Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is the largest city proper in northern Spain. Bilbao is the tenth largest city in Spain, with a population of 345,141 as of 2015; the Bilbao metropolitan area has 1 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain. Bilbao is the main urban area in what is defined as the Greater Basque region. Bilbao is situated in the north-central part of Spain, some 16 kilometres south of the Bay of Biscay, where the economic social development is located, where the estuary of Bilbao is formed, its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres. Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall; the annual temperature range is low for its latitude. After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country that enjoyed significant importance in Green Spain.
This was due to its port activity based on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialisation, making it the centre of the second-most industrialised region of Spain, behind Barcelona. At the same time an extraordinary population explosion prompted the annexation of several adjacent municipalities. Nowadays, Bilbao is a vigorous service city, experiencing an ongoing social and aesthetic revitalisation process, started by the iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, continued by infrastructure investments, such as the airport terminal, the rapid transit system, the tram line, the Azkuna Zentroa, the under development Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre renewal projects. Bilbao is home to football club Athletic Club de Bilbao, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history. On 19 May 2010, the city of Bilbao was recognised with the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, awarded by the city state of Singapore, in collaboration with the Swedish Nobel Academy.
Considered the Nobel Prize for urbanism, it was handed out on 29 June 2010. On 7 January 2013, its mayor, Iñaki Azkuna, received the 2012 World Mayor Prize awarded every two years by the British foundation The City Mayors Foundation, in recognition of the urban transformation experienced by the Biscayan capital since the 1990s. On 8 November 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018, awarded by the international organisation The Academy of Urbanism; the official name of the town is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language, has agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque and Bilbo, the historical name is Bilbo, while Bilbao is the official name. Although the term Bilbo does not appear in old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference to swords made of Biscayan iron which he calls "bilboes", suggesting that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century.
There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. Accepted accounts state that prior to the 12th century the independent rulers of the territory, named Senores de Zubialdea, were known as Senores de Bilbao la Vieja; the symbols of their patrimony are the church used in the shield of Bilbao to this day. One possible origin was suggested by the engineer Evaristo de Churruca, he said. For Bilbao this would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao; the historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado, beautiful river crossing. On the other hand, according to the writer Esteban Calle Iturrino, the name derives from the two settlements that existed on both banks of the estuary, rather than from the estuary itself; the first, where the present Casco Viejo is located, would be called billa, which means stacking in Basque, after the configuration of the buildings. The second, on the left bank, where now Bilbao La Vieja is located, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam.
From the union of these two derives the name Bilbao, written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter. An -ao ending is present in nearby Sestao and Ugao, that could be explained from Basque aho, "mouth"; the demonym is "bilbaíno, -a", although the popular pronunciation bilbaino/a is frequent. In euskera it is bilbotar, sometimes used in Spanish within the Basque Country; the village is affectionately known by its inhabitants as «the botxo», that is, «the hole», since it is surrounded by mountains. The nickname "botxero" is derived from this nickname. Another nickname that Bilbao receives is that of "chimbos", which comes from birds that were hunted in large numbers in these places during the XIX century; the titles, the flag and the coat of arms are Bilbao's traditional symbols and belong to its historic patrimony, being used in formal acts, for the identification and decoration of specific places or for the validation of documents. TitlesBilbao holds the historic category of borough, with the titles of "Very noble and loyal and unbeaten" ("Mu
Sestao is a town and municipality of 28,288 inhabitants located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain. It is in the left bank of part of Bilbao's metropolitan area. Sestao was the place of the most important steel industry of Altos Hornos de Vizcaya. Sestao is administratively divided into 13 neighbourhoods or wards: Kasko Kueto Galindo Albiz Urbinaga Rebonza Azeta Simondrogas Txabarri Markonzaga Aizpuru Los Baños Las Llanas Sestao, an industrial area in disuse placed in the province of the Basque Country, is located in the estuary of Bilbao, it appeared due to diverse economic and political forces, but it was the economic strength of the iron industry the most important one. Over the last 20 years the city of Bilbao has transformed its riverbanks, pursuing its urban and economic improvement; the recovery of these old industrial spaces and the relocation of port activities to the outer bay will allow the city to face its river front and start a general process of urban transformation.
