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Sanctuary of Arantzazu

The Sanctuary of Aránzazu, located in the municipality of Oñati and framed in the Natural Park of Aizkarri-Aratz, emerges as a place of profound spiritual and artistic value. Its history dates back to the discovery in the valley of an image of the Virgin, in stone, by a shepherd in 1468. Popular devotion elevated the image found to the patron saint of Guipuzcoa. From the beginning it has been the Franciscans who have made Arantzazu a place of peace and spiritual recollection.

Despite facing three significant fires in the 16th and 19th centuries, the sanctuary persists as an architectural and cultural landmark. The construction of the new basilica in 1955, designed by Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza and Luis Laorga, introduces an avant-garde work with the participation of prominent artists such as Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida, and painters such as Lucio Muñoz and Néstor Basterretxea. The combination of modern architectural elements, innovative sculptures and suggestive stained glass creates a unique artistic ensemble that defies convention and stands as a landmark in contemporary religious architecture.

The Sanctuary of Aránzazu is positioned as a key point on the Ignatian Way, following the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola from Loiola to Aránzazu. His devotion to the Virgin obliged Ignatius to stop at Arantzazu, as a first step, and dedicate a night of prayer at the feet of the Virgin. According to tradition, on that night in February 1522 Ignatius would take his vow of chastity, which he would keep until the end of his life, something that until then he had not exactly kept as a virtue. The modern architectural work, with its avant-garde sculptures and symbolic elements, represents a visual testimony of the encounter between Ignatian spirituality and innovative artistic expression. This pilgrimage site is not only a religious enclave, but also a space that challenges creative boundaries, marking an important contribution to the architectural and artistic heritage in the context of the Ignatian Way and beyond.

  • Address
    Arantzazu Rd, Gipuzkoa
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    Everyday from 9:00 to 19:00
  • What to see
    Jorge Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida’s works

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