Things to See When in Logrono, Spain
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Spain is a country that has a vibrant culture, picturesque shops, beautiful streets, colorful fiestas, and lush nature. It has been a veteran in the international tourism industry, with the first recorded tourist influx occurring since as early as the 1960s to the 1970s. In 2015, the country tanked first out of 141 countries in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index Rating of the World Economic Forum.
I’ve visited Spain before, and if there’s anything that I’ve noticed in my previous trips, it is that one place is never the same as the next. Spain is a country that has cities riddled with both the past and the modern, and it’s a jewel for travelers like me. I can visit and revisit Spain and never get enough of it. When I was invited to an almost two-week long trip to Spain, I knew I was in for a fun one, and my empty memory card was bound to be filled within hours.
After visiting Barcelona, one of the places in our itinerary, we proceeded to the old city of Logroño. We took our detour to Logroño via a fast train. To be honest, I never heard of Logroño before I received our itinerary for our 13-day tour in Spain. I did not even bother researching about the city before we left Barcelona. But I did this because I wanted to be surprised—after all, Spain never fails to surprise me. I soon learned that Logroño is the capital city of the province of La Rioja, which is known for producing some of the best wine in the country, and that was a bonus!
The railway network in Spain is very efficient. We got to the old city of Logroño in no time at all. This is also how, within just a day, we were able to visit a dozen and a half places in the city. And below are the places we went to during our trip to Logroño, Spain:
Catedral de Santa Maria de la Redonda
This beige-colored cathedral is believed to be constructed during the 16th century. It was declared a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest in 1931 due to its historical significance. Its twin towers pierced the blue sky above. Its façade reminded me a lot of the Spanish churches in the Philippines, which were built in a similar way.
Calle del Laurel
Calle del Laurel just a 200-meter-long street in Logroño, but it’s filled with bars, restaurants, and so many shops. It’s a bit narrow than most streets, but it’s jam-packed with all the flavors of Logroño. There are so many interesting shops in this nook that I don’t think one day is enough to explore it. It’s the kind of place that makes my inner foodie scream in happiness.
The province of La Rioja is an autonomous region, and has an El Parlamento that rules over the region. The headquarters of the Parliament is located in the Convento de la Merced in Logroño. The Convento de la Merced is a building that dates back to the 16th century, and has served the city for various purposes in the past. Currently, the building is divided into three—the seat of the Parliament (El Parlamento), an exhibition hall, and the city library.
Fabrica de Tabacos
The old-fashioned city of Logroño also houses the Fabrica de Tabacos, a local tobacco plant that has been around for more than a century already. The factory has been producing tobacco since 1890, and has seen much of the city’s history. In 1903, majority of the factory’s workers were women, with a female and male employee ratio of 16:1. Notable visitors of this factory is King Alfonso XIII. It is currently the only local producer of tobacco in the region.
La Reja Dorada
A restaurant with a very laid-back atmosphere and excellent local cuisines—this is what La Reja Dorada is. It is housed by a quaint building with only a mere “Bodegas La Reja Dorada” sign in front indicating that there is a restaurant inside of it, which is why those without an observant eye might miss it. Like most buildings in Logroño, this one is mostly beige and easy to miss, but it’s a treasure if you do spot it.
Centro de la Cultura Del Rioja
This museum does not just showcase the province of La Rioja’s wine cellar, it also showcases Logroño’s local history as well. This museum brilliantly shows everything one needs to know about wines, the winemaking process, and the like. The interactive displays in this museum are both engaging and informative. Oh, and did I mention there’s some wine tasting as well?
Estatua de Sagasta
This monument was dedicated to the Spanish politician Práxedes Mariano Mateo Sagasta y Escolar. The statue was unveiled to the public on 1891. It was transferred and reconstructed several times in the past due to certain acts of defacements. It was only in the 1970s when it was placed in a peaceful area, and has been there ever since.
