The castle’s history is one of defaulting on a loan. It was collateral on money borrowed by a noble from the King of Navarra, Sancho VII el Fuerte in 1223, which was never repaid.
In 1516 the castle was badly damaged in an assault by Castilian troops, seeking revenge because Xavier’s brothers bore arms against the King. It is at the moment of the telling of this tale, at the beginning of the story, that we see the castle and its ‘beautiful tower’, as described by an interviewee.
Today the castle is well-preserved thanks to work by the owners in the 19th century, and at the beginning of the 20th, it was given to the Jesuits.
Today it is part of a spiritual retreat run by the order; a place that has lots of visitors with souvenir selling and tourist information in abundance and two large hotels on site.
There are guided tours of the castle, whether you like it or not.