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Brief Historical Background

Image of Neolithic remains Neolithic remains

Neolithic: There are few remnants dating back to this and earlier periods in Labastida. There are some remains of animals, as well as burins and stone chippings that indicate the passage of a nomadic community through our area.
Roman Era: Several historians have affirmed the fact that a Roman road that began in Briviesca and headed towards Pamplona ran through the jurisdiction of Labastida. Visigothic and Arabic Era: No bona-fide data attest to settlements or people living in these areas, although there is evidence of battles, sometimes between Christians and other times against the Moors.

Necropolises dating back to the Early Middle Ages, known more commonly as tombs, can be found throughout the municipality of Labastida. They belong to the Miocene and were built atop high cliffs and close to waterways. In any event, there are at least four sites where these types of necropolises are known to exist today, with it being highly likely that there were more in other places as well. These four necropolises are located within the municipal limits of Santa Eulalia, San Martín de los Monjes, close to Fonsagrada and in San Giné s "El Viejo".

Early Middle Ages

Image of Ermita del Torrentejo (Santa Lucía) Ermita del Torrentejo
(Santa Lucía)

In the Early Middle Ages, Labastida was an important garrison, and there are remnants of the ancient fortress located atop the hill named Tolonio, known today as Toloño.
The settlement of Labastida as a population centre was a direct result of the castle at Toloño.
According to Julio Caro Baroja, the town of Labastida was granted its charter between the 12th and 14th centuries by Navarre monarchs.



Late Middle Ages

Photo of the Chapel of Santo Cristo from the Late Middle Ages Chapel of Santo Cristo

Labastida continued to be under the tutelage of Navarre monarchs until the 13th century. Sancho "the Wise" founded the temple-fortress today known as the Hermitage of Santo Cristo. As a result of the Castilian invasions into Navarre and Álava led by Alfonso VIII (circa 1200), Labastida fell under the rule of Castile. Fernando III granted the town the special code of laws and privileges known as the "Fuero de la Bastida" in 1242. In 1379 Enrique II of Castile donated the town of Labastida to Diego Gómez Sarmiento, and after centuries of royal rule it fell under seigniorial dominion


The Modern Epoch

Photo of buildings from the modern age Buildings from the modern age

At the beginning of the Modern Epoch, Labastida was invested into the lands of Álava (between 1463 and 1502), and the town came under the rule of the dukedom of Hijar. Labastida went on to form a part of the territorial subdivisions known as Cuadrillas, which were constituted by various Brotherhoods. The town was part of different Cuadrillas until finally forming a part of the fourth Cuadrilla in 1567.



The Town's Golden Age (17th-18th centuries)

Photo of the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption Parochial church

Labastida would enjoy the most glorious years of its history during the 17th century. The parochial church of Our Lady of the Assumption was inaugurated in 1602, and in 1606 the relics of the Martyred Saints of Cardena were transferred to the town.
This is an epoch in which the town experienced economic growth, with the improvement of access routes, the paving of roads and squares with stones, the building of fountains, the construction of the clock tower, the repair of arches, the building of a new mill, the creation of a marketplace in the square, which reflects Spanish society of the day: classist and presumptuous.

In the 18th century after the "War of Succession" and the institution of the Borbón royal family in Spain, Labastida continued to enjoy its age of splendour, and this can be seen in its public works and embellishments: the new sacristy and town hall building are built, the square, jail and Larrazuría arch are repaired. The end of the century marks the start of the town's decline, influenced by Spanish society's struggle against the French Revolution.

Contemporary Period

General view of the town Town

In the 19th century Labastida would undergo a progressive and deep-rooted period of decline, brought about by France's hegemony in Europe, England's dominion of the seas and the War of Independence.
The town's coffers were depleted and the financial situation was further worsened by the fall in the price of wine and the cost of billeting the French troops stationed in Labastida during the War of Independence. The town was forced to sell much of its patrimony, bringing about the Disentailment of 1816.

In the first Carlist war (1833-1840), Labastida would take sides with the Carlists due to the power of the peasantry. This would have disastrous consequences for the town at the end of the war, exacerbated by an outbreak of plague and the pillage of the town by the liberals.

1855 marked the Disentailment of Madoz, gravely affecting the organisation of the Church.
1870 the third Carlist war erupted, which was followed by an outbreak of phylloxera, a grape vine louse that spoiled harvests and forced the populace to emigrate. At the end of the century, the economy took an alarming plunge, and Labastida was reduced to a state of squalor and near-total abandonment.

The 20th century began in much the same way as the 19th century ended, with the town's vineyards ravaged by phylloxera. Part of the croplands were planted with grains and the town's youth fled to the industrial cities, decreasing the population. In the Spanish Civil War, Labastida sided with the Falangists, and it was occupied by Italian troops allied with Franco. The rebirth of Labastida was ushered in by an upsurge of the tourist trade, which led to the development of the service sector. With it came the decline of cattle rearing and the advent of modern agricultural machinery. In recent decades, the winemaking sector has significantly grown in economic importance.

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