidays of Los Arcos
The festivities in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption and San Roque are the patron saint festivals of Los Arcos. It is celebrated every year between the 14th and 20th of August, and is characterized by music, fireworks and especially by the running of the bulls and the bullfights with brave cows that take place in the middle of the town.