Lumbier – Irunberri

Home of the Marvelous Foz de Lumbier

Nestled in the Leire Mountains, Lumbier is a noteworthy city which is complemented by the nearby natural attraction of the Foz de Lumbier. It is surrounded by several of the most historical and spiritually significant places in Navarre.

Planning Your Trip to Lumbier

Lumbier is a small, well-maintained medieval town which can be toured in a couple hours. It would be a good idea to bring proper footwear and binoculars to do some hiking and watch the birds in the Foz, where you can enjoy the rest of the day. You can continue your trip the next day at the cliffs of Piedra and San Adriánand, a little farther away, the Foz de Arbayún. To plan your visit to these three natural spaces near Lumbier, we recommend our page dedicated to natural parks in Lumbier and Arbayún. For another day-long excursion, you can visit two highly important sanctuaries nearby: Javier and the Monastery of Leyre. Finally, you can spend an additional day visiting two nearby medieval towns: Sangüesa and Sos del Rey Católico. To help you decide where to stop in Lumbier, we’ve prepared pages about sleeping and eating in Lumbier.

Want to Get to Know This Place?

In the Roman era, the historian Pliny identified the Ilumberritani tribe with the territory of present-day Lumbier.

In 924, Abd Al Rahman III attacked King Sancho Garcés of Navarre and seized the Pyrenees Valley, which he occupied only temporarily, as there are accounts that during the second half of the 10th century, Lumbier was a retreat for Queen AndregotoGalíndez, the wife of García Sánchez I. At the beginning of the following century, Sancho VII the Strong granted the town fueros.

As with the rest of the towns near the Pyrenees Valley, in 1396 Charles III of Navarre granted hidalguía (nobility) to all its townspeople.

The inhabitants of Lumbier supported the Beaumont band, which backed the Prince of Viana’s claim to the throne. On August 16, 1512, once the Castilian, Basque, and Navarrese troops in the service of King Ferdinand reached the valley, the town surrendered without a fight, and as a result it was allowed to maintain its customs and privileges.

When the Peninsular War began, the valley was occupied by Napoleon’s troops until being liberated by Espoz y Mina’s troops in 1812. Upon encountering a group of afrancesados (Spanish supporters of the French) from Madrid—known as “gatos” (cats)—who were attempting to pass through the valley to get to France, the peasants of Lumbier hanged them without a trial and kept their belongings for themselves. This incident gave rise to the moniker “ahorcagatos” which is sometimes used to refer to the people of Lumbier.

In 1784, Santos Ladrón de Cegama was born in Lumbier. After learning guerrilla tactics from Espoz y Mina while fighting against the French, he rose through the ranks to become a field marshal. As a staunch absolutist, he was the first to proclaim Infante Carlos María Isidro the legitimate king in a small town in La Rioja. He was defeated in his first encounter with the state military, and in October 1833 he was executed by firing squad in Pamplona on charges of treason.

There are many things to do in Lumbier, especially in the city’s historical quarter. This area is a pretty group of steep paved streets, home to several examples of folk architecture which blend the traditional Pyrenean style with more southern touches. The best way to enter the town is La Ida Bridge, a medieval construction with four arches.

In the historical quarter you’ll find the Church of the Assumption, a 14th-century building which has a noteworthy tower with a square-shaped floor plan. Inside are two altarpieces in the mannerist style by local sculptor Juan de la Hera as well as a Gothic crucifix.

Lumbier Town Hall is the oldest town hall in Navarre. It dates from the late 15th century and is a two-floor building with a porch with two arches on the ground floor. It was rebuilt in 1870 after a fire. Other examples of civil architecture in the city include the Antillón House, a Baroque building whose façade features an alabaster coat of arms in the Rococo style. It also has notable balconies. The Marquis of Jaureguizar’s Mansion, which was begun in the 15th century and later renovated in the 18th century, has a door framed by two columns and the family’s coat of arms.

One of the town’s main tourist attractions is its natural environment, especially the Foz de Lumbier, a narrow, deep geological formation produced by the continuous erosion of the Irati River. One kilometer long and 120 meters deep, the Foz can be explored by foot following a path along the old route of El Irati, the first electric railroad on the Iberian Peninsula, which covered the line between Sangüesa and Pamplona. At the entrance of the Foz there’s a parking lot and a recreation area for visitors. On the way back to Lumbier, you can visit the Foz Interpretation Center, a space where you can delve into the nature and history of Lumbier, with a special emphasis on the Foz.

The area surrounding Lumbier is one of the best spots for hang gliding in Spain, evidenced by the airfield where the sport can be practiced from the peak of Lardín Hill.

Essentials

Practical Information

Coordinates

42° 39′ 15″ N, 1° 18′ 20″ W

Distances

Pamplona 38 km, Logroño 120 km, Madrid 430 km

Parking

Easily accessible in the town

Altitude

467 m

Population

1379 (2013)

Patron saint festival (August 30), Our Lady of the Assumption (August 14)

Carnaval, Cultural Summer (July and August)

Pottery shop (now out of business), Navarre vineyards

Nearby destinations

Sangüesa (Zangoza), Ochagavía

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