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City of Estella-Lizarra
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History of Estella-Lizarra

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Romanic bridge over river Ega

    Although in Estella some archeological remains have been found dated from the Bronze Age, Estella-Lizarra has its official origin in 1090. When the king Sancho Ramírez gave to the town the “Fuero”- some laws which gave some privileges to the French people settled, which allowed the economic diversification of the kingdom and made the most of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. That is the reason why the king had no doubt in changing the original way which went through Zarapuz- seigneury of the San Juan de la Peña´s Monastery- towards the Irache’s Monastery, diverting it towards the new settlement.

    A new settled area emerged with native inhabitants to the current French regions of Auvernia and Limousin, organized around San Martin´s church – it does not exist actually -, on the right bank of the river Ega and welcomed by the shadow of the castle. A blooming community which taking advantage of a positive economic situation, was rising little by little, expanding itself since the 12th century, to the left bank of the river. That made new boroughs emerge as for example San Miguel -created for the meeting between French people and the people of Navarre, encouraging miscegenation-, also the borough of San Juan ,which was founded on a vineyard property of King Sancho Ramírez and the borough of San Salvador del Arenal –token in the 14th century by its neighbour San Miguel). The king Sancho Ramírez gave “Fueros” to the boroughs.

    The rise of the city was in the 12th century. A big constructive expansion gave to Estella an urban physiognomy that still remains. The city had churches as San Pedro de la Rua, San Miguel, San Juan and also hospitals, attended by Brotherhoods which show the importance of the pilgrims. City-way, quickly it became an important stop in the Way.
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of the city of Estella- Lizarra,
situated in Navarre
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