The Pension Posada Ignatius is housed in the Palace of The Duke of Najera on the Plaza del Arco (Arch Square) which was the western entrance to the old walled town. The arch was also the location of the Royal Jail. If you look to the right of the entrance you will see the old town wall which continues into the main entrance. Rumour has it that a treasure was hidden in the Palace and when the builders came across a small hole in the wall their expectations were high but they had no such luck as finding a treasure chest. This said, they did uncover the original floor hidden under concrete and the column next to what was believed to be the guard’s quarters.
The castle was on the hill directly in front of the door of the Posada and acted as a line of defence against warring kingdoms. However, as peace was consolidated on the peninsula the need for maintaining such fortresses declined and the castle eventually fell into disrepair. By the 18th century the castle was being used as a pottery workshop.
The Duke of Najera was a title given after the creation of the Duchy of Najera in 1465 when Henry IV bestowed the castle of Najera to the charge of Pedro Manrique De Lara. The Catholic Kings, enshrined this the title in 1482.
The Manrique De Lara dynasty supported Isabel I and later continued their support of her grandson Charles I. When the city of Najera revolted against Charles’ imperial policies the uprising was put down by the then Duke of Najera, Antonio Manrique De Lara. At the dukes side was non other than Iñigo de Recalde, better known as Saint Ignatius de Loyola.
Ignacio fought and served as a knight under the banner of the Duke of Najera from 1517 till his injury at the Battle of Pamplona. Upon his recovery and his reconversion he made his journey from his hometown to Monserrat calling at his old home in Navarrete.