The sanctuary of the patron saint of Gipuzkoa is located in an impressive landscape of rocky mountain ranges, deep ravines and gorges that open and bring the borders of Araba, Nafarroa and Gipuzkoa closer.
But, above all, Arantzazu stands out because it is unique testimony of the work done by a group of artists who got ahead of the artistic Avant-garde, breaking with the architectural trends of their time.
Religiousness and Avant-garde in the encounter
This beautiful temple can be visited throughout the day every day of the year. If you wish a guided tour (50´)
The appearance of the Virgin
According to the tradition, the Virgin appeared to a shepherd called Rodrigo de Balzategi in a hawthorn bush, and astonished, he asked: “Arantzan zu?” (Is it you in the hawthorn?). Over the centuries, Arantzazu became a place for devotion, pilgrimage, art and culture. The monastery has suffered both accidental and intentional fires on several occasions, having to be rebuilt every time.
The building work on the present Sanctuary began in 1950, and was directed by the architects Sáenz de Oiza and Laorga.
The great work of Oteiza on the facade
Among the elements to be mentioned are the facade of the basilica, in which three towers with tips stand out in honour of the hawthorn, the Piety and the 14 apostles. The last two are works by Jorge Oteiza.
The entrance and the impressive interior
After crossing the iron doors -work of Eduardo Chillida- the visitor discovers an imposing altarpiece of 600 m2, made of polychrome wood by Lucio Muñoz. In the centre of the altarpiece there is a niche with the Virgin Mary from the 13th century, whose murals were elaborated by Xabier Egaña.
Finally, the windows that illuminate the space were made by Xabier Álvarez de Eulate.
If we go down to the crypt, we will find the paintings of Nestor Basterretxea, which show us the evolution of the history of the human being and the Risen Christ.
Arantzazu nowadays… Gandiaga Topagunea
Gandiaga Topagunea is an encounter centre located in Arantzazu and it is suitably prepare to accomodate a great variety of public and private events. Encounters, meetings, conferences, seminars and various other events have become essential tools for all kinds of organizations, in order to manage people and projects correctly.
Between this building and the basilica, there is a little building called “Misterioa”. Its name comes from the sculpture made by Jorge Oteiza that has inside. Further information about Gandiaga Topagunea by calling 943 716575 or on the website www.arantzazu.org.