The first documents that mention this hermitage are from the year 1366. It has a unique inner beauty of which its mixture of stone and wood is the highlight. The defensive outside part contains a fourteenth century Romanesque entrance and a cross installed during the extension carried out in the fifteenth century.
The Hermitage has a Gothic sculpture of the Madonna. Its rustic construction, a forest of oak attracts the viewer’s gaze to the roof, beams, braces, parapets and struts.. all decorated with geometric motifs, female heads, etc.. characteristic of early medieval decor in the Basque Country.
It is currently part of the Route of the Three Temples alongside the shrines of Loiola and Arantzazu and it is part of the Top Ignatian Land Circuit.
Silent guardian of the valley since ancient times, even today it continues to leave its visitors in wonder due to its unique beauty within. It is considered the Cathedral of the Hermits.
Leaving the town centre towards the ring road, just past the Parish and just before the petrol station, take the road on left which, after about a mile of ascent, leads to the chapel. This is the perfect place to enjoy beautiful views of Legazpi, Zumarraga, Urretxu and Irimo.
There is also a family playground with (beech) trees, tables and stone benches. From here you can take a pleasant walk to Mount Beloki.
It is very interesting to see the festivities of Santa Isabel (2nd July), when the residents of the town and region come up, from early in the morning, on a pilgrimage to this place where they hold a Mass, and the dancers of the town, after a brief procession around the temple, carry out an ancient sword dance in front of the altar, the Ezpata Dantza of Zumarraga. After the mass they repeat the same dance and also dance the Aurresku. Food is organised by associations and families enlivened with txistularis, trikitrilaris, etc. (Basque music groups), and in the afternoon they go back down to the town in a joyous procession.
It was, until 1576, the first parish of Zumarraga, and it is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings in this area.
It is a clear example of Basque Romanesque, of which so few monuments remain today (nevertheless, we have found architectural elements from the Romanesque-Gothic transition period).
The original Romanesque building has no external buttresses, as it is formed by a construction that was originally roofed and covered with wood.
It consists of a single nave, which is divided into three parts by six thick cylindrical pillars. It also has two end trusses on the front walls of the structure, for the chancel and front gable.
The roof is pitched. The choir and side galleries, made up of a wooden floor on small beam footings, uses the traditional arrangement adopted in many churches in the region, especially in the French Basque Country.
Part of its inner woodwork (footing heads, brackets, beams, etc) features carvings that are normally seen on stelae, arks, lintels, etc.. such as wheels and swastikas, which are Celtic in origin and represent the sun and fire.
They are some very interesting reliefs completing several of these huge footings, which contain the human figure represented by female heads and busts, some of them touched with a “sapi”. Other figures are also carved, including a dragon.
On the outside of the trapezium-shaped apse, from a later period than the end walls of the presbytery, two architectural features of great interest are embedded in the facade:
a) A Gothic cross carved in sandstone in the tympanum of a small door.
b) A Gothic window now recovered after the work, with a wrought iron gate in the centre of the tympanum, with a composition that is very similar to that surrounding the cross.
Between these two architectural compositions, there is a fringe of stone with the following inscription, executed in Gothic letters: MCCCCLXXX.
The temple of Saint Martin de Tours, together with that of Nuestra Señora de la Antigua in Zumarraga, can be considered as rare examples of a characteristic form of church construction, using stone and wood, which existed in our country and which we can still admire.
Of medieval origin (in all likelihood, from the time of the foundation of the town), it acquired its peculiar physiognomy during the sixteenth century; the following centuries saw various reforms, such as the construction of the tower in the eighteenth century and the demolition of the apse in 1861 to make way for the road to Azkoitia.
Its austere and rugged construction, along with other indications, suggests that, along with its religious function, in the early days of Urretxu it also had a defensive purpose. Furthermore, around the temple and until the seventeenth century or so, several social activities were carried out. All of this gave it a versatile character that, with the passing of the centuries, gradually disappeared.
With a sober facade, the interior is a blend of Renaissance, Gothic and even Baroque forms, as evidenced by the fact that the vaults are made of wood.
The sixteenth-century ciderpress is used for illustrating the ancestral process of making cider and is located in Igartubeiti, a medieval farmhouse that stands as an example of the Golden Age of this type of housing. Apart from illustrating the production of this beverage, the centre informs visitors about and shows the lifestyle and customs that structured life in those past years. The building also houses an information centre that informs visitors about the different types of farmhouses that exist in the Basque Country: those of the mountains, the coast, etc.. Do not miss this place if you want to see the essence of the farmhouses of the Middle Ages.
The architectural restoration of the Igartubeiti farmhouse includes an attempt to recreate the conditions and atmosphere of real life in the years in which the house acquired its full historical identity, i.e. around 1630, when Catherine of Cortabarria married Domingo de Arregui and together they started extending the old one-room building that she inherited.
This original sixteenth century building has survived almost intact to this day. That is why the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council chose Igartubeiti for its restoration project. The farmhouse provides a large amount of information about the way of life our ancestors.
