Castillo Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra, Parador de Olite

Pza. Teobaldos, 2 31390 Olite Navarra

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Cultural Visit

he town's Parador is located within stone walls that conceal medieval treasures, in a section of the majestic Palace-Castle of Olite, which has been declared a national monument. The hotel common areas and some of the guest rooms are located inside the palace, where the interior offers amazing stained glass windows, arcades and other characteristic medieval features. The palace is the most important example of Gothic non-ecclesiastical architecture in Navarre, and one of the most outstanding in Europe. Within these ancient stone walls, you will find yourself immersed in an oasis of peace and tranquility.

A walk through the narrow side streets of Olite will take you from the shelter of large fine stone houses bearing coats of arms to an exploration of the Roman walled area. You will also enjoy visiting Oliva Monastery, where Cistercian monks dressed in white tunics stroll and pray in the monastery cloister.

The Mediterranean climate makes the area an ideal paradise for grapevines and fine wine. You can visit local wineries and sample exquisite vintages. In addition, every August the town holds its Medieval Festival, where kings and princesses, magicians and minstrels, falconers and archers all gather, taking the city back in time to the Middle Ages.

Live the History

One of the most beautiful Civil-Gothic complexes in Europe is in Olite. There was the Palace of the Kings of Navarre whose oldest part has been fitted out as a Parador. Its capricious and anarchic profile full of nooks, towers, battlements, galleries and gardens are simply an evocation of the Middle

The Parador corresponds to the oldest part of all the palace complex, the so-called Palacio Viejo or Palacio de los Teobaldos. This area has been inhabited since the time of the Romans, whose archaeological remains appear in some of the towers. The Roman “praesidium” was the nucleus of the
palace until, in the Middle Ages, Carlos III of Navarre extended it and transformed it into one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, attaching it to what was called the New Palace (Palacio Nuevo). The old medieval palace was structured around an interior patio surrounded by auxiliary dependencies, with the fi rst fl oor reserved for the royal rooms. When the Kingdom of Navarre was incorporated into the peninsular union in 1512, both the old and new palaces lost their condition of royal and their decadence began. During the War of Independence, it was practically burned down and, at the beginning of the XX
century, only the two eastern towers and the exterior walls were conserved. The reform work to adapt it to a Parador of Tourism began in 1966. The patio was rebuilt starting only from the foundations and, thanks to the documentation, it was possible to reconstruct the Gothic windows of the façade. The final result was a small Parador with a surface area of 800 metres and 14 bedrooms and common areas.  Owing to its insuficient size, a differentiated annex was created for the bedrooms joined by a loggia in a style similar to the Palace complex.

Carlos de Viana, an unfortunated Prince.

Although Prince Carlos was born in Peñafi el in 1421, he was brought up in the Royal Palace of Olite where his grandfather, King Carlos III of Navarre, considered him to be his successor and created the title of Prince of Viana for him and educated him as a future king. However, his destiny was very different. Although he was the legitimate heir to the throne of Navarre as the son of Queen Blanca, his permanent disputes with his father, who never wanted to recognise him as king, decided his future. Moreover, after becoming a widower on the death of his wife, Queen Blanca, he married again this time to a Castilian, who always endeavoured that the rights of her son, the future king Ferdinand of Aragon,
should prevail over those of her stepson Carlos. The indecisive and excessively prudent character of Carlos and the political tensions of the epoch precipitated his end. His premature death and his sad destiny transformed him into a romantic personage which the XIX century magnifi ed in art and literature.

The Towers of the Old Palace

Olite is famous for its capricious and irregular profi le. The Palace alone, which is today the Parador, has three di erent towers. In the north east corner, the tower of the prison, with its battlements and ancient guard armoury; in the south east corner, the Tower of San Jorge, also with its battlements
and where Sancho el Fuerte built a small chapel. The highest tower is in the main façade, the Tower of the Storks (Torre de las Cigueñas), an ancient watchtower, with a square layout and crowned by a small circular tower. 





Pza. Teobaldos, 2 31390 Olite Navarra

How to get there:

Olite is located 5 km from Tafalla. The main route is via the N-121.

  • Airport  35 km
  • Train Station 1 km 
  • Port    135 km