Art & Culture


Barandiaran museum, a magical visit

A visit to the Barandiaran museum is a journey into the heart of Basque culture. Situated in the magical locality of Ataun (Gipuzkoa), it offers visitors the chance to discover the life and above all the extensive work and writings of the celebrated Basque priest, anthropologist and ethnologist José Miguel de Barandiaran.

Ataun, the village where Barandiaran was born and lived for much of his life, is in an unparalleled natural setting that has yielded a host of historical treasures including Roman coins, dolmens and caves, among other things. Relics of days gone by that are also accompanied by stories and legends passed down from generation to generation by the inhabitants of the locality, closely tied to farming and stockbreeding.


It is this traditional culture that the mountains of Sarastarri, Areetza and Aitxu have preserved over the centuries that first attracted the young Barandiaran to Basque ethnography and archaeology. From his birth in 1889 to his death in 1991 at the age of 101, this famous researcher devoted his life to excavating numerous dolmens and caves. But above all, Barandiaran studied the history and the magical legends that accompanied these discoveries. This Basque anthropologist worked to set down on paper the hundreds of tales that lived on in the memory of the villagers, making him the father of Basque mythology.


And it is this mythology that is the star of the Barandiaran museum. In it visitors have the chance to discover Basque folklore in a thought-provoking way, with feelings and imagination playing a starring role. The restored 17th-century mill of Larruntza is a place to find out all about the scholar's life, as if you were right there beside him.


In short, a visit to the museum and a stroll around Ataun give you the chance not only to see but to feel the mystery and the beauty of the ancient legends that once captivated this scholar. Tales that, thanks to José Miguel de Barandiaran, will not vanish away with the passing of time, but will last for ever in our collective memory.

Information of interest

Larruntza Errota z/g - 20211 Ataun
Opening hours

2021 calendar.

No. of rooms