How about Donostia or San Sébastian!

I have other than Madrid, San Sebastian or Donostia in basque was the first city I ever went to in Spain. Go figure it , do not know how that happened! However, my mom had an old friend from the region that went to school with her and after living in Madrid took the opportunity to see each other once there and once in Madrid! There you go why! This was back in 1972!!!

After it took several years to be back, 1990 to be exact,  but been there several times afterward. I have written on the city of San Sebastian before but very little on two marvelous monuments, the Churches of San Vicente and Basilica Church of Santa Maria del Coro; it is time to tell you a bit more on them.

San Sebastian, also Donostia in basque, the capital of the province of Gipuzkoa, in the Basque Autonomous community of the kingdom of  Spain. Bathed by the waters of the Cantabrian Sea, at the mouth of the Urumea River, it owes much of its fame to its harbour, the Bay of La Concha, framed by two rocky isles, the Igeldo and Urgull mountains, true natural balconies from which one can marvel at a large part of the city, the ocean and the hilly landscapes of the surrounding area. You have the old section or Centro wedge between the harbor and the river Urumea ,the area was rebuilt from 1813 after a fire previously devasted it. Here you find the center of the city and people watching in the Plaza de la Constitucion,  and the Monte Urgull or hill with a Christ on top plus the ruins of the castle Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota.

Just at the end of Calle Mayor, at the foot of Mount Urgull and framed by two towers, you will find this wonderful church. The Basilica of Santa María del Coro is of  baroque work of the 18C,  the baroque facade of Churrigueresque hue, chaired by a sculpture of San Sebastián Martyr and the main altarpiece dedicated to the Virgen del Coro, patron Saint of the city. If you look at it from afar it seems to stand out directly from the slopes of Mount Urgull. The church has a rectangular plan, with semicircular apse and secondary units. The nave of Santa María is attached to the northern part. The octagonal pillars reach a height of 15 meters to their capitals, the central vault being the largest with a height of more than 27 meters.

San Sebastian

More here from the tourist office of the Basques/Euskadi in English here: Tourist office of Euskadi on the Basilica Santa Maria del Coro

And this is a beautiful webpage in Spanish on the Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro that is very nice and informative: Private webpage on the Basilica Santa Maria del Coro

Another not far from the above is the Church of San Vicente located at the corner of Calle 31 de Agosto and Calle Narrika. This church is of late Gothic style and is built on an earlier period church whose structure was devoured by the flames.

The Church of San Vicente, as we know it today, was built between the 15C and 16C. Taking into account the construction dates one could say that the Church of San Vicente is the oldest in San Sebastián. While it is true that the Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro  was already in the 12C, when it undergoes several renovations until the 17C making San Vicente the oldest religious building in San Sebastian/Donostia. You will see the main altarpiece of San Vicente c. 1586 , considered one of the best altarpieces of Romanism. Also the altarpiece of the Ánimas. As well as several steps of Holy Week: Ecce Homo, the Dolorosa (in the Baptistery) the Descent and the Lying Christ.  Another of the outstanding elements of the Church of San Vicente are its colorful stained glass windows, which can be seen in a thousand wonders from the Plaza Zuloaga of the Centro area.

San Sebastian

The tourist office of Basques/Euskadi in English here: Tourist office of Euskadi/San Sebastian on the Church of San Vicente

More as in an overall view of San Sebastian/Donostia from the tourist office in English here: Tourist office of San Sebastian Donostia

This is a sampler as cannot find more photos, the ones here are from 2009; a period before my blog and not much into photos lol! Hope you enjoy it anyway and do visit San Sebastian , a lot more than films and beach !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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2 Comments to “How about Donostia or San Sébastian!”

  1. As you know this is one of my favourite places on this earth – thank you. A virtual visit is most welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

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