If you are not up to date with your knowledge on the old European Royal households you might have missed that Spain was once divided into several kingdoms. The Olite Castle, or the Royal Palace, was an important location back in the day.

Olite Castle Navarra
Olite Castle / Carles Rabada / Unsplash / www.unsplash.com

The enchanting Castle of Olite, in Navarra.

History of the Castle

Spain became one kingdom with the marriage between the Catholic monarchs (the “Spanish Reyes Católicos”), Fernando II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castilla. They wed in 1469, becoming the first Spanish monarchs.

However, in medieval times before the unification, the kingdom of Navarra (Reino de Navarra) had its own monarchs.

Their castle was located in the village of Olite, in Navarra (North of Spain). It has been preserved until today.

Parador de Olite Navarra
Royal Palace of Olive, Navarra.

It was once one of most luxurious castles in Europe. It held the court of the kingdom of Navarra and it was so modern it even had a zoo in it.

A german traveler in the XV century wrote about it in his diary: “For I am sure there is no king with a more beautiful palace with so many golden rooms.” 

His diary can be found today in the British Museum in London.

royal castle navarra
Royal Palace of Olite / Alberto Torello / Flickr / www.flickr.com

Visiting the Olite Castle

This medieval castle is so well preserved, and has remained so true to its origins, you will need to ready yourself, as your first thought upon arrival will be that you have just travelled back in time.

And it is indeed that you can very easily picture yourself immersed in the life in court when you are walking the same steps that Kings and Queens walked in their days.

You will be able to walk through the Castle gardens, go up the towers and feel like a guard, and pop by both the King’s and Queen’s chambers.

Royal Palace Navarra
Olite Castle / Alberto Torello / Flickr

It was the place to be seen in the old days. The palace once hosted banquets, jousting and even bullfighting took place in the castle.

While today you cannot see knights jousting, if you go up the Tower of the Four Winds (where the monarchs’ seats for events were located), the panoramic view of the nearby vineyards will take your breath away.

Olite Castle navara
Olite Castle / Marta Arias / Flickr / www.flickr.com

The village also holds medieval festivities in August, with street markets, themed food and staged visits to the castle. 

Your ticket to the past is ready for the taking!

Important information if you visit the Olite Castle

  • Did you know you can stay in the Castle overnight? To turn your visit into an epic experience check out the Parador de Olite, a superb accommodation located inside the castle. 
  • You can purchase your ticket (3,5€) to visit the castle here>>


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