Parador de Olite : 4th in the series

french-pyrenees

We crossed the French Pyrenees into Spain, planning to head for “Santiago de Compestela” but saw a sign for Parador de Olite,  and, since it was late afternoon, headed for the Parador.

olite-castle-parador

This was the first time we had seen both a parador and castle united in  sharing  buildings! Driving around the complex, we came to a lovely garden area and a sign “Parador”.

blue-tipped-castle-in-olite

Most of the rooms  and common areas of this 15th C structure are found in the wing of this majestic Palace/castle. This was the favorite  home of the Kings of Navarra in the 11th through 15th C, and still retains the seat of power. The church was straight ahead behind the three blue towers on the right. Because of the various sundry wars was mostly dismantled. The floor part was left and you could walk around the front, which is almost dead-ahead and overlook the city.

parador-de-olite-sitting-area

The living room area was part of an interior courtyard…with a glass ceiling  that could be opened or closed.  The adjacent  dining/breakfast area was also glass ceilinged but with the music of tinkling fountains and beautifully potted plants.

On the other side of the living room was a curved stone stair way that led to a small music filled bar….where we happily partook of the wine!

inside-the-parador-the-bar

olite-ayuntamiento

 

This main street was added to the castle complex and grew as it did.  The various kings, families, retainers and  armies  expanded and so did the city. Agriculture production expanded particularly with fruits and vegetables  and naturally, wine making.  This street is lined with apartments, small houses, restaurants, shops, one other hotel…where we ate dinner one night…and a Church.

our-room-in-the-paradow

Our rather austere but lovely bedroom.  The large arched balcony had moveable glass windows, which we appreciated when it started to rain…and after when the bugs started flying. We had an excellent distant view over the fields to the Pyrenees Mountains. The other direction revealed  cracked and crumbled stone walls from one of their battles…a great view even though it was from our bathroom window.

parador-olittle

A beautiful sight as we drove away down the main street and off to a nearby winery.

santiago-de-compostela-cathedral-in-spain_splendid-architecture_2354

We had hoped to walk a part of the Pilgrimage…..but it’s hot and it’s long…another time.

 

This is a picture of the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) is the medieval pilgrimage route across Spain.

It is a new huge network of varying routes across Europe that end in Santiago, where the bones of Saint James (Spain’s Patron Saint) lie. More information is to be had on this computer! (originally it started with one’s getting awards in Heaven for the journey… I’m not so sure now.)

 

About carolinebotwin

Caroline Botwin and her husband Mike are retired educators who have always had a yen for travelling: he with a PH.D and teaching Architectural Engineering plus California wine education, and she having taught high school English, speech and drama. Both wanted to learn first hand about other cultures. While Mike predominately studied buildings and structures and met with winemakers, Caroline hunted for ancient sites and peoples. And kept journals of all their travels. Kevin Klimczak, extraordinaire, is the website designer and editor of the blogs.
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