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Day 7 Los Arcos to Viana
Monday 1st April 2013
18.5 km - 4 hrs




Iglesia Del Santo Sepulcro, Torres del Rio


  Torres del Rio is a small town located some distance to the north of the present day highway linking Pamplona and Logroño. During the Middle Ages, however, not only was the town directly on the pilgrimage route, but it also served an important function as a beacon for the pilgrims from the lantern of its Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro church commanding a high hill. It is documented that the town had a monastery in 1109 before the Muslim invasion. The hilly site resulted in an irregular shape of the town, and at the entrance to the town stands the Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro, constructed under the auspices of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre at the end of the XII century. The most significant element of the interior is the Islamic vaulting of the dome with the crossing ribs.  



Approaching Viana

The Church of Santa Maria



The Church of Santa María de Viana, with its robust contours and strategic location, takes us back to the turbulent past of this area, being built up on a hill by the Crown of Navarre to defend it from Castile.

It has a magnificent Renaissance portico, one of the most monumental examples of Hispanic Renaissance, which served as a model for other churches. Beneath it lie the remains of Cesare Borgia, prince, soldier and Cardinal, whose turbulent life is well worth a film script. The 15th-century Italian philosopher and politician Machiavelli used him as a model to write "The Prince", a work which revolutionised the political thinking of the times.

The church of Santa María rises up majestically on the main street of Viana, a town of 3,500 inhabitants on the border with La Rioja. Standing up on a hill to defend Navarre against Castile, it is the last town on the Pilgrims' Way to Santiago in Navarre. The church was built between 1250 and 1312 in Gothic style and was completed between the 16th and 18th centuries. Its robust structure and strategic position at the centre of the hill turned it into a defensive stronghold until the 19th century. Declared a Historical and Artistic Monument in 1931, the church boasts one of the most imposing porticos of the Spanish Renaissance.





  At the base of the doorway is one of the most visited parts of the church: the tomb of Cesare Borgia, the ambitious son of Pope Alexander VI. He was a prince, soldier and politician. He died in 1597 near Viana at the hands of the soldiers of the Count of Lerín. The original tomb having disappeared, his remains rest under a marble slab on which you can read: "Cesare Borgia. Supreme General of the Armies of Navarre and the Pontificate. Killed on the fields of Viana on XI March MDVII".  



Bianako San Pedro Elizaren Hondakinak

Plaza de los Fueros

View in the direction of Logroño from the high vantage point of Viana


Accommodation Notes

Albergue Izar, Viana

4-bed dorm at Albergue Izar shared with Megan, Eric and Molly.