The history of Tudela has a lot to do with the fact that the city has always been very well located, in that plain that leads to many places, and that everyone wanted for themselves in the old days.
Although it is true that Roman remains have been found here, apparently, they do not clearly indicate that there was a city here at that time. So we will stick with the Muslims, who founded it back in the ninth century.
The Banu Qasi were based here, a wealthy and powerful Muslim family who came to make such good friends with the Christian Kings and ended up fighting with their until then friend, the Emir of Cordoba to see who was keeping Tudela. So they fought. And they fought so much that in the end, the Christians arrived, in the twelve century, and took over the place.
There is little left today from that Arab period; there is the Church of the Magdalena, built over the one used by the Christians of the Muslim Tudela, and there is the Old Bridge, which was probably Arabic initially. Little else has survived the thriving population of those times in which churches, mosques and synagogues coexisted, and which gave characters like Benjamin de Tudela, a kind of Marco Polo from Navarra, or the doctor and philosopher Yehuda Halevi. Both Jews, and whose memory remains today in the Judería Square.
So most of what you can see today was built after the Reconquest and it’s preserved well enough to make this city a place flooded with art and history that is a must see.
The construction of the Santa Maria Cathedral began at the end of the twelve century, and as it used to happen with Cathedrals: it was known when they would start to build it but not when they would be finished. So in that long process, significant changes were made when Baroque times came. And to see more Baroque art, you can visit San Jorge el Real, a temple of the seventeenth century that belonged to the Jesuits.
Tudela wasn’t short either of noble houses, built by those who wanted, and could, exhibit their power in an enclave of such importance in those years. This was the case with this two marquises: Huarte and San Adrian, whom at different eras ordered to build a palace each and to which you should take a look during your walk through this city.
Be sure to visit the Fueros Square, which is the most important of the town and which in the old times, like many other squares, was the bullring. So look carefully at its walls because you might find in them some memories of it.