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Historic and monumental route

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Ondarroa was declared a town in 1327 by virtue of charter granted by Maria Diaz de Haro (Lady of Biscay) on land belonging to the village of Berriatua, where a settlement of “fishermen and seamen” had already been established.

A wall with five entrances surrounded the original medieval town. One entrance was at Goikokale, one at Kalehaundi, another one at the old bridge, the fourth one at Iparkale and the fifth one at the beach.

A fire in 1463 seriously affected the town´s growth and almost completely depopulated it, so the Crown granted it exemptions until 1480. During this time, whale fishing along the Cantabrian coast remained a major activity, as well as maritime commerce. A number of ironworks were also established along the Lea-Artibai river basin. All of these industries reached the heigt of their splendour in the 16th century.

Subsequently, in 1794, the town was burned by the invading French troops and its town centre was practically destroyed.

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Today it is one of the most important and highest fishing harbours in the Bay of Biscay, and the activities in the harbour give us a glimpse of how old traditions have survived and have mixed with the modern craft of fishing.

In the original town, shaped like a triangle, the fan of city streets (Erribera, Kale Handi and Agirre´tar Txomin Streets) converged at Saint Mary´s Church. On the south side, narrow alleys with steps lead from the main streets down to the port below.

Fortunately, the old quarter of the current town still preserves most of its former distribution.

What to visit

Tourism office

Kofradia Zaharra – Erribera, 9
48700 Ondarroa (Bizkaia)
Tel: 0034 946831951

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Opening hours

Every day

10:30 – 14:30
16:30 – 20:30


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