7 Best Things to Do in Calahorra, Spain (2021 Guide)

Calahorra, the second-largest city in northern Spain, possesses the beauty of ancient luster.

The city’s most prominent structure is the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria, located just outside of the city. At a walking distance lies the San José monastery and other religious sites worthy of your exploration.

Besides, you can’t miss Tierra Rapaz for an educational trip or visit the Museo de la Verdura and Museo de la Romanización for some large collection of Romanic art.

Needless to say, if you’re a fan of the charms of an old city, Calahorra needs a spot on your Spain travel bucket list!

7. Church of San Andrés

Church of San Andrés Calahorra
Church of San Andrés

Located around the city wall of Calahorra in the La Rioja region, the Church of San Andrés is a building built with large square-cut stones. It was erected between 16th and 20th centuries in the Mediavilla neighborhood. The building has a tower at the southern end.

Inside the church, you will get to see the altarpiece of the Holy Christ, the Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, the Great altarpiece, and La Dolorosa. The sacristy of the church houses a 17th-century silver chalice. This church also consists of two major chapels and a choir. 

6. Iglesia de Santiago

Iglesia de Santiago
Iglesia de Santiago

Presiding over Plaza del Raso, the Church of Santiago is an important structure representing La Rioja’s Neoclassical style of architecture. It was erected in the 16th century to replace the one that was located next to the wall, called Santiago El Viejo. The structure is a perfect blend of baroque and neoclassicism with a cylindrical tower that rises above the center of the façade, covered with a dome and lantern.

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At the church, you get to witness the majestic Baroque church interior, very sober, with three naves of the same height and a Latin cross plan. 

5. Monasterio de San José

Monasterio de San José
Monasterio de San José

Located in the outskirts of the city and within walking distance from the Calahorra Cathedral is the Monasterio de San José. This monastery was established in 1598 by the barefoot nuns of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The church has a purely Carmelite façade with a Latin cross floor plan. At the doorway of the church is the stone image of San José with the infant. You will see a group of sculptures, a bunch of paintings, carvings of Jesus, and two altarpieces inside the monastery. 

4. Museo de la Verdura

The Museo de la Verdura is a vegetable exhibition center located in the old parts of the city and a few minutes away from the Santa Maria Cathedral. The building that houses this museum was built in the 16th century and remodeled in 2002 by the Government of La Rioja.

What makes this museum unique is its exhibitions of the agricultural produces and tools of Calahorra. As “the City of Vegetables,” Calahorra’s Museo de la Verdura is the only museum in Spain with vegetable exhibitions. It exhibits costumes of the Vegetable Parade, varieties of vegetables, and tools used in the rural area for agriculture. 

3. Tierra Rapaz

Tierra Rapaz
Tierra Rapaz (Sturnus1/Wikimedia)

Tierra Rapaz is a park for animals of prey located about 5 kilometers south of the Calahorra Cathedral. The thematic park is dedicated to environmental education with an aim to make the study and science of these birds an exciting experience with fun activities.

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The park is a product of the Tierra Rapaz Foundation, founded on November 28, 2018, which strives to conserve and protect fauna. The park offers guided tours which give you a chance to directly contact birds of day and night. You get to understand their behavior and know how to conserve these birds. 

2. Museo de la Romanización

The Museum of Romanization
The Museum of Romanization (Manuel Ramirez Sanchez/Wikimedia)

The Museum of Romanization is a modernist museum located in the center of the old city of Calahorra. The building where the museum stands today was built in the 1930s. In 2009 it was refurbished and inaugurated as El Museo de la Romanización (Museum of Romanization).

Today, the museum is enriched with materials recovered in excavations done in the province. It has a large collection of ceramics, sculptures, numismatics, and architectural materials. There is also a garden that exhibits large materials that cannot be stored in the building. The collections at the museum give you an experience of the process of the Romanization of La Rioja. 

1. Cathedral of Santa Maria

 Cathedral of Santa Maria
Cathedral of Santa Maria (Ecelan/Wikimedia)

The Cathedral of Santa Maria is a gothic architecture capable of stealing your attention at first glance. Located just outside the city, tourists often recognize this cathedral as the Calahorra Cathedral. It was originally a baptistery but later reconstructed in the 14th century into what it looks like today.

This marvelous site boasts of several chapels and altarpieces, with the interiors of the cathedral donning a beautiful Baroque architecture. It also has a Gothic front in the form of a trefoil. At the Cathedral, you will also get to explore the Diocesan Museum, which treasures metal works, paintings, sculptures, and a significant bible from the 12th century.