A renaissance palace with a unique history.

The Palace of the Constables of Castille rises in the heart of the old quarter as an emblem of the town due to its great historical importance. Its construction was begun around 1500, initially as a fortified house for the Constables of Castille, the Fernández de Velasco family, by order of Bernardino Fernández de Velasco, because of his disagreements with the Duke of Nájera. However, in 1502, work was halted due to the disagreement of the Catholic Monarchs with the construction of a new fortress. Work did not restart until 1504, when Bernardino received authorisation to build, not a fortified house, but a palace-type building in which there would be no fortified elements, such as barriers or sentry boxes.

  • ADDRESS: Av. de la Paz, 26230 Casalarreina, La Rioja – How to get »

  • TELEPHONE: 941 324 004

Throughout its history, the Palace has played host to different illustrious characters due to the importance of the Velasco family in the era. One local legend recounts that in around 1511, the Palace of the Constables of Castille played host to the queen Juana I of Castille [Joanne the Mad], which appears to have led to the municipality’s change of name from “Naharruri”, as it was called at the time, to “Casalarreina” [loosely translated as “House of the Queen”]. Leaving legends aside, the Palace was the place where Pope Adrian VI stayed during his visit to the town in 1522 to officially open and bless the Monastery of Santa María de la Piedad.

Today, it is one of the most representative examples of the Renaissance in Casalarreina. However, an intervention is required to improve its state of conservation and revitalise it. Since 2008, when it was partially demolished during some restoration works, the Town Council has tried to promote the rehabilitation of the Palace. However, as the building is private property, these works have become more complicated over the years, leading to a semi-ruined monument, albeit one in which you can still appreciate the majesty of its four floors, a trace of its important past during the history of Casalarreina.

Did you know?

  • It was initially designed as a fortified house or fortress for the Constables of Castille, the Velasco family.
  • The Catholic Monarchs stopped the work and forced them to build a palace-house.
  • For years, it was rumoured that Joanne the Mad stayed in the Palace at the beginning of the 16th century. This rumour passed from generation to generation.