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.