Logroño in La Rioja is the capital of the region and a popular stop on the Camino de Santiago, with several wineries around the city.
La Rioja's capital can trace its routes back to the Romans who first founded the city before it was taken over by the Celts. Now on the borders of Castille y León, Navarra and Aragon, it has been a key site of conquest throughout history and was fought over by Castilla and Navarra in the Middle Ages. The pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago runs through the city, and there are many churches for the pilgrims to visit. In the early 1600s, Logroño became the seat of the Spanish Inquisition's Basque witch trials, one of the most ambitious witch hunting attempts in history. Today, the city is a far more peaceful place and a centre for the La Rioja wine trade.
Due to its place on the Camino de Santiago, Logroño has many wonderful churches including the Church of Santa Maria la Redonda, containing Michelangelo's The Crucifixion; the Church of Santa Maria de Palacio with its 13th century octagonal spire; and the Romanesque Church of St Bartholomew with Mudejar influences, which is the oldest in the city. There are also several beautiful palaces including the Palace of Esperato, built by General Esperato, and which now houses the Museum of La Rioja. Take a walk around the Old Town, passing over the Puente de Piedra stone bridge which brings pilgrims from Navarra.
Logroño holds many fiestas and festivals throughout the year including the fiesta of San Barnabas in early June, and also the fiestas of San Mateo and the Virgin of Hope. The city also hosts the International Festival of Plucked, a festival of plucked and string instruments, an annual festival that has been held here since 1967. La Rioja is, of course, famous for its wines and you can follow the wine tourist route around 9 of the wineries in Logroño. There are also other guided tours, visiting the religious monuments, the historical centre or focused on art and gastronomy. There are also dramatised tours which are popular with children. For those wanting to enjoy the great outdoors, there is the pretty Parque del Ebro, or La Grajera Park, by the river. The GR99 cycle route passes through La Rioja and a section of it runs through the city. Enjoy the route on your bike, or simply walking, by following the signs and markings showing a red strip bordered by two white stripes to the top and bottom of it.
There is some great shopping in Logroño, with many traditional local shops selling local foods and wines, as well as the San Blas market. If you want to make more of a day of shopping, there is a pedestrian shopping area with fashion shops and more. Patatas Riojanas is a regional speciality, a tasty soup made of potatoes and chorizo sausage with onions, garlic and smoky paprika. Vegetables are high on the menu, including beans, peppers, asparagus, artichokes and thistle. Cardo con almendras, thistle with almonds, is a popular dish at Christmas and fardelejos, litle fried pastries containing an almond filling are great for those with a sweet tooth. There are many wines to choose from although the majority of La Rioja wines are red wines. Known as tinto, La Rioja's red wines use a predomination of the Tempranillo grape in their blend and are aged in oak casks. White wines, known as blanco, are usually made from a blend where the Viuira grape dominates. You should have a large selection to choose from with your meal!
Region: La Rioja
Province: La Rioja
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