A city of Roman origin, Estella was first mentioned in 1024. It is built on the Ega river, opposite the original Basque town of Lizarra. Lizarra in Basque means either ‘ash tree’ or ‘star’. For a period, it was also home to the kings of Navarre. Estella is also known as the ‘Toledo of the North’, owing to its great amount of churches and palaces.
Like many of the settlements on the Camino de Santiago, this town also started to develop due to the large number of pilgrims arriving at the place on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The town, even today, offers various types of accommodations and services to pilgrims, just like back in medieval times.
Accommodation in Estella
|Hotel name||Type||Price range||Room type||Other|
|Agora Hostel||Hostel||Budget||Shared rooms, Family rooms||Kitchen, Shared lounge, WiFi|
|Hostería de Curtidores||Hostel||Budget||Shared rooms, Family rooms||WiFi, Kitchen, Bar, and Facilities for disabled guests|
|Pensión Buen Camino||Pensión||Mid-range||Private rooms with shared bathrooms, Family rooms||Shared lounge, Wifi|
|Hostal Cristina||Guest house||Mid-range||Private rooms||WiFi|
|B&B Zaldu||Guest house||Mid-range||Private rooms||Shared lounge, WiFi, Terrace|
What to see in Estella
Iglesia de San Pedro de la Rúa
This church of the mid-thirteenth century has a small chapel dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Estella. In the cloister, one of the arches is held by four interestingly interlocking columns.
Iglesia de San Miguel
This church, probably the oldest in the area, was constructed between 1187 and 1196, the period when Sancho Vll started invading Navarre. Its most beautiful treasure is the altarpiece of Santa Elena.
Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Puy
Legend has it that back in 1085, a group of shepherds was attracted to the site by shooting stars. Hidden in a cave, they discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary. First, a chapel was built, then later a Baroque church, which was in turn replaced in 1951 by a star-shaped, modern Gothic-style basilica. It is flooded by light to recreate the effect of the shooting stars when the statue was discovered. In reality, the silver-plated seated figure of Our Lady of Puy is from the 13th or 14th century.
Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra
The 12th-century Palace of the Kings of Navarre was declared a National Monument in 1931. It is today a museum and art gallery.