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Hardly mentioned in the guide books, Laguardia might not seem like a destination city for Spain but there are two good reasons to visit and spend a night or two with in its old walls. Laguardia is a gateway for experiencing the Rioja wine region and it is a good example of a walled village that has not change much since the 13th century.

Laguardia's main sights:

Rioja wine tour
The City
A insider's secret shared on Laguardia.
A trek along the El Collado walkway
Outside links:
Laguardia
Recommended Hotel in Laguardia
Larguardia sets high on a out crop
Above photo - The village of Laguardia sets high up on a rocky out crop.
Laguardia street and old gate

This is definitely a village build for Medieval defense. Sitting high on a rock foundation. With in the shadows of the mountains to the northwest, the city retains, intact, its historic walls from the 13th century including its four entrance gates. With in its walls can be found historic building from various time periods. Today, the outer village walls are breached with glass windows, but it is easy to imagine the village as it must have been in the Middle Ages. There are only a few streets with in the old city, so navigating is fairly easy. Still, the village is large enough to provide you with some shopping, and magical eating experiences, not to mention the experience of consuming some of the best wines of Spain.

During the Middle Ages residents dug deep in to the rock below their homes (and sometimes the home of their neighbor) to create places for food storage and refuge during siege. One can even find the remains of wells in the maze of tunnels beneath the village.

So much of the village has been undermine by the tunnels no cars are allowed with in the walls of the village.

When wine production became prominent in the region, the underground passages were found to be ideal for the fermenting of wine. Today, only a few wine Bodegas still function with in the walls of the village. Access to some sections of the underground passages are available by taking a wine tour.

underground passage below Laguardia
Photo above - underground passage, part of a Bodega in Laguardia.

Go to page 2, The City a little more information on its history and the area sights.


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This page last updated February 2008
Information on this page comes from my October 2006 visit to Spain