The spaces occupied by the shipyards, containers or blast furnaces, will become promenades, art galleries, new neighborhoods and areas of business of high environmental quality. The industrial crisis of the 80 affected Bilbao; the closure and modernization of major industries was a major impact on the whole environment of the river and, at the same time, an opportunity to recover valuable land for urban development of the city. The transformation of the city is creating an economic structure focused on services and new industries; the river banks are now serving an urban strategy for economic improvement. The estuary is therefore the backbone of the area, but it is a strong barrier that separates both margins of the river: one with a much more industrial character and another one much more residential. Sestao is the area that links all this area that will propose a real integral operation of all this area. Although the area seems isolated, thanks to the station Urbinaga, is integrated in the network of Metro Bilbao, connecting Bilbao with the Right Bank and Left, offering an essential service to the future citizens of "La Punta".
La Punta is an abandoned edge of the town. Sestao has the highest unemployment rate in the Basque Country, due to the closure of large companies because of their restructuring. Comparing the residential areas of Sestao and Barakaldo with "La Punta", it seems necessary to densify this area and thus strengthen the bond between Barakaldo and Sestao, the relationship with the right bank of the river; the growth of the town of Sestao is limited by the lack of developable land and limited by natural and artificial barriers. For this reason, it has reached a densified town with a network of small open spaces; the grew of the population was a consequence of the development of the industry, not the industry a consequence of the human presence in the area. This defines the DNA of Sestao, it is a settlement, born by the implantation of the heavy industry. Consumption and land distribution is based on the industry and these industrial areas are located in the best situations the city; the margin facing the estuary is colonized for industry, the least quality areas is intended to construction of workers' housing.
It is proposed that over time the vegetation in the low-lying industrial areas of the Galindo River estuary is restored to a healthy state by cultivating the growth of plants that are resistant to local soil contamination, that improve soil and water quality through bio-remediation. Rather than a tabula rasa to be integrated into the city with a false topography, the industrial areas of Bilbao are in a new natural equilibrium condition. Working with these new natural conditions offers the possibility of an urbanism that combines urban and natural and responds to the fluctuations of the natural ecosystem of the river. Since the appearance of the industry in 1875, the whole estuary became involved in the configuration of an industrial point of reference in the Spanish national scene of heavy industries. Meanwhile, the municipality of Sestao created the largest industrial base of the country. Http://visibleearth.nasa.gov The city will develop a system of small public spaces that provide residents moments of pause, rest and connections between the different urban levels.
Connection of both margins of the river. Program associated with the existing water activity. Recovery of the convent as a viewpoint; the view shows the contrast between the industrial landscape lined by shipyard cranes and the historic mansions of the Basque bourgeoisie. Integration of the tram connected to the right bank of the river. Rehabilitation of ships in better condition to include public program to allow the language of industrial structures: from jetties, cranes and temporary stairs to pylons. Housing and facilities of social nature. Soriano, Federico, FISURAS 14 VV. AA. Diccionario Metapolis de Arquitectura Avanzada, ACTAR, 2002 Rehabilitación de la Ría de Bilbao. PFC, VVAA. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. 2014 VV. AA. PGOU Plan General de Organización Urbana de Sestao, 2010 VVAA, Slow Urbanism, Sestao. Europan 11, 2011 https://www.google.com/maps?q=SESTAO+BILBAO&gws_rd=ssl&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi80qv7wPXPAhVLFT4KHdGcAfYQ_AUICCgB
Ziortza-Bolibar is a municipality in the province of Biscay, Basque Country, in the comarca of Lea-Artibai. It has 383 inhabitants according to the 2006 census, has an area of 18.94 km². The municipality was annexed in 1969 by Markina-Xemein and recovered its independence on January 1, 2005. Records indicate its existence since the 11th century; the name Bolibar comes from the Basque language, meaning "windmill valley". Ziortza/Cenarruza is derived from a local name for polygonum ziaurri and the suffix -tza denoting a place of abundance of something. Bolívar or Bolibar is the urban centre of the municipality, situated along the stream with the same name, at the foot of Mount Oiz. From 1969 to 2004 it belonged, along with the neighbourhood of Cenarruza, to the municipality of Markina-Xemein, until a community movement managed to merge both neighbourhoods into an independent municipality; the last name Bolívar has its origins in this locality. There are a museum in his honour. Other illustrious people from this small village are: Diego de Irusta, who participated in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa.
