Located inland in the province of Basse-Navarre not far from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, come and discover the charming village of Irissarry. It hosts an impressive building that you can easily see from afar: the Commanderie Ospitalea. It is currently a Departmental Heritage Education Center which contains a rich heritage of culture and history. It is listed as a Historic Monument.
Come with family or friends to discover this site steeped in history which offers a free visit to its exhibition as well as fun and educational activities for children but also new conferences!
Originally, this building was a commandery built at the beginning of the 17th century by the Order of Hospitallers to directly take over from a first medieval commandery which existed from the 12th century century in exactly the same location.
The denomination "Ospitalea" attributed to the commandery is directly linked to the name of the order which founded it which, at its origin in the Middle Ages, was called the Order of the Knights-Hospitaliers of Saint-Jean- of-Jerusalem. In the 17th century, the order of the Hospitallers became the Order of Malta since it was on this island where, after Cyprus and Rhodes, its headquarters were established.
In 2002, this historic place became a Departmental Heritage Education Center on the initiative of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Department.
The CEP Ospitalea offers you a discovery of its cultural and historical heritage in the form of visits, conferences and activities for children, families and adults. Any type of public is therefore welcome.
You can admire the temporary exhibitions present throughout the year on the 2nd floor of the building. Guided tours are possible on request and a treasure hunt is available at reception!
The center also organizes heritage stays for the youngest: all year round it welcomes schoolchildren and young people on educational and edutainment stays to help them learn about the different aspects of local heritage and thus pass on to the new generation the history and culture of their country.
- Reception times and opening days:
Open from March to November: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Winter closure: December, January and February.
In summer, themed heritage tours.
Scheduled events linked to temporary exhibitions. Groups by appointment all year round. Free visit to the Commandery and the temporary exhibition.
All readers will also be able to take advantage of the media library. It is open: Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.