Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia is one of the most important Romanesque churches in the region. References during the late Middle Ages describe it as the most important spiritual centre in Álava. The current building is twelfth century Romanesque and has a Latin cross plan, a transept and a semicircular apse.
Originally dedicated to Saint Andrew and built on the remains of an 8th-century church, it was refurbished in 1776, destroying part of its original structure, although it retained its apse and other isolated elements such as its original door. In 1964, it was restored once again and today is considered one of the most important examples of medieval art.
Built with a Latin cross layout, the vaults over the apse and crossing of its two arms are of special interest. The bases of the arches of the second of these vaults contain four sculptures of the evangelists. The capitals of the church are decorated with plant and animal motifs, as well as battle scenes between horsemen and centaurs. Its atrium contains the remains of the original doorway. After being dismantled, stones from the doorway were embedded in the walls in a disorderly fashion: the tympanum of the Lamb and that of Christ with the Apostles and the bas-reliefs of the Harrowing of Hell and the Sepulchre of Jesus, which represents one of the best Romanesque sculptural groups in the Basque Country.
The Basilica contains the image of San Prudencio (Saint Prudence), Bishop of Tarazona and Justice of the Peace in Osma, born in Armentia and Patron Saint of Álava from 1644. On April 28 each year, celebrations are held in his honour in the form of a procession and open-air festival, held on the meadows that surround the church.
St. James's Way crosses the city and exits Vitoria through the district of Armentia. Consequently, this basilica was directly on the pilgrims' route.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.