Medieval Town

We shall now cross Casilda Iturrízar Street to access the mediaeval quarter via Atarazanas Street. The town’s old quarter was declared an Artistic-historical Complex by the Spanish Ministry for Culture in 1978 and, on 6 February 1996, this declaration was seconded by the Basque Government and declared a Monumental Complex.

Portugalete has some very stately spots, streets and squares, particularly in its old town. We shall cross the three streets that make up the old mediaeval town, Coscojales street, formerly la Fuente, Víctor Chavarri Street, popularly known as the street in the middle (del Medio), and Santa María Street. All three are extremely steep and paved with cobble stone called “rebollos” or “morrillos”, which were a great improvement in urban practicability in the middle of the 15th century.

Worthy of particular mention are the Ranchería square, which owes its name to the rations given to soldiers in the said square, as a military barracks was once located here. Or Coscojales street, famous for its niche with the image of the virgin of the guide, to whom there is great devotion in the town, and for its taverns, where only the best wines and pintxos are served.

Of particular interest in the En Medio street is:

  • The Renaissance style mansion belonging to the Salazar-Galindo family (no. 17)
  • Where Víctor Chavarri was born, a magnificent example of late Classical architecture (no. 21-23)
  • The Baroque style mansion from the 18th century belonging to the Sota family (no. 22).

Take the Cantón de la Iglesia to Santa María Street to see no. 26, with the Renaissance style coat of arms on the corner which identifies the former 16th century palace that belonged to the Vallecilla family. In the Campo de la Iglesia, you will fi nd the Basilica of Our Lady, the Salazar Tower with its gate, both of which are classified as “specially protected”.