The walled enclosure of Rada is located between Caparroso and Mélida and located on an isolated hill at a height of 431 meters. It played a strategic role in the defensive system of the Kingdom of Navarre in medieval times.
Since the end of the 11th century, its existence as a defensive watchtower against the Muslim threat has already been documented. By the middle of the twelfth century, the potential attacker was no longer Islam, but Aragon in the eastern part and Castile in the west.
Rada was then consolidating itself as a population center within the walled enclosure, with a peculiarity: it was a secular manor. That is to say, the supreme authority was exercised by a lord, of the Rada lineage, first, and of the Mauleón, later.
Although there were numerous dwellings around the hill, a small community was formed within the fortress itself: more than seventy dwellings, a church erected at the end of the 11th century, and a necropolis.
The hermitage of San Nicolás, together with the remains of the start of the cylindrical tower and the second door of the enclosure, constitutes the visual reference element of the enclave. Its origin is proof of the development of the site: since the initial defensive settlement ended up hosting a stable population, it was necessary to incorporate a place of worship.
The current hermitage does not follow the Romanesque temple prototypes of the time, as it has a single nave topped by a cylindrical apse. The ashlars that make up the temple are made of sandstone, of good workmanship and with abundant stonemason marks. Its crismones stand out, topped by the Greek letters alpha and omega, traditional symbols of Christ as the beginning and the end.
⭐ The walled city of Rada is one of the points of interest within the main hiking and cycling routes.
Le gisement fait actuellement l'objet de travaux pour améliorer l'accès à la route d'accès (prévision d'achèvement : september 2023)
✔️Free parking for cars and bicycles
✔️Rest areas – picnic area
The site is currently undergoing works to improve access (expected completion september 2023)