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Castle of Xavier

Javier, Navarra

Audioguide of the Castle of Xavier

What to see in the Castle of Xavier

A good medieval fortress is always pretty impressive, with its loopholes, arrow slits and its keep, but there are few left with the characteristics of the Castle of Xavier. And the truth is that we were very close to losing it because back in the nineteenth century it was in a pretty sad state. The owners at the time started a meticulous reconstruction of what had been the old bulwark, whose origins date back to the tenth century.

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A good medieval fortress is always pretty impressive, with its loopholes, arrow slits and its keep, but there are few left with the characteristics of the Castle of Xavier. And the truth is that we were very close to losing it because back in the nineteenth century it was in a pretty sad state. The owners at the time started a meticulous reconstruction of what had been the old bulwark, whose origins date back to the tenth century.

It seems that it all started with an Arab watchtower that, once the territory was reconquered, the Christians decided to expand. It became little by little a grand castle until 1516, when some guys arrived to destroy a good part of it. They were sent by Cardinal Cisneros, and the reason was the support of Javier’s people to the King of Navarre who had lost his brawl with the one of Castile.

Around that time, a boy who had been born in this castle turned ten years old. His name was Francis Xavier, and a few years later he was sent to Paris where he would meet Ignatius of Loyola and join the Society of Jesus, which he had founded after receiving a shot while being a soldier. Seeing the dangers of the war, Ignatius chose to give a more peaceful and spiritual direction to his life.

As you know at that time, they only gave you two options if you were born in a castle like this: to wield a sword to go into battle or to take a crucifix and dedicate yourself to ecclesiastical matters. Francisco made it further; so far that he ended up in every corner of the world trying to save souls until he died, in his forties, in China, very far away from the family castle. The legend tells that at the time of his death, blood gushed from one of the Christs of the castle.

This fortress had the advantage of being made of stone, and thus it could get through the centuries and reach us. With a few mayor reconstructions, yes, but thanks to them we can now go around this impressive place and see things like the series of mural paintings that it keeps inside. Do pay attention to the representations of macabre dances with which the man of the Middle Ages reacted, or faced, to the imminence of death when an epidemic of plague was devouring everything in its way.


Castle of Xavier

Calle el Santo, s/n
31411 Javier
(+34) 948 88 40 24

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