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Palacio Real de Olite, Navarre, Spain

The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite or Royal Palace or Castle of Olite is a courtly and military character building built during the 13th and 14th centuries in the town of Olite. It was one of the seat of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III “the Noble”.

It was Charles III of Navarre who in the 15th century began the extension of the former castle, leading to the Palace of the Kings of Navarre. Although almost everyone calls it “castle”, is right to refer to it as “palace”, as it is a building of courtly character, where the residential aspects prevailed over the military (defense).

One of its main attractions is the apparent disorder of its design. This is because its construction never faced such a project “set”, having the final result to the ongoing expansion work and reforms that followed for centuries, although most of the works were made between the late 14th century and early 15th century. The then King of Navarre, Charles III “The Noble”, decided to convert the existing palace in permanent royal seat and give it every the own ornament.

The set consists of its rooms, gardens and moats, surrounded by high walls and topped by numerous towers, give a spectacular and magical figure. In its time, came to be regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. It can clearly differentiate two areas: the Old Palace, become in Parador Nacional de Turismo, and the New Palace. After the invasion of Navarre in 1512 by the Crown of Castile andAragon unified, began the deterioration of the palace, as it was only used by the viceroys as residence sporadic. The state of abandonment in which was immersed in the palace it was progressively deteriorating. This process culminated with the fire directed by the guerriller Espoz y Mina during the Peninsular War (1813), fearing that on it was fortified the French troops of Napoleon.

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