A fairy-tale castle. A dream of battlements, spires, towers and turrets that represents the splendour of the kingdom of Navarre in the fifteenth century, under the rule of Carlos III el Noble. Conceived as both a defensive stronghold and royal palace, it's easy to imagine the luxury and the delirious fantasy created by the exotic animals that lived here - from giraffes to lions and parrots, all kinds of birds gathered in the courtyard aviary - and also by the whimsical hanging gardens and greenhouses that throughout the complex. No wonder, then, that don Carlos de Aragon, Prince of Viana, choose this setting in 1439 for his splendid celebration of his marriage to the Princess of Burgundy, Agnes of Cleves.
The towers of the Portal de Fenero, the Atalaya (watch tower), the Cuatro Vientos (the four winds), the Aljibe (the cistern), de la Vito del Homenaje, the Retrait and the Tres Coronas (the three crowns) are some of the bastions of the great defensive palace complex that was used as barracks in nineteenth century, during the War of Independence, and whose ruins inspired the Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer to write his Notes from a trip to Navarre. Today a breathtaking visit can be made to the King's Hall and the Queen's Hall, where the ivy and aromatic herbs evoke the ancient splendour of the Middle Ages. In addition, the privileged situation in the historic centre of the town of Olite offers the chance of to discover one of the best examples of Gothic civil architecture in Europe.
From Madrid, take the A-2 to Saragossa and then the A-68 or AP-68 (toll road) and the N-121, A-15 or AP-15 (toll road) towards Pamplona. From Pamplona, take the N-121 or the A-15 or AP-15.
© 2000-2008, HOLA S.A., Madrid – Miguel Ángel, 1 – 28010 – Madrid (España)