The 16th century sightseeing route

A major increase in wealth accompanied by social and political stability made the 16th century a golden age of a kind never previously known in Gipuzkoa.

This is evidenced in the large number of religious and nonreligious buildings built or rebuilt during the century. In Goierri and Alto Urola, which can be seen as a single area in geographical terms although they are administratively separate, a great many fine buildings from that period survive and are open to the public.

This sightseeing route takes in a wide variety of 16th century buildings which provide a comprehensive picture of the period: farmhouses, townhouses and mansions, along with religious buildings. They show a wide variety of architectural styles and building materials (with wood being prominent) but have in common their excellent standards of construction.

The Igartubeiti Farmhouse Museum

Originally built in the 16th century and extended in the early 17th century, this fine example of architecture in wood provides an excellent setting for explaining how people lived in Basque farmhouses.

The old town district of Igartza comprises a mansion house, a chapel, a mill, a bridge, a stone cross, the Dolarea farmhouse, a blacksmith’s shop and the remains of an old ironworks. It is a fine example of the new, town-centred economy based on iron working and trade that emerged following the end of the wars between rival noble lineages that had characterised the Middle Ages. The most interesting building is without doubt the 16th century mansion house with its wooden structure, which is one of  the very few such houses in Gipuzkoa to feature an inner courtyard.

Interpretation centre for the mediaeval old town district in Segura.

A restored 16th century house extended early in the century. A fine example of urban architecture.

The old town has around 40 buildings classed as being of artistic and historical interest.

Much admired for its wooden structure and 16th century ornamentation, and considered as the “Cathedral of country chapels”, the building has both Romanesque and Gothic features.

The mines in this area were first worked in the 16th century to produce ore for use in the local ironworks. The gallery that housed the powder magazine is open to the public.

A replica of a 15th century ironworks. The number of ironworks in the Basque Country reached its peak in the 16th century (with around 200 in Gipuzkoa alone). Many of them were to be found in the Alto Urola district, due to its proximity to the iron mines.

Other attractions:

A 16th century church whose outstanding feature is its wooden vaults.

Gipuzkoa’s best-known fair, held every Wednesday since 1512.

This road was the natural route from the kingdom of Castile to the rest of Europe. In the 16th century it was travelled by shepherds, Kings, soldiers, pilgrims, traders and travellers of all kinds on horseback, on foot and in carriages.

Significant archaeological discoveries have been made there.