Iglesia de San Bartolome
The Church of San Bartolome is one of the oldest churches in Logroño, and has a very unique exterior compared to most of the Spanish churches I have seen so far. It only has one tower instead of the usual two. Before the huge doorway is an arched porch which contains concrete sculptures of Biblical scenes and saints.
Museo de La Rioja
The local museum is definitely not something you should miss when going anywhere. The Museo de La Rioja does not only showcase the highlight of the province’s specialty which is wine. It also exhibits how some things such as topography and streets change, but some, like culture, don’t.
Casa de Las Ciencias
The building where the Casa de Las Ciencas used to be a local slaughterhouse. In the 1970s, the slaughterhouse shut down, and it was rehabilitated two decades after to the place that it is today. This museum focuses more on the sciences. Inside the museum are workshops, a library that requires membership, and a conference room. The name “House of Sciences” is very suitable to this place.
We were in the province in Spain that had some of the best wineries. It was only natural that our itinerary involved some wine tasting—and we had some here, in Bodegas Ontañón. Aside from sampling their wine, we were also allowed to look into their wine cellar, which kept barrels of Logroño’s best.
Iglesia de Santiago el Real
Widely known to be the oldest church in Logroño, the Church of Santiago el Real carries the historical pride of the city. The church has a grandiose, beige exterior that has seen the passing of time in the city. The inside of the church features high-ceiling domes. The basement of the church houses a crypt.
El Cubo de Revellin
The El Cubo de Revellin is a place that showcases the history of Logroño. It is a historical site that is peaceful and well-maintained. Visitors can choose to appreciate the infrastructure from the outside, or go inside underground to see more as well. An informative video, which tells more about the history of the place and the city, plays inside the building.
Church of Santa Maria de Palacio
Logroño has a lot of beautiful churches. The Church of Santa Maria de Palacio is just one of them. It has a bell tower and another one that is pyramid in shape. This church was declared a Spanish Property of Cultural Interest in 1943. Next to the church is a plaza and a fountain where locals frequent.
Parroquia de Santa Maria de Valvanera
Another church we went to was the Parroquia de Santa Maria de Valvanera. It was dedicated to the Patron Saint of La Rioja province, and houses the image of the Virgin of Valnavera. Like all of the churches we visited in our trip, it was also beige-colored, albeit the fact that is has a distinctive exterior as well.
La Cocina de Ramon
We ate in La Cocina de Ramon, and old-fashioned restaurant located in Calle Portales. Their menu offers a wide range of local dishes and wine as well. Seafood and vegan dishes are also available. The restaurant is smaller than most fine dining restaurants, but it has a cozy atmosphere.
This restaurant is a hidden jewel in Calle del Laurel. It’s the perfect stopover for long sightseeing tours. Aside from their exquisite wine selection, like most restaurants in the city possess, Cachetero Comidas has a menu that caters to anyone’s taste—they have ice cream, tapas, pinchos, vegan dishes, and more. The atmosphere is also very warm and inviting.
Puente de Hierro
A beauty from both at a distance and nearby, the Puente de Hierro is one of the four bridges that cross the portion of Rio Ebro (Ebro River) in the province. The river is the largest river in Spain, and watching the bridge above the still waters is truly a sight. The railing of the river lights up come nightfall.
Logroño is a city that is mostly beige, historical, and old-fashioned. The way of life not too busy and people value their culture very much. It’s just one city in La Rioja, but it captures so much of the local lifestyle. There are museums, historical sites, churches, restaurants, and local factories. Each calle has a specialty, and each has a story to tell.
In overall, Logroño should be the first place one should consider for picturesque walking tours in Spain. Not all local destinations are English-speaking, but hey, what better way to immerse yourself than to learn that place’s language as well?
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This Spain Street Photography and Food Tour was made possible by Spain Tourism Board, Turkish Airlines, Madrid Tourism, Visit Barcelona, La Rioja Tourism, Donostia San Sebastian Tourism and Convention Bureau and Turismo Bilbao.