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San SebastIán



San Sebastián
One of the most aristocratic seaside resorts in all of Spain, San Sebastián is well situated on the northern coast of Spain in the Basque Region and is one of the best places to visit in Spain. The royal family used to stay here in  the past; the Foreign Ministry and part of the government would also move here for the month of August. Two hills (Igueldo to the east and Urgull to the west) mark the limits of a large bay of fine golden sand, shaped like a shell and called La Concha. The Urumea runs into the sea between the Urgull and Ulia.
Old San Sebastian stands on a limited space between Urgull hill and the Alameda promenade. The Santa Maria Church, ( More ) rebuilt at the end of the 18th century, has an animated façade in the Churrigueresque style. But the San Vicente Church is the oldest in the town. Begun in 1507, altered two centuries later it recovered its original Gothic style following restoration later.
san vicente church San Sebastian Spain
(click map for link)
The Convent of San Telmo,
(link to museum website) founded in 1534 by Alonso Idiaquez, Secretary of State to Charles Quint, now houses a library and a museum: Basque ethnography, engravings and relics of the
Carlist wars. (19th century Spanish civil wars between the monarchy and the government). It portrays the complete local history, from the taking over of the town by the
Crown of Castile in 1200 up to the last civil war: betrothal of Marie-Thérèsa of Austria and Louie XIV, siege by the armies of the Convention and the First Empire, etc.
There are some first class paintings: El Greco (Saint Dominique); Vincent Lopez
(Ferdinand VII); Goya (General O'Reilly) and beautiful canvasses by Zuloaga. On the walls of the chapel, where lie the founder and his wife, the painter José-Maria Sert has depicted the story of the Basque people, in cameo.
Bull fights were once held in the Plaza del 18 de Julio, with its regular arcades. The balconies once occupied by the spectators still bear their numbers. Near the port are restaurants which specialise in Basque dishes, bars and shops.
Again, in the old town busy streets lead you to the porticoed Plaza de la Constitución. Among its many balconies - numbered and painted white, betraying its origin as a bullring - stands the old Neoclassical City Hall, converted into the Municipal Library.
The more modern city centre streets of San Sebastián overlook the La Concha Bay. Monte Igeldo marks one end of it - a wonderful vantage point for enjoying views over the city. At its feet is Torrepea Point, where the “Peine de los Vientos” ("Comb of the Winds"), a sculpture by the famous Basque artist Eduardo Chillida, is installed. Here Ondarreta beach begins, framed by a garden area and by the Pico del Loro. This was the place chosen by
Queen Maria Cristina (18th C.) to build the Miramar Palace, her summer residence. A lovely promenade with elegant railings and street lamps runs along La Concha Beach, on whose sands is the Perla del Océano Bathing Area, a former royal bathing hut. Still looking at the sea, you arrive at the old Casino, nowadays the City Hall. In this area, between the sea and the River Urumea, is the old town and the way to Monte Urgull, the marina and the fishermen's district. The summit of Urgull is dominated by La Mota Castle and a representation of the Sacred Heart. One path takes you upwards while another skirts the hill and takes you along the breakwater.
From the Old Town, La Alameda del Boulevard leads into the Romantic city, which emerged after the old walls were demolished. One the banks of the Urumea you can make out the
Victoria Eugenia Theatre and the María Cristina Hotel, built in Neoplateresque style. Spread through this rationalist street pattern, you can also visit the Plaza de Guipúzcoa, with its gardens, the Provincial Government building, the Koldo Mitxeleria Cultural Centre and the Post and Telegraph Office. Also, San Sebastian Cathedral, el Buen Pastor, built in Neogothic style. Once again on the bank there are aristocratic houses from the beginning of the 20th century, leading to the María Cristina bridge, the most monumental of those crossing the river. Four lamps by the sculptor Mariano Benlliure light the way to the railway station, designed by Eiffel. On this side of the river are the modern districts of Eguía and Gros. On Gros Beach is the modern Kursaal structure, designed by the architect Rafael Moneo.
San Sebastian Day: January 20th is celebrated as the traditional Basque party day.

Carnival: The whole city celebrates by partying out on the streets. Fancy dress, parades, music, dance, games etc.

Village Fiestas: The months between July and October the smaller villages and remote towns celebrate their local "Fiestas"

San Fermin: Every year during July in Pamplona, a town close to San Sebastian, one of the biggest fiestas is celebrated which includes the running of the bulls. More

Jazz Festival: Every year during the last 35 years at the end of July the annual Jazz Festival is held featuring performances by the greatest Jazz artists in the world. INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL •July 21-25
Web : http://www.heinekenjazzaldia.com

Quincena Music Fortnight: A seventy year old opera, dance, and symphony extravaganza that takes place in the local churches, theatres', and parks. Musical Fortnight •August to September
E-mail : quincenamusical@donostia.org


During August and September, San Sebastián holds a traditional classical music event: Music Fortnight. The Kursaal Centre, the churches of Santa Maria and San Vicente, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre and other venues throughout see  major symphony orchestras and international soloists.

Semana Grande: Held during August the main celebration in San Sebastian showcases fireworks over the bay, concerts, an open air cinema, and around the clock partying along the streets.

Fishing Boat Regatta: La Concha Bay is where the best regatta teams will compete for the Bandera de La Concha prize every September.

