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945 33 18 18

Plaza de la Paz, 1
01330 Bastida (Araba/Álava)



From Ancient Times

It is known that already in the Neolithic people inhabited what nowadays we call Labastida. This is evidenced by the dolmens and different remains. As far as Labastida is concerned, few remains from this period and earlier have reached us today: only some animal remains, some chisels and flakes that indicate the passage of some nomad community through our area.

Recently in different excavations carried out in Torrontejo (where the hermitage of Labastida is located) over 4000 years old remains of a pre-Iberian settlement have been found. This is attested to by different ceramics, the remains of an ancient palace or the discovered necropolis that can only be visited when excavations are taking place.

During Roman times, it is recognized by several historians that a Roman road ran through the jurisdiction of Labastida that, starting from Briviesca, headed for Pamplona.

From the Visigoth and Arab times, the texts barely tell us about fights between Moors and Christians, although in Salinillas de Buradón we know that there was a settlement that even had a Paleo-Christian church whose remains can be visited today.

Middle Ages


Following the sequence, in Labastida and its surroundings we can visit the High-Medieval Necropolis, more popularly called tombs, belonging to the Miocene and located on high rocks and close to watercourses. In any case, we can say that in no less than four places we know today that this type of necropolis exists, and it is also very possible that there were other places as well. These four necropolises are located in the municipalities of Santa Eulalia, San Martín de los Monjes, near the Fonsagrada and in San Ginés "El Viejo".

The cave presses also belong to that time frame. At that time, different settlements were fortified, as evidenced by the remains of the old fortress located on the mount that was called Tolonio, today Toloño. In the municipality we have what we call the “Castillo” mount and where we intuit that at that time there could have been -in the absence of more accurate studies- a small fortification. It was around the Plaza del Olmo and La Mota where the first settlements were made, possibly forced by the need to defend themselves against the different threats.

Labastida continued under the tutelage of the Navarrese monarchs until the 13th century. Sancho "El Sabio" founded the temple-fortress now known as the hermitage of Santo Cristo. Labastida went from belonging to Navarre to Castile around 1200 as a result of the Castilian invasions under Alfonso VIII through Navarrese and Alava lands. Fernando III granted the Fuero de la Bastida in 1242. In 1379, Henry II of Castile donated the town of Labastida to Diego Gómez Sarmiento, which after being a royal town for centuries became a "lordship". At that time, Labastida hardly had any buildings outside the walls.

We can summarize that the first years of the Bastidar Modern Age will be marked by the unification of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and the entry of Labastida into the lands of Álava at the end of the 15th century. This enables the expansion of the municipality "outside the walls" and its growth in importance as a "market place" due to the "obligation" of passage for many, due to the location of the municipality, "gate of Rioja Alavesa".


Thus, in the 17th century, Labastida will enjoy the most relevant and glorious years of its existence. Its splendor began in 1602 with the inauguration of the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción parish church; In 1606 the relics of the Holy Martyrs of Cárdena were moved to the Villa. It is a time marked by the economic development of the Villa; Accesses are improved, streets and squares are paved, fountains are built, the clock is dressed, arches are repaired, a new mill is built, a market is created in the square... A reflection of the Spanish society of the time: classist and presumptuous .

In the 18th century, after the "War of Succession" and the establishment of the House of Bourbon in Spain, Labastida continued its period of splendor and recreated itself with its works and embellishments: the new sacristy was built, the Town Hall, the square , the prison, the Larrazuría arch… At that time Labastida was the largest wine producer in Rioja, producing 10% of the total production. In this century, the figure of Manuel Quintano resurfaces, the producer of the first "modern wine" or "cult wine" of the State, who deserves a separate review. It is estimated that the population of Labastida at that time was around 8,000 people.


Time of Crisis


At the end of this century and with the arrival of the 19th century, the beginning of the bastidian bad streak starts, influenced by the fight against the French Revolution. The French hegemony in Europe by land, the English maritime domination and the War of Independence end up giving the finishing touch. The Villa's coffers are getting thinner and the financial situation is completely undermining due to the drop in the sale price of wine and the maintenance of the French troops stationed in Labastida during the War of Independence. The Villa is forced to sell much of its assets, it is the confiscation of 1816.

In the first Carlist War (1833-1840) Labastida shows its sympathy for Carlism due to the power of the peasantry, which will bring disastrous consequences for the Villa at the end of the war, to which a plague scourge will be added and a looting of the Villa by the Liberals. In 1855 it suffered the disentailment of Madoz, seriously affecting the ecclesiastical institution. In 1870 it suffered again the third Carlist war and after it a plague in the vineyards known as phylloxera that ruined them and emigration began.

The 20th century began as the 19th ended, the crops destroyed by phylloxera, the vineyard was uprooted and part of their farms dedicated to cereals, the young people went to the industrial cities and the population decreased. In the civil war Labastida opted in favor of Franco, for which it was taken by Italian troops allied with Franco.

To all this we must add another aspect that complicated the wine panorama of many towns in the Rioja Alavesa, since those towns that were far from the railway, do not see the installation of large winery projects and are reduced to the mere role of grape producers for the great wineries.


The awakening of Labastida has come motivated by two main factors: tourism and wine until it found the wonderful town that it is today and that welcomes "holidaymakers" and visitors with great kindness.

Labastida allows us to enjoy an authentic walk through art. When the visitor passes through the Larrazuria arch and directs his gaze straight ahead, he has the impression of being in front of a splendid open-air museum.
We have a great wealth of monuments with emblazoned houses and palaces that form a Historic Center declared a Monumental Complex with the category of Qualified Cultural Asset.

As for wine, the factors causing its rebirth are, on the one hand, the incorporation of a new generation of young, dynamic and well-prepared harvesters. Secondly, the expansion and renovation of the wineries that had been producing the great Labastida aging or reserve wines. And finally, the incorporation of new firms that have decided to bet on the future of Labastida wines with strong investments.


Democratic Memory


Today, 10 December, International Human Rights Day, 11 a.m., we are opening the Ezhoi Plenary, which has been convened.


86 years ago, a failed coup d'état against the legality of the republic gave way to a terrible war that resulted in thousands of casualties. After the war came dictatorship and then decades of oblivion and impunity.

Some lost their lives and all their freedom. Overcoming tragedy cannot be done by concealing the truth. Without that there is no justice or reparation.

To begin with, we must acknowledge the truth that our land was, throughout the conflict, a backward zone, and that hundreds of people were arrested, tortured or killed in isolated places or after a farce of trials, without a minimum of procedural guarantees because of their legitimate political convictions, their involvement in democratic processes, or simply their failure to cooperate in military insurrection.

Today, in 2022, the Labastida City Council intends to take a decisive step, and with this tribute it wishes to make the necessary institutional reparation to the victims of the Civil War in our municipality, and to express our appreciation and affection for them and their families.

These victims, as well as their families, have been silent and ashamed for years, and we need to fix that. Today, Bastida and her City Hall, with their legitimate representatives here, want to receive our most sincere recognition and our homage to those who were in that place before us and took their lives.

For all these reasons, the plenary of the Labastida City Council held an extraordinary session today.

Plaza de la Paz, 1, 01330 Labastida (Araba/Álava)
945 33 18 18
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