On the Rioja Alta Wine Route we propose to encourage wine tourism with art. Therefore, on this International Museum Day we are going to invite you to enjoy the wonderful open-air museums that can be found in these municipalities.
This proposal highlights the cultural heritage of La Rioja and, due to the health situation, it is a solid bet for all kinds of tourists, international and national, due to the safety offered by outdoor activities.
An open-air museum includes sculptures and murals that are part of our environment and that make the town an artistic heritage. Are you coming to see them?
In Logroño, we can enjoy sculptures that blend into the city’s landscape. The Fountain of the Illustrious Riojanos, commonly known as ‘Wet Backs’, and the busts of iconic figures such as Castroviejo, Zubía and Sagasta stand out.
The equestrian statue of General Espartero, located in the Plaza del Espolón, also stands out.
In addition to these emblematic sculptures, there are other lesser-known but no less talented ones, such as those of the ‘IX Centenario’, ‘Homenaje a la mujer’, ‘Monumento a la familia’, ‘Naves de paso’…
We must not forget the sculpture ‘The Crucible of wine civilisations’ located at the University of La Rioja, which was donated by the Vivanco Foundation. The sculpture represents the strength and magic of the earth. In it we see the incarnation of the god Bacchus and the new Lighthouse of Alexandria representing that the spirituality of wine reaches all civilisations and cultures.
In addition, in the Old Town area of Logroño and the Ebro Park walkway we can find several murals, the latter being the result of the II Urban Art Festival in the summer of 2017.
We move on to Haro, which offers us a series of sculptures of women and men exercising traditional, artisan and artistic trades typical of La Rioja Alta. Since 2009, these tributes to espadrille makers, bottlers, market gardeners, vintners, wine makers, coopers and musicians have been scattered around the city centre.
On the other hand, they have a large collection of murals located all over the city, most of which have a wine theme, such as “Los borrachos”, “La batalla del vino” (the battle of the wine), Haro’s own festivity, or “Edades del vino” (Ages of wine).
Recently, the “Mural of Wishes” has been created to transmit messages of hope to the population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue our journey through the open-air museums and reach Sajazarra. In the streets and emblematic buildings of this municipality, considered one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Spain”, we find pieces of contemporary art that blend in perfectly with its medieval architecture.
These include the head of a metallic dragon on the façade of the Town Hall and “The woman in the moon” in a medieval house. In the church, we find “La campana de la Mora”, made with photos of the inhabitants of the town and the mythical “Manos de Sajazarra”, hands that seek to intertwine and which are located in the narrowest alley of the town.
We leave Sajazarra and arrive at another reference town: San Vicente de la Sonsierra, which has three large and attractive murals in its historic quarter to promote tourism in the town. Works of art that seek to raise awareness of the culture of the Rioja Alta, extolling its wine-making heritage.
The first mural, “Los Disciplinantes de San Vicente de la Sonsierra” represents the rite of “Los picaos”, a procession originating in the town. The second mural, “Conjunto Arqueológico de Santa Mª de la Piscina” reproduces one of the best preserved hermitages in the Rioja Alta. And finally, we have the mural “Chozo o guardaviñas de Larra”, which symbolises the winemaking tradition that we still preserve today.
From the Rioja Alta Wine Route we invite you to get to know all that our territory has to offer and to accompany your wine tourism with the artistic heritage that these Rioja villages offer us.