Monastery of Irache

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Monastery of Irache with its tower in the Herrerian style

Santa María la Real de Irache (also Hyrache, or, in Basque, Iratxe) is a former Benedictine monastery located in the town of Ayegui, Navarre, Spain. It dates from the eighth century, although the surviving buildings are later.

The monastery has been protected as a monument since 1877. In 2007 the buildings, apart from the church, were designated for conversion into a Parador. As at 2012 the project has yet to be completed.[1] The parador is intended to offer high-quality accommodation to travellers on the Way of St. James.

Adjacent to the monastery is a winery called Bodegas Irache, which continues a tradition of viticulture which dates from monastic times.

University[edit]

In the sixteenth century the monastery set up a college which became Navarre's first university, the Universidad Real de Hyrache.[2] It became a pontifical university in 1615, and closed in 1824.

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