The Collegiate Church of Cenarruza or Ziortza is located two kilometers from the urban nucleus. It was an important enclave in the Route of Santiago de Compostela, its influence extended beyond the comarca and surpassed the religious scope. Tradition marks its founding in the 10th century. According to legend, on the day of the Assumption in the year 968 the local inhabitants held a mass in the Church of Santa Lucia de Garay, when an eagle picked up a skull from an opened tomb and dropped it in the place where the Collegiate Church is situated today; the people raised the religious complex in that place. The complex consists of: The church built in the 14th century but continually rebuilt until it obtained, in the 15th century, the Gothic style it has. In its interior there is a magnificent organ, one of the most ancient in Biscay, a large group of sculptures; the portico has curious carvings in its beams, the front door has a group of sculptures representing Jesus Christ and two musician angels.
The cloister, built in the Renaissance period. It has a square floor-plan, the spandrels are decorated with shells and Fleur-de-lis crosses; the Eastern Gate is the main entrance to the religious complex. It bears the coat-of-arms of the Múgica and Butrón families, as well as an image of the legendary eagle holding the skull in its claws; the Western Gate, smaller than the Eastern one but bearing the same coat-of-arms and the same image of the eagle. There was a hospital for pilgrims, destroyed in a fire and was subsequently rebuilt as a hostel managed by Cistercian monks and is the property of the monastery of Oliva in Navarra. There are remains of a walkway. Church of Saint Thomas, rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries, it has the structure of a fortress-temple, with only one nave and a rib vault, as well as two cylindrical towers. The altarpiece is neoclassical; the government of Venezuela erected a monument in honour of the "Liberator" in 1927, the first one in Spain. Bolívar en la web de Lea Artibai Museo Simón Bolívar
Bermeo is a town and municipality in the comarca of Busturialdea. It is in the province of Biscay, part of the autonomous region of the Basque Country in northern Spain. With a population of 17,159, it is the most important fishing port in the Basque Country; the town was founded in 1236, is the largest in Busturialdea. Bermeo was the provincial capital of Biscay from 1476 to 1602. Tourist attractions include the island of Gaztelugatxe, the Ercilla Tower, San Juan Gate and the port. Bermeo is connected by Euskotren BizkaiBus to Bilbao, it has a number of neighbourhoods: Arana, Agirre, San Andres, Arronategi, San Migel, Demiku, Mañu and San Pelaio. Bermeo's history dates back to the monastery of San Juan of Gaztelugatxe in 1051. In 1082, it is mentioned by Don Lope lñiguez as "Sancti Michaelis Arcangeli in Portu of Vermelio". Ferdinand II of Aragon named the town the capital of Biscay on 31 July 1476, a position it held until 1602. Many documents have been destroyed by fire; the founding of Bilbao in 1300 coincided with decline in Bermeo.
The town has an oceanic climate, with heavy rains in spring and late fall. The average annual minimum temperature is about 9 °C, the maximum is about 19 °C; the record maximum temperature is 45 °C, the record minimum is -9 °C. As a result of increased immigration due to industrialisation during the 1960s, the population grew rapidly. Although it began to decline during the 1990s, the population has increased again since 2000. Bermeo's economy is based on fishing, its port is the town's chief source of revenue, it has a fleet of deep-sea vessels, Bermeo's coastal fisheries are among the region's most important. In addition to fishing, diesel engines and generators are manufactured and the commercial port receives raw materials. Bermeo has connections with the timber and undersea-gas industries. Bermeo is connected by road to Mungia by the BI-631 road and to Gernika-Lumo by the BI-2235; the BI-3101 connects the town with Bakio, 12 km away. The capital, Bilbao, is reached by the BI-631 and the BI-2235.
