Bermeoko Turismo Bulegoa




On the western coast of the cape of Matxitxako, Gaztelugatxe is a small peninsular joined to the land by a bridge made out of the rock. The hermitage and refuge of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (St John) stands on its summit. To reach this hermitage, you need to go up a small path comprising 231 steps. At the end of the 18th century Iturriza indicated the existence of 425 stairs. In 1053, Eneko Lopez and his spouse Lady Toda donated the land adjoining this Isle to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña. In 1334, the king of Castile, Alfonso XI, besieged Gaztelugatxe in persecution of Juan Núñez de Lara. The knights of Vizcaya resisted valiantly in this fortress: 

SAN JUAN GAZTELUGATXEKOA“(...) et por esto salio de Bermeo, et fué cercar la Peña de Sanct Joan, que es a dos leguas dende; et esta Peña est muy fuerte, ca cercala toda la mar, sinon tan solamiente una estrecha entrada. Et el Rey asentó allí real, et mandó traer engeños con que la combatiesen, et moró y un mes. Et estaba dentro de la Peña mucha buena compaña de omes fijos-dalgo, et tenian muchas viandas: et por esto el Rey non la pudo cobrar en aquel tiempo mientra que y estaba (...)” 

In 1696, the heretics of La Rochelle took Izaro and Gaztelugatxe, committing pillage and causing havoc. On 29th April 1782 the English entered the hermitage of Gaztelugatxe.

From the 17th century onwards, if not before, the custom grew for the Town Council of Bermeo to go in procession to Gaztelugatxe, Izaro and Demiku to make a proclamation of jurisdictional ownership. The procession to Gaztelugatxe still continues to this day, on 29th August. Another picturesque celebration is on the 24th June, the day of San Juan (St John) when the people from Bermeo make a pilgrimage to Gaztelugatxe.

Turismo bulegoa

Lamera z/g

48370 Bermeo

Tel 94 617 91 54


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