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Tolosa

Tolosa

Located on the bank of the river Oria, Tolosa is a town with a great historical importance that admires its past, but it is also adapted to the present times. The former capital of Gipuzkoa was an important passage for traders that linked up Navarre with ports of the Bay of Biscay. For centuries it benefited from numerous privileges. From that glorious past Tolosa inherited a valuable historical old quarter marked by buildings and monuments of different styles.

 

The Medieval centre of Tolosa

 

The urban centre is situated in a plain formed in the confluence of the rivers Oria, Araxes and Berastegi, and can be divided in two: the medieval centre and the new "ensanche". Narrow streets in parallel and separated in many squares make up the old quarters. It is remarkable the parish church of Santa María dating back to the 17th century. It is the main sample of the Basque Gothic, with three high naves, ribbed vaults and a baroque facade of considerable beauty.

 

The church and the convent of Santa Clara, the baroque town council, the Idiakez, Atodo, and Aramburu palaces, the council, the provincial archive and the plaza Euskal Herria square ýthat reminds us of the Plaza de la Constitución square in Donostia-San Sebastián- are just a few samples of Tolosa's rich heritage. The Basque contemporary art has its place in Tolosa, in the shape of outdoor sculptures on some streets and squares.

 

On the outskirts of the urban area it is worth visiting the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Izaskun, located in the nearby Ibarra, by the Uzturre Mountain (730m), from where beautiful panoramic views of Tolosaldea are visible.

 

Culture and gastronomy

 

Tolosa is flooded with cultural activities and keeps its traditions with great care. There are many celebrations and festivities throughout the year, such as its famous carnivals of Tolosa -one of the most ancient in Gipuzkoa-, San Juan patron Saint festival ýwith the "Bordon Dantza" dance- and the bonfire as interesting samples. We cannot forget the Zumardi conferences on nature, the international choral mass contest and its marionettes. Besides, the town is home to the Topic, Tolosa's International Puppet Centre. This is the only centre in Europe focusing exclusively on the puppet's world.

 

As for gastronomy, first we must mention its weekly fair. Tolosa organises significant livestock, cheese and sweets fairs at the Tinglado market and other squares to offer autochthonous products of high quality.

 

We cannot forget its famous ox chops and the numerous spits (a tradition in the area) or Tolosa Beans, the famous fine-skinned legumes typical in the area. For dessert we will have chillies from Ibarra, with an outstanding flavour, cigarettes, the "tejas" (tiles) as well as the "Xaxus", typical sweets from Tolosa.


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Surface area: 37.93
No. of inhabitants: 18096