BizkaiBus connects Bermeo with Guernica, Amorebieta-Etxano, Bilbao and Bakio. Euskotren Trena connects the town directly with Bilbao, Amorebieta-Etxano and Gipuzkoa. Bermeo has taxi and Bermibusa service. On the road to Bakio is the lighthouse of Matxitxako, on the cape of the same name. Further along is Akatz Island, next to Gaztelugatxe. During the 14th century a castle topped the island, replaced by the monastery. On 29 August a mass celebrates the feast of San Juan; the island is a protected area. Akatz Island, a small island next to Gaztelugatxe, has little vegetation but a significant nesting-bird population. On its cape is the Matxitxako lighthouse, which has good views of the coast and from which cetaceans may be seen. Izaro Island is part of the Urdaibai Reserve. Bermeo's old town has many houses painted in narrow streets with squares. Aritzatxu is a small beach. Ercilla Tower is the only remaining tower of 30 towers. In the old port, it was housed the Ercilla family. In addition to its military use, it housed warehoused fish.
It was renovated in 1948 with Gothic arches as the Fisherman's Museum. Bermeo's town hall, in Sabino Arana Goiri Square, was built in 1732. With two clocks on its facade, it is one of the town's Artistic Historical Monuments; the Kikunbera house, in Basque Rationalist style, was designed to resemble a ship and has been an Artistic Historical Monument since 1995. Batzoki is a modernist building by Pedro Ispizua. BERMEO in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Town council Tourist information Fishermen Museum
Barakaldo is a municipality located in the Biscay province in the Basque Country. Located on the Left Bank of the Estuary of Bilbao, the city is part of Greater Bilbao with a population as of the 2011 census at 100,061. Barakaldo has an industrial river-port heritage and has undergone significant redevelopment with new commercial and residential areas replacing the once active industrial zones; the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica original entry on the town stated: "Pop.: 15,013. Few Spanish towns have developed more than Baracaldo, which nearly doubled its population between 1880 and 1900. During this period many immigrant labourers settled here; the low flat country round Baracaldo is covered with maize, pod fruit and vines". Iron mining formed a large part of Barakaldo's industry; the steel industry, led by Altos Hornos de Vizcaya, had an important presence during the 20th century, until the industrial recession hit the region's economy in the 1980s. In recent decades, the industrial zones surrounding Barakaldo have become less prominent, which can be owed to the shuttering of large companies such as Babcock & Wilcox.
Although several factories remain, areas that were once industrial have been redeveloped into residential properties such as malls and parks. A large exhibition centre; the Bilbao Exhibition Centre has been built on the outskirts of the town. Barakaldo is connected to the rest of the Greater Bilbao metropolitan area by Line 2 of the Metro Bilbao. Four stations are in the city: Gurutzeta/Cruces, Ansio and Bagatza); the Cercanías Bilbao train line has two stations in Barakaldo. BizkaiBus company provides a bus service, with connections to the rest of Biscay. Locally, an urban bus system named. A tram line has been proposed to connect local districts; the main motorway is the A-8 motorway, which goes between Bilbao. It serves as the rest of Spain. A boat ferry service connects Barakaldo to the other side of the Estuary of Bilbao in Erandio. Barakaldo is located 15 kilometres from Bilbao Airport. Population peaked in the 1990s to over 100,300; the decline of local industry decreased the population, in 2002, 95,000 people lived in Barakaldo.
However, a recent increase has sent the population to 100,502 residents. Tourists visit sites in Barakaldo such as the Botanic Garden, the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, the medieval Bridge of Castrexana, some of the city's street sculptures. In July, the town celebrates "Las Fiestas del Carmen," which includes open-air concerts and large fairs. Barakaldo is represented by the Barakaldo Club de Fútbol in Spain's Segunda División B, they play home games at the Estadio Nuevo Lasesarre. A second team, SD Retuerto Sport, plays in Tercera División. Local league teams include Gurutzeta KFT, UD Burtzeña, Pauldarrak FKT, Zuazo C. F. and S. C. D. Dosa-Salesianos. Handball has played a part in Barakaldo's tradition. Now, two teams are present in competitions: Club Balonmano Zuazo Femenino, playing in División de Honor Femenina de Balonmano, Club Balonmano Barakaldo who plays in the Liga ASOBAL. Bizkaia Arena is an indoor arena with a capacity of 18,640, it hosted some games of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Asier del Horno, footballer Carlos Sobera, actor David López, cyclist Iñaki Lafuente, footballer Javier Clemente, football manager Javier González Gómez, footballer Javier Otxoa, cyclist Josep Lluís Núñez, president of FC Barcelona between 1978 and 2000 Unai Expósito, footballer Antonio Iturmendi Bañales, politician Barakaldo D.
