Ezcaray is a place and a municipality ( municipio ) at the headwaters of the Rio Oja in the Spanish region of La Rioja with about 2031 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2013). For municipio include several small hamlets in the surrounding areas: Ayabarrena, Azárulla, Posadas, Turza, Urdanta, Zaldierna and others who are abandoned for years.


Ezcaray lies at the confluence of the Río Ciloria in the Rio Oja in the far west of the province of La Rioja at an altitude of about 813 meters. Good ride 57 kilometers separate the village from the north-eastern city of Logroño; Burgos is a good 80 kilometers to the west. Located on the Santiago small town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is located about 12 kilometers north-east.


In the second half of the 19th century to the mid 20th century, the place always had 2000-4000 inhabitants; due to the mechanization of agriculture, the crisis in the textile industry and the resulting lower demand for labor, the population has declined significantly since the mid-20th century.


Traditionally the first place in the economic life of the community is agriculture and especially livestock (sheep, goats, cows ). In sheltered areas formerly also wheat, barley, potatoes and vegetables were cultivated. Already in the 18th century there was a cloth factory and the imposing main building is now used as an inn. Since the mid-20th century, tourism plays a significant role in the economy of the city.


The region belonged before the intervention of Roman armies to the settlement area of ​​the Celtic tribes of Autrigonen and Beronen. From Roman or Visigothic settlements is not known. In the period of Islamic loot and conquests became depopulated the land.

Operated early as the 10th century, the kings of Navarre, a resettlement policy ( repoblación ). In the 11th century, the area fell to García III. of Navarre; after the death of Sancho IV of Navarre in 1076 it came under Castilian rule. In 1312 Ferdinand IV granted the places on the headwaters of the Río Oja various privileges ( fueros ); the purpose may have been, the more area to inhabit with settlers from Castile to secure the border with neighboring Navarre. Large parts of the population spoke then still basque.

The valley of the Río Oja suffered during the years of French occupation and grievous during the Spanish War of Independence devastation that led to years of impoverishment of the population. Only in the spring of 1813 the French were driven out of Ezcaray; they started in June of the same year a counter-attack, but could be repulsed.


  • The church of Santa María la Mayor was built in the 15th century on the foundations of a Romanesque previous building. Your almost windowless walls and an - albeit very decorative configuration - parapet above the decorated with an Annunciation scene Gothic tympanum of the south portal convey the impression of a rudimentary fort building. The squarrose western part with its Renaissance portal could have been added later; However, he reinforced the defensive character of the Church. The two leaves of the south portal are carved coffered and with several figures ( including the Apostles Peter and Paul ) as well as vases and flower motifs. The nave and two aisles with a transept shows stellar vault and a multi-part altarpiece from the 16th century.

South side with a Gothic portal

Arabesques with heads

Interior of the church

  • Under the reign of Ferdinand VI. founded its first minister, the Marqués de la Ensenada, in 1752 in Ezcaray a textile manufactory, which a few years later by Charles III. was honored with the title Compañía Real de San Carlos and Santa Bárbara de la villa de Ezcaray. The original building was made in 1785 by a fire; largely unadorned - - building erected, which stands to this day and is used as a hostel for a few years then a new one was. A second identical customized door houses the town hall ( ayuntamiento ). As building material rubble came mostly used; only the cornerstones and the door and window frames are made of freestone. Both buildings frame a square in the center of the village.
  • The Palacio del Ángel is a representative residential building of a noble lord in the 18th century. In its facade a niche is taken up with a figure of the Archangel Michael; also there is a stone baroque blazon.
  • The same applies to the Palacio de Barroeta.
  • Some traditional half-timbered houses with zurückgestuftem ground floor are also worth seeing.
  • Two stone crosses ( Cruz de San Lorenzo and Cruz de San Lázaro ) enrich the townscape.
  • The Ermita de la Virgen de Allende dates from the 17th century and shows a rich interior with several altarpieces and decorative ceiling paintings.
  • The Ermita de Santa Bárbara stands above the village on a hill. The bell gable above the rectangular apse is likely to be a later addition.

Cruz de San Lorenzo, with representation of St.. Lawrence

Ermita de la Virgen de Allende

Ermita de Santa Bárbara