Palacio Real de Olite

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
South facade of the Royal Palace of Olite. At the right of the image, beyond the industrial chimney, is the old palace (now a parador). The new palace is shown in the central part of the picture.

The Palacio de los Reyes de Navarra de Olite ("Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite") or Castillo de Olite ("Castle of Olite") was built during the 13th and 14th centuries in the town of Olite, Navarre. It was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III "the Noble".

Partial view of the church of Santa Maria and the Palace of Olite.
Gallery of the King.

It was Charles III of Navarre, who in the 15th century began the extension of the former castle, leading to the Palace of the Kings of Navarre. Although almost everyone calls it a "castle", the structure is actually a "palace", as it is a building of courtly character, where the residential aspects prevailed over the military (defense).

One of its main attractions is the apparent disorder of its design. This is because the palace's design did not come from an overall plan, but was the result of ongoing expansions and changes over the course of centuries, although most of the palace was built during the late 14th century and early 15th century. The then King of Navarre, Charles III "The Noble", decided to convert the existing palace into a permanent royal seat and give it its own ornaments.

The design consists of its rooms, gardens and moats, surrounded by high walls and topped by numerous towers, giving it a spectacular and magical figure. In its time, the palace came to be regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. One can clearly differentiate two areas: the Old Palace, (now a Parador Nacional de Turismo), and the New Palace. After the invasion of Navarre in 1512 by the then unified Crown of Castile and Aragon, the palace began to deteriorate, as it was only used by the viceroys as residence sporadically. The state of abandonment which the palace was subjected to caused its progressive deterioration. This process culminated when it was burned by the guerrilla Espoz y Mina during the Peninsular War (1813), fearing that it was fortified for the French troops of Napoleon.

The Gothic church of Santa María la Real stands adjacent.


Icebox of the palace.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°29′02″N 01°39′00″W / 42.48389°N 1.65000°W / 42.48389; -1.65000