F. A Mägo de Oz concert DVD filmed in Barakaldo Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Baracaldo". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3. Cambridge University Press. P. 379. Www.i-barakaldo.com La comunidad virtual de Barakaldo Official website BARAKALDO in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia
Sopela known as Sopelana, is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain. The town is 820 hectares in area, located in the comarca Mungialdea on the north east side of Bilbao and due east of the Nervión river estuary. In the municipality, other former towns like Larrabasterra are now merged to make Sopela larger; the population is 11,185 people. Thriving expansion of the town puts this number to well over 13,000 people; the area of Sopela is situated among green beaches. This makes it a attractive suburb of Bilbao, with a short commute of 35 minutes on the metro. Since the late 1980s, the population of Sopelana has continued to grow and has 13.000 citizens. During the industrialization the citizens moved to the urban centres that were more crowded but from that decade on this tendency has reversed. Sopelana has become a residential municipality well communicated with bigger municipalities and with Bilbao, it was at first an eminently turistic destination, where the properties and house owners only moved to spend summer holidays but it has turned into a residential town.
At the moment, it is one of the village's with the highest per capita income of the state. Sopela belongs to a region called Uribe, composed by 15 municipalities that are: Arrieta, Barrika, Gámiz-Fica, Gatika, Górliz, Lemoniz, Maruri-Jatabe, Meñaka, Plencia and Urduliz, it borders with the Cantabrian sea in the north, what makes Sopelana have spectacular cliffs and beaches. The municipality of Barrika is located to the Northeast, Getxo to the Northwest, Urduliz to the Southeast and Berango to the Southwest. Sopela's oceanic climate is different from the one of southern Spain. Harsh winds tend to pick up speed along the coast and precipitation is common all year round. Northern winds bring the winter temperature to just above the freezing point, but summers are comfortable from late May to early September. Snow is common three days each winter on average; the summer climate is warm and the temperatures are moderated by the constant sea breezes. Sopela is known for three beaches Atxabiribil and Arrietara.
They have good conditions for surfers. A fourth beach, Meñakoz is of less appeal for sun worshippers and more for the surfer crowd due to the pebble bed ground. Sopela is the host of regional surf competitions as conditions are adequate for surfing in its beaches. A less famous, but internationally known event, is the yearly nude race on Barinatxe beach in the fall. Barinatxe is a clothing optional beach. Another special place in Sopela is a small creek called Ikatza known only by its citizens; the town is connected to the main transport arteries with two metro stations on the Line 1 of Bilbao Metro and highways. Larrabasterra station is located to the far south of Sopela in Larrabasterra, while Sopela station is at the center of the municipality. Several bus routes connect Sopela to Bilbao and nearby towns, like Barrika, Plentzia and Armintza; these buses are: Bizkaibus: A3451: Las Arenas - Arminza. A3531: Sopelana - Munguía - Gatica. A2166: Uribe Kosta - UPV/EHUThere is a local bus service which connects the town centre with the beaches, it joins the following neighbourhoods: Larrabasterra / Arrietara / Beaches / Sopelmar / Ugeraga / Moreaga / Centre.
The patron saint of the town is San Pedro or Saint Peter and his feast days are the most representative ones. They are held at the end of the month of June and they last up to a week and a half; the big day is the 29th. The patroness of the neighbourhood of Larrabasterra is Virgen del Carmen and her feast days are held in mid-July; the big day is the 16th. There are no large shopping malls in Sopela; the shopping centres are located a short car ride away in nearby towns like Getxo, Barakaldo or Bilbao. However, the centre of Sopela is full of small shops with a wide variety of goods. Along the main road to West Sopela, there are several youth oriented shops and surf shops open all year round. SOPELA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia Official website
Gipuzkoa is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the autonomous community of the Basque Country. Its capital city is Donostia-San Sebastián. Gipuzkoa shares borders with the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques at the northeast, with the province and autonomous community of Navarre at east, Biscay at west, Álava at southwest and the Bay of Biscay to its north, it is located in the Bay of Biscay. It has 66 kilometres of coast land. With a total area of 1,980 square kilometres, Gipuzkoa is the smallest province of Spain; the province has 89 municipalities and a population of 720,592 inhabitants, from which more than half live in the Donostia-San Sebastián metropolitan area. Apart from the capital, other important cities are Irun, Zarautz, Mondragón, Hondarribia, Oñati, Tolosa and Pasaia; the oceanic climate gives the province an intense green colour with little thermic oscillation. Gipuzkoa is the province of the Basque Country where the Basque language is most extensively used: 49.1% of the population spoke Basque in 2006.
