Shrine of Arantzazu
Located at the heart of peninsular Euskadi (the Basque Country), this town takes up a beautiful valley surrounded by green mountains on all sides except the southern one, where the giant Aloña limestone formation sits. In fact, Oñati in Basque (Euskera) means: "place with plenty of hills" The painter Ignacio Zuloaga called it the "Basque Toledo" because it was so monumental. A journey through Oñati means to go over a catalogue of art styles where there is barely anything missing, from the Gothic carvings at churches, hermitages and tower-houses, to vanguard art at Arantzazu. As soon as we arrive, we are welcomed by the compound that includes the monastery and the hospice of Bidaurreta, from the beginning of the 16th century; and later, as we begin to walk the streets up to Foruen Emparantza (or Plaza de los Fueros), the church of San Miguel, and the University of Sancti Spiritu, we will marvel at the succession of towers, palaces, convents and ancestral homes, that go from Gothic to Neo-Gothic styles. The most emblematic monument in Oñati is the University, with a Plateresque main front that has Renaissance elements. It is one of the most important buildings in Basque Renaissance architecture. Also remarkable are the Gothic church of San Miguel, with a Baroque tower; the beautiful 16th-century cloister crossed by the Ubao river, and the Neo-Gothic church of Lateranenses In the outskirts of Oñati we find the modern and monumental sanctuary of Virgen de Aranzazu.
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