es | eu | fr | en

Sculptures and monuments

Roncal, Pamplona and Madrid are the main places where the figure of Julián Gayarre is permanently honoured with some type of monument or sculpture. Without any doubt at all, Mariano Benlliure and Fructuoso Orduna (the disciple of the first and a Roncal native like Gayarre) were the sculptors of tenor Julián Gayarre. Mariano Benlliure is the author of the mausoleum covering the Gayarres remains -a specific area has been created for him at this website- as well as the author of a bust held at the National Theatre Museum in Almagro. Besides taking over the mausoleum maintenance work from Mariano Benlliure, Fructuoso Orduna left a reflection of his admiration for the man born in his same village in the streets of Madrid, Pamplona and Roncal. Navarran sculptor Antonio Loperena also carved a bust for a café in Tudela named after Gayarre.


The National Theatre Museum in Almagro (Ciudad Real) conserves a bust of Gayarre, the work of Valencian sculptor Mariano Benlliure. This bust from the Royal Theatre is exhibited along with other objects related to Gayarre including the tenors funeral mask in a display case under Anselmis heart. The final photograph taken by Gayarre as well as a plaster model of the mausoleum in Roncal, also made by Benlliure, can also be seen along with the bust. Another model shows the inside of the Royal Theatre where you can see Julián Gayarre on stage interpreting The Pearl Fishers. There are a few copies of this Gayarre bust such as the one exhibited at the Historic House Museum in Roncal.

MADRID – Monument

A bronze sheet relief made in 1923 by Roncal-born sculptor Fructuoso Orduna. This sculpted relief had been stored for unknown reasons until the author wrote a letter in 1953 in the newspaper ABC telling how this stone had been created - just as occurs with the one on the facade at Gayarres birth home in Roncal - to be placed on the facade of the home where the Roncal-born tenor had died, no. 6 Plaza de Oriente in Madrid and how it could not be installed because of the building owners refusal. In his letter, Fructuoso Orduna requested collaboration from the City Council of Madrid which finally installed it at the front of the house on a stone base.

PAMPLONA – Monument

Located in Taconera park. The sculpture part is the work of Roncal-born sculptor Fructuoso Orduna. Its made of white marble. The monument design is the work of architect Víctor Eusa who used Almorqui stone for its construction. The monument is 10 metres in diameter and 11 metres tall.

It was inaugurated on 5 July 1950 in the presence of the Vice-President of the Foral Government of Navarre, the Mayor of Pamplona and the mayors of the valleys of Roncal and Aezkoa, among other important figures. Participating in the events were dance groups from the City of Pamplona, the Valley of Salazar, Muthiko Alaiak and Baile de la Era de Estella and dancers from Ochagavía as well as a small group of Roncal natives dressed in traditional valley clothing, the Pamplona Choir and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra.

The inauguration ceremony began on 3 July in Gayarre Theatre with an opera cycle (3rd, 4th and 5th) with performances of Puccinis Madame Butterfly, La Bohème and Tosca.

Organised by the cultural association La Ondarra, the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of this monument was commemorated on 1 July 2000. During the days leading up to the event, the City of Pamplona cleaned the monument extremely well and beautified the entire area around it.

On 1 July, the streets of Pamplona were the stage for a lovely parade led by the mayors of the seven Roncal villages with their respective flags, the mayor and city council members of Pamplona, the municipal police dressed in gala uniforms, the Lumbier giant puppet troupe, dancers from Ochagavía and San Lorenzo (Pamplona), municipal bag-pipers and dozens of people dressed in traditional Roncalese clothing including members of the Julián Gayarre Choir and the Pamplona Roncal Centre.

RONCAL – Monument

A bronze bust on a stone pedestal initially located at the Roncal Basque petanque court. The sculpture is the work of Roncal native Fructuoso Orduna Lafuente who had already addressed the village town council from Madrid in December 1916, offering to build a marble column and a bronze bust for free to perpetuate the tenors memory.

The monument was inaugurated on 22 July 1917, in the presence of several provincial deputies, the Secretary of the Foral Government, local authorities, the tenors family and representatives of the Choir. A metal box containing a document recording the first stone-laying ceremony, period coins and a birth certificate for Julián Gayarre was placed under the monument.

In 1952, Fructuoso Orduna replaced the deteriorated stone bust with a similar one made of bronze. This new monument, with a new and stronger base, was inaugurated on 15 August 1953, and is the one known today. In July 2001, a plaque was placed on this monument with the reason, author and date of installation as part of the events organised by the Town Council of Roncal in honour of Fructuoso Orduna.

The 2007 recovery of the original state of the Basque petanque court ordered built by Julián Gayarre forced the transfer of this monument to the current site: the gardens next to the Historic House Museum.

RONCAL – Relief

The Julián Gayarre Historic House Museum building features a headstone sculpture on the facade by Fructuoso Orduna which was placed there by the Tertulia Navarra of Madrid group in homage to Julián Gayarre on 14 July 1924. The headstone was initially to be installed in Madrid on the facade of the home where the tenor lived and died, but the building owners refusal forced a modification of the text and it was finally placed on Gayarres birth home. The headstone was paid for by the people and the laying ceremony was attended by a number of Navarran authorities.

This sculptured relief was exhibited by Orduna at the Modern Art Museum of Madrid in December 1923, at an individual exhibit along with another five of this works of art. The press in Madrid highly complimented this piece.

In 2001, a small plaque was placed on the facade indicating it was the work of Fructuoso Orduna during a ceremony in his honour organised by the Town Council of Roncal.


The work of Navarran sculptor Antonio Loperena. Installed in 1999 in the Gayarre 2 café, it is on the corner of Gayarre Street and Herrerías Street in this Navarran town.