Haro is a locality and municipality in the Autonomous Community (region) of La Rioja, the seat of its homonymous district and the most populous town in what is known as the “Upper Rioja” area.
Its economic activity mainly centres on viticulture and winemaking, with its wineries constituting one of its main tourist attractions, along with important architectural and urban heritage sites.
Palacio de Bendaña
El Palacio de Bendaña has formed part of the city’s old wall ever since the 15th century. It was a royal refuge during times of war, and a haven for champions of reason during times of peace. The Tourism Office is located on its ground floor.
Palacio de los Condes de Haro
El Palacio de los Condes de Haro (Palace of the Counts of Haro), fusing Renaissance and Baroque styles, was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and stands out for its facade, featuring dual Salomonic columns and a broken pediment, graced with different motifs, and Baroque crests and medallions.
Ex convento de San Agustín
The former Convento de San Agustín was founded in 1373 and remained under the Order of St. Augustine until 1834. In 1803 the building was converted into an almshouse. It later functioned as a hospital, school, jail, bus station and, since 1989, the 4-star Hotel Los Agustinos.
Teatro Bretón de los Herreros
El Bretón de los Herreros (theatre) is the result of a church refurbishment, the Iglesia del Convento de San Agustín. It opened its doors in 1842, and was revamped in 1861. It currently runs multiple cultural offerings: cinema, theatre festivals, exhibition halls… and every year hosts a famous national theatre competition: the “Garnacha de Rioja.”
Museo “El Torreón”
Its building, El Museo El Torreón (The Tower Museum), is the only remaining remnant of the walls that, beginning in the 12th century, protected the city of Haro. It forms a Gothic-Plateresque element, with a 14th-century Gothic tower and a Plateresque palace facade from the 16th century.
El Ayuntamiento (City Hall) was built in the 18th century of ashlar stone. It is located in the Plaza de la Paz. (Peace Square.) At the top of the front wall is the city’s crest, in the Baroque style and with an inscription: “CARLOS III RULING / YEAR MDCCLXIX” (1769). In October of 1857 a clock was mounted at the top of the main facade.
Ermita de San Felices
La Ermita (chapel) de San Felices, located in los Riscos de Bilibio, 6 km from Haro, was built in 1694, in honour of San Felices, the city’s patron saint. The building that we see today dates from 1710, rebuilt in 1862 and 1942. It is the site of Haro’s famous Wine Battle.
Parroquia de Santo Tomás
La Parroquia de Santo Tomás (parish) was built in honour of Saint Thomas. Of note is its great exterior tower and main facade, in the Plateresque style, featuring images of Calvary. It was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1931.
Basilia de Nuestra Señora de la Vega
La Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Vega (Our Lady of the Valley) dates from approximately the 10th century. The Baroque building contains an altarpiece in the same style, constructed in 1740. In the centre is an image of the Virgin Mary and, at her side, her parents, St Joachim and St Anne.
Museo Virgen de la Vega
El Museo Virgen de la Vega is a museum located in the basement of the building (17th century), appended to the Basilica and known as the “house of the eremites.” It was inaugurated in May 2002, commemorating the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood.
Barrio de la Estación
The quarter known as the Barrio de la Estación began to take shape in the second half of the 19th century as a result of the supplanting of horses as a traditional means to transport wine by the innovative railway and its “iron roads.” This, combined with the fact that many French wine growers came to La Rioja to buy wines when their vineyards were wiped out by odium (1863) and the Great French Wine Blight (1867), meant that they set up their export centres near the provisional railway station.
The neighbourhood dates back over 150 years, with wines having been produced there starting in the mid-19th century. It boasts the greatest number of wineries with a century or more of history in the world.
Vineyards. Haro’s countryside is a perfect area for all those who wish to get started in the wine world, for those in search of outdoor activity experiences, and to satisfy the most demanding visitors’ desire for wine-related knowledge.