Folklore Festival in October, Bach Festival in November and Santo Tomas festival in December are the other festivals which tourists enjoy.
International Film Festival: The annual film festival held during the end of september features films from around the world.
San Sebastián International Film Festival
Centro Kursaal. Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio
Avenida de Zurriola, 1 20002 San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa)
Tel. +34 943003000
For another year the capital of Guipuzcoa province will host the San Sebastián International Film festival, an event that has been held every year since its began in 1953.
The festival is one of the most prestigious and internationally recognised in Spain, and big names in film, both actors and directors, have attended to present their films, making for a glamorous, cosmopolitan atmosphere. Apart from the different prizes awarded in the various sections, since 1986 the Donostia Prize has been awarded in recognition of those who have contributed to the world of film through their careers

Museo Municipal de San Telmo - San Telmo Municipal Museum
Plaza Zuloaga, 1 20003 San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa)
Tel. +34 943481580
Heritage of the Basque Country
A multi-disciplinary centre set in an old 16th century convent
The museum is divided into three sections (Fine Art, History and Archaeology), with exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, weapons, medals, coins, ceramics, musical instruments, photographs, pre-Columbine artefacts, religious precious metalwork... It is a highly heterogeneous collection that shows the evolution of social life in the Basque Country over the ages. Furthermore, you can also see tombstones, baptismal fonts, canvasses by artists such as El Greco, Alonso Cano, Rubens and Depièce, along with works by contemporary Basque artists
San Sebastián
Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa
 Basque Country
Tourist Office:
Reina Regente, 3 -
San Sebastián
(Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa)
Tel. +34 943481166

San Sebastian Tinker´s Parade

Being part of the prelude to the Carnival in San Sebasian, the Tinkers' Parade takes place the first Saturday of February

This parade celebrates the arrival of the Hungarian tinkers to town, who announce the upcoming Carnival. The Parade is led by a bear, which is one of the characteristic animals in the Basque carnival mythology.

The Tinkers' Parade is made up of different tribes which represent the various clubs taking part in it. One of the most characteristic features os this parade is the peculiar sound emitted by the tinkers as they beat their hammers against the pots, which form part of their outfit.

The show also includes canticles and dances performed by gypsy women. The comic talent of this celebration is offered by the queen, which is actually a man. Beautiful floats decorated with brilliantly coloured lamps bring up the rear of the parade.

The nursemaids and Shepherds`Parade
takes place the day after the Tinkers` parade, that is, the first Sunday after the Tinkers`Parade.

Together with the Tinkers`Parade, it forms part of the prelude to the carnival.

This parade stages the period when shepherds used to come to town to court nursemaids and it is made up by dancers, drum players and dressed up people, being Kresala the society in charge of its staging since 1973. The moment most awaited by the people attending the parade is when the nursemaids "launch their babies to the sky". Works by Basque composers such as Sarriegui are performed.

!Qué belleza! !qué paisajes
contemplamos todos por doquier!
!Al gran pueblo donostiarra
saludamos, llenos de placer!

Caldereros somos de la Hungría
que venimos a San Sebastián;
aquí Momo sólo nos envía
a decirles que pronto vendrá.

Componemos la vanguardia
del alegre Carnaval.!
Ay cuánta dicha vamos a gozar!
Chocad...chás, chás,
Cantad...chás, chás.
Chocad...chás, chás, chás, chás.!

Qué bellezas!!qué paisajes
contemplamos todos por doquier!
!Al gran pueblo donostiarra
saludamos, llenos de placer!

Recorrimos diversos países
y admiramos beldades a mil,
pero nunca mujeres tan lindas
cual las niñas que vemos aquí;
su cintura es flexible palmera,
son sus labios cual fino coral
si ellas fueran caldereras
con sus ojos fundieran metal.

 Music: D. Raimundo Sarriegui
Lyrics: D. Adolfo Comba

Tamborrada  Flag raising
On the eve of the Patron Saint Day of San Sebastian, a representative from each Tamborrada, or arching drum band, is invited to attend the Flag Raising Ceremony, which occures at midnight on January 20th in the City Square (Plaza de la Constitución).
The representatives will play the traditional tamborrada melodies together with the members of the Gaztelubide tamborrada group.


San Sabastian Carnival
The first references about the San Sebastian Carnival date from 1814. But one may assume that the Carnival in San Sebastian has a longer history, as far as we know that the great fire in 1813 destroyed the town almost completely. Even then, a year after the disaster, there were masquerades marching through the ruined streets, continuing the long tradition of the carnival.

Guipúzcoa - Gipuzkoa
Donostia-San Sebastián

Palacio Real de Miramar - Miramar Royal Palace (Donostia-San Sebastián)
tel. +34 943481166

Catedral del Buen Pastor – Buen Pastor Cathedral (Donostia-San Sebastián)
tel. +34 943455123 +34 943464516

Iglesia de Santa María - Santa María Church (Donostia-San Sebastián)
tel. +34 943423124
Best tourist attractions in San Sebastian, Spain

The Concha Bay
A fantastic stroll along one of the best beaches in Europe.
The Concha Bay is possibly the is a classic beach, the one that most people would draw from an image they have in their mind, maybe the most photographed beach in Spain if not Europe, certainly one of the most visited  beaches in the world.... The Concha Beach is 1,500 metres of white sand is the heart of the city.

Old Town of San Sebastián
Let's delve into the essence of Donostia / San Sebastian
Romantic Area
Discover the romantic Belle Epoque style of Donostia / San Sebastián
Mount Igeldo
The perfect place to enjoy the best views out to sea and of the city
To the shelter of Mount Urgull
Where Donostia / San Sebastián's past lives on
Where the Peine del Viento (Windcomb) statue finishes off the Concha Bay in spectacular fashion

Surfing beach with a young vibe