The Castle of San Vicente is located on the top of the hill overlooking the Ebro. It was once the largest fortress in Navarre built near the river, forming part of the defensive line of Laguardia and Labastida. It was built from 1170 or 1172 under the direction of Ferrant Moro, by order of Sancho the Wise of Navarre, who, in 1172, gave the town a charter, making it royal. The solidity of its walls and its advantageous position overlooking the Ebro must have made it impregnable.
It lost its military interest after 1512, when the kingdom of Navarre became part of Castile, and in 1516 it was sold by Pedro Girón, Count of Ureña, to the Velasco family. Therefore, when the parish church was built, it had already lost its military function, recovering it in the 19th century, when it was used during the first Carlist war (1833-1840). After 1898, with the collapse of part of the walls and the use of its stone for construction, the complex was systematically demolished. During the second half of the 20th century, several attempts were made to restore and recover it.
It is a typical castle-fortress built on a hill, an old reminder of the early medieval rock castle, with a defensive function. It has an irregular semicircular plan in the shape of an irregular semicircle, adapting to the topography of the terrain. It consists of three stepped belts of walls that form three enclosures: the albacar, the farmhouse and the castle at the top. While the castle itself dates back to the 12th century, the other two enclosures are late medieval from the 13th and 14th centuries.
The present-day entrance to the first enclosure is the Puerta de la Primicia gate to the east. This is followed by the albacar, where the dwellings of the inhabitants of the old town once stood. The second enclosure or courtyard of the fortress is accessed through the Puerta de Salas gate to the north. Within it is the Parish Church, the San Juan hermitage and the Cortijo, which was used as a cemetery. At the top is the third enclosure or the castle itself, with the Torre del Homenaje (keep) in the centre and the Torre del Reloj (clock tower) to the north, which was an old albarrana tower (a tower independent of the wall).
It has a self-guided route that starts in the Plaza Mayor, which, by scanning QR codes, provides up-to-date information. On the route you will also find six viewing points for the Arkikus-Castillo de San Vicente virtual reality application, which will immerse you in the fortress’s past.


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