Euskadi Basque Country
 
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The Sanctuary of Loiola

The Sanctuary of Loiola
One of the most outstanding Basque figures in history is Íñigo de Loyola (Saint Ignatius), founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), now spread all over the world.
One of the most outstanding Basque figures in history is Íñigo de Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus

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The Sanctuary of Loiola


You will be surprised to find the Sanctuary in the middle of the Urola Valley, surrounded by mountains and in idyllic surroundings. The Sanctuary is built around the medieval Tower-House in which Iñigo de Loiola was born in 1491. The centre of the Sanctuary is occupied by the Basilica, dating from 1738, with its majestic dome.

 

We suggest that if you have time, you take the so-called “Route of the three temples“, also visiting the nearby sanctuaries of Arantzazu and La Antigua (Zumárraga).

 


The house where he was born, known as the “Casa Natal”, will transport your imagination back to feudal times and the saint’s family, named Oñaz y Loyola, which is documented as far back as the 13th century. Its walls, almost two metres thick and pierced by embrasures, and even ancient bombards (early cannons), will make you feel you are entering a mediaeval fortress, as in fact the building originally was.

 

Inside, at the high altar you can see the silver statue of Saint Ignatius donated by the Real Compañía Guipuzcoana de Caracas, a shipping company trading with the Americas which was of key importance to the history of the province of Gipuzkoa. Loiola is one of the most outstanding places in the Basque Country, both from a historical point of view and because of its traditions and also the natural setting in which it stands.


HOW TO GET AROUND:

  • By bus from Zumarraga:
    Lurraldebus UK06 direction to Zumaia.
  • By bus from Bilbao:
    The best combination is to take a Pesa company bus to the town of Eibar and then a Lurraldebus (UK05) to Azpeitia, stopping at Loiola.
  • By bus from San Sebastián:
    You shall take a Lurraldebus, the UK01 direction to Azkoitia.