Villabuena de Álava: Historical notes
The old town of Villaeskuerna, the original name of Villabuena de Alava, was one of the towns that Laguardia obtained when the King of Navarra Sancho VI “el sabio” founded it in 1164 for the guard and defense of Navarra, harassed by muslims and Castilians.Its construction started with a castle in the north of the hill that dominated the whole region of the Rioja Alavesa, as we know it now.
During the middle ages, as a consequence of the fights between the people from navarra and the Castilians, Laguardia changed of lord and master several times. It was not until 1461, when the king Enrique VI of Castilla, snatched finally the town of Laguardia and all its legacy, including Villaescuerna, from Navarra .It was then when the village and surroundings took part in what they called Hermandad de Alava, by an order of The Catholic Queen and King “Reyes Católicos”. Later on , on the 4th June 1661, another king, Felipe VI gave to the village the priviledge of being a town, which alowed it to become independent from Laguardia. And it was in 1688 when the town changed its name to Vilabuena de Alava.
As it doesn´t exist a traditional name for the village in the Basque language, it was proposed to use the name of Urona, that is the literal translation. But in 1996, Eskuernaga was adopted as the bilingual oficial denomination. A tribute to the original name that the village had at its beginnings.