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The Independent Guide to Wineries and Wine Tourism in the Rioja Wine Region

26 de agosto de 2019

Clavijo Castle


Castles and civil buildings

Castillo de Clavijo (La Rioja)
  • Viticulture Sub-zones: Rioja Baja
  • Municipality: Clavijo
  • Province: La Rioja

Clavijo Castle

Location: in the town of Clavijo, 16 kilometers away from Logroño.

Clavijo Castle is partially in ruins. However, its location on top of a rocky hill, with very broad panoramic views, and the legend that surrounds it make it one of the most attractive medieval fortresses of La Rioja.

There are documentary references to it from the tenth century, and it is believed that its origin is Arabic. The construction consists of very primitive masonry and contributes to an impression of great antiquity, although some restoration work was done in the seventies of the XXth century. The walls are more than one meter thick. There are some remain of towers, and of the ancient tank.

In La Rioja many people still believe that this site was the scene of a great battle between Christian and Muslim troops, which was decisive for the reconquest of the area. Popular tradition held that Christian soldiers, outnumbered, were helped by the Apostle Santiago, patron of Spain, who miraculously appeared on horseback in the middle of the combat, armed with a sword and killing "infidels." A large cross of Santiago stuck upon a tower recalls this legend.

The most rigorous historical studies indicate, however, that no major battles of the Reconquista occurred in this place. Nevertheless, the tradition is so ingrained that the ruins preserve a legendary aroma. They were declared a national monument in 1931.

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