At Igartubeiti it is possible to see traces of the small shack that it once was, the embryo of the current construction. There are few remains, just the holes from the stakes that made up the structure. It was a wooden txabola with a roof made of branches. Another treasure that was found at Igartubeiti was a huge press for making cider. The wooden front facade is another relic that needs to be preserved, according to experts from the Council.
The intention is for the reproduction of this 1630 baserri (farmhouse) to be as reliable as possible. This included adding everything from linen sheets to argizaiolas, typical candles used at baserris. The decision was also made to restore the immense press that is expected to be capable of producing new cider.
The documentary study revealed new insights about the biography and lifestyles of its rooms, from their construction to the present day. The archaeological survey that was carried out revealed an area called the “round hut”, a dwelling which was previously unknown of in Gipuzkoa, surrounded by another structure.
Today the farmhouse is very interesting from a technical standpoint, having recovered the main areas of the original farmhouse, particularly the basic infrastructure of the Tolare. The farmhouse now makes it possible to interpret the operation of a sixteenth century cider press, and to compare it with the remains of these machines conserved in other farmhouses.
The Farmhouse today:
Igartubeiti is an example of sixteenth and seventeenth century wooden architecture and provides an accurate reflection of the Golden Age of the Basque farmhouse. It now offers the chance to see a full sixteenth century ciderpress in operation. Furthermore, this farmhouse allows us to perceive the smells of smoke, pressed apple, grass and skins put out to dry; it takes us into the darkness of the kitchen and the stable; it lets us make the wooden floor in the attic creak with our footsteps; in short, it brings back the memories of the way of life and work of our ancestors.
Its aim is to provide visitors with information that is complementary to that available whilst visiting the farmhouse, as well as offering a range of services to customers. This centre has an exhibition area with an audiovisual room, for the exhibition of archaeological remains within the evolutionary sequence of the farmhouse. This area also has space for information about the restoration, the structural features that are characteristic of the different periods, the daily life and social history of the farmhouse and the surrounding area, based on the information obtained from the research carried out since the beginning of the Igatubeiti Master Plan.
Additional facilities include a multipurpose area, a store room and a small shop. The building is located to the south of the farmhouse, and was built separate from it and underground in order to avoid any visual impact on the building as a whole. Its terraced roof next to the gardens in front of the farmhouse can accommodate parking for two buses and twelve cars, and is accessible directly from the road.
The Basque Museum of Iron, which is part of the Route of the Ironworks, will explain the relationship between man, the environment and ironwork in the pre-industrial age from a Basque point of view. The Basque Museum of Iron will be the gateway to the Route of the Ironworks. The Basque Museum of Iron looks at iron from several different points of view: technological, historical, scientific, economic, industrial, social, landscape, etc.. The project considers, on the one hand, what the conquest of iron meant for humanity and, on the other hand, what the launch of this industry meant for the Basque Country. The Museum offers several keys to understanding the past based on innovative approaches with regard to the conception of knowledge and the application of new technologies in the transmission of this knowledge, simultaneously applying different exhibition resources.
This Museum is located on the ground floor of the Aizpurunea Cultural Centre. It is divided up into two parts: one devoted to minerals, with over 1,000 pieces catalogued and classified, which are grouped according to their composition, in eleven groups; and another dedicated to fossils with pieces from the five continents presented in chronological order. The exhibition also has a special section devoted to rocks.
Ecomuseum of Shepherding
Livestock management and cheese are the two activities offered by Erreizabal, the farmhouse converted into the Ecomuseum of Shepherding. Apart from this, it displays objects and tools that form a timeline of the world of shepherding. Therefore, it makes it possible to take a look back at this sector and everything related to it.
Moreover, one of its entrances is a nice pedestrian walk that winds past several emblematic landmarks of Legazpi. Among others, the path passes the Mirandaola Ironworks, the various dams built along the river Urola in medieval times and other Ironworks that have fallen into disuse.
The school, the chapel and the home were the three axes around which daily life revolved in the 1950s, during the industrialization of the region of Urola Garaia. Therefore, these are the three key points of the visit: a classroom at Haztegi school, the chapel attached to the school and a home in the area of San Ignacio. They are all connected by one person, the great entrepreneur Patricio Echeverría, who built the Bellota Factory that both gave work to the people of Legazpi and attracted so many people to the town, increasing its population and therefore also its urban core.
Visit Chillida Lantoki, where you can feel the touch of iron and hear its sound. You can see the morphological modification of the metal at the hands of Eduardo Chillida and how he used heavy machinery to create his works. Located in la Papelera, Chillida Lantoki shows the relationship between Eduardo Chillida and industry located in Legazpi, particularly the Patricio Echeverría Ironworks.
The Bread Corner
This Bread Corner, located in Igaralde-Goena Farmhouse in the Brinkola district of Legazpi, shows the characteristics of milling and baking tradition in our region. With this space, LENBUR Fundazioa wanted to add another element to create a definitive overview of the activities that human beings have been carrying out in our environment since time immemorial. Along with shepherds, blacksmiths, farmers and miners (among others), the miller and the consumption of bread have been constant features of our history.
Turist Office of La Antigua
Beloki Hiribidea, s/n
Tel:943 72 20 42