Saint Mary of Eguiarte Church

This is a beautiful Romanesque Church belonging to the Yerri Valley.  It is found half way between Lácar and Alloz. 
The majestic profile of the limestone wall of Urbasa-Andíamarks out the surrounding landscape, stained with cereal fields and hills.  It is a mysterious, enigmatic and magical structure... 
Access is along an asphalted road and the surrounding buildings mean you cannot see it until you reach the atrium; this increases the appeal of this historical monument, a site of Cultural Interest.

Saint Mary of Eguiarte Church

Atrio St Maria Egiarte Turismo Rural Navarra

The atrium

The atrium is precisely the first thing that draws your attention.  It has round arches, wooden beams and rectangular columns that are built over an old cemetery covered with stone slabs.  Sit down and let the wind whisper the secrets of the hidden past whilst in the distance you can hear the church bells ring or the birds happily sing.  You can contemplate the differences between the original Romanesque construction and the Baroque expansion or search for hidden symbols, such as the Templars cross.  The astronomy references of this symbol strengthen the arcane nature of the enclave.

The Romanesque simplicity

The Romanesque simplicity combines with great sculptural wealth elements on the capitals of the doorway.  The first two on the left are attributed to the sculptor of the church San Miguel in Estella and show stages of Jesus Christ’s childhood with an expressiveness that indicated proto-Gothic style.  On the right, show the duality of good and evil through the centaur aiming his arrow at some monstrous birds.

The church

The Church was considered a Basilica, hence its construction and ornamentation and wealth with which its interior was reformed in the seventeenth century in Baroque style.  From the primitive Romanesque structure we can still see two very well preserved capitals.  Light flows inside the Church highlighting the gold leaf covered alter pieces, fine sheets made from the gold of a viceroy.  On the main alter piece the allusion to the sky through the presence of elements such as the sun is the highlight.  The Virgin Mary of Eguiarte deserves a special mention for her careful treatment.  She is also known as the “Milk Virgin” as she is breast feeding her child.
A twisted medieval spiral staircase leads up to the steeple.  Wooden beams, ashlars and large bells framed between windows accentuate the rural appearance of this particular foundation.  The view from the top is excellent.  Let your eyes wander whilst you imagine battles like the one that took place in Lácar during the Carlist Wars.  If you would like to see a recreation of the battle, there is a re-enactment every even numbered year.


Contact: Charo Apesteguia
Town: Between Lacar and Alloz (Navarra)
Price: 2€ groups
Phone: (+34) 948536318 / (+34) 646185264