The first recorded name of the province was Ipuscoa in a document from the year 1025. During the following years, in various documents, several similar names appear, such as Ipuzcoa, Ipuçcha, among others; the full etymology the word Gipuzkoa has not been ascertained, but links have been made with the Basque word Giputz, containing the root ip-, related to the word ipar and ipuin. According to this, ipuzko might refer to something "to the north" or "in the north". Gipuzkoa is the Basque spelling recommended by the Royal Academy of the Basque language, it is used in official documents in that language; the Basque spelling is mandatory in official texts from the various Spanish public administrations in documents written in Spanish. It is the spelling most used by the Spanish-language media in the Basque Country, it is the spelling used in the Basque version of the Spanish constitution and in the Basque version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. Gipuzkoa is the only official spelling approved for the historical territory by the Juntas Generales of the province.
Guipúzcoa is the spelling in Spanish, it has been determined by the Association of Spanish Language Academies as being the only correct use outside official Spanish documents, where the use of the Basque spelling is mandatory. It is the Spanish spelling used in the Spanish version of the Constitution and in the Spanish version of the Statute of Autonomy of the Basque Country. At 1,980 km2 Gipuzkoa is the smallest province in Spain; the province has 88 municipalities and 709,607 inhabitants, a quarter of whom live in the capital, San Sebastián. Other important towns are Irun, Zarautz, Arrasate, Oñati with an old university, Tolosa, the provincial capital for a short time, Pasaia, the main port and Hondarribia, an old fort town across from the French Atlantic coast. Gipuzkoa is hilly and green linking mountain and sea, populated with numerous urban nuclei that dot the whole territory; the conspicuous presence of hills and rugged terrain has added to a special leaning towards hiking and mountains on the part of Gipuzkoans.
Some mountains have an emblematic or iconic significance in the local tradition, their summits being topped with crosses and mountaineer postboxes. In addition, pilgrimages which have lost their former religious zeal and taken on a more secular slant are sometimes held to their summits; some renowned mountains are Aiako Harria, Txindoki and Izarraitz, amongst others. The Aralar Natural Park is a conservation area on the border of Gipuzkoa and Navarre in the Aralar Range; the rivers of Gipuzkoa are distinctly different from other Bay of Biscay rivers. They arise in the hilly Basque inland landscape, flow in a south- north direction, forming close, narrow valleys before joining the ocean; the rivers extend for a short length with only a small fluctuation in the volume of water thanks to the stable rainfall all year round, they show an abrupt drop between origin and mouth as far as the length of the river is concerned. From west to east the rivers are the Deba, Oria, Urumea and Bidasoa. Except for a narrow strip extending east from the hamlet Otzaurte and the tunnel of San Adrian, the province drains its waters to the Atlantic basin.
The region's communication layout is in step with its geographical features, with the main lines of infrastructure along a north -south axis up to recent times along the rivers heading to the ocean. Accordingly, the inland Way of St. James, i.e. the Tunnel Route penetrated the province via Irun and turned south-west along the Oria River towards the provincial limits at the tunnel of San Adrian. This stretch was in operation up to 1765. A minor St. James route crossed Gipuzkoa east to west along the coast; the main road cutting through Gipuzkoa follows that layout, i.e. the N-1 E-5 from Irun to Donostia and on to Altsasu all along the Oria River for the most part. The major Irun-Madrid railway runs close to the river up to its origin on the slopes of Aizkorri at train stop Otzaurte in Zegama. By 1973 engineering works for the Bilbao-Behobia A-8 E-70 motorway had been completed, with the new road cutting across the valleys east to west and turning into the main axis between Donostia and Bilbao, beside