Tolosa and its attractions

Tolosa is a town and municipality in the province of Gipuzkoa, Basque community, northern Spain.

The paper industry has historically been one of its most important economic engines, although today it has companies with a broad industrial spectrum. Commerce, gastronomy, beans and sweets as the main references–, agriculture and tourism are also other of the most influential economic activities in the city. Likewise, Tolosa is well known for its great cultural activity.

Main attractions

Religious architecture

Convent of Saint Clara. Baroque Cenobio (18th century) of the Poor Clares. Artistic altarpiece in churrigueresco-rococo.

Church of Saint Mary, with 1630 m² of surface at present. The original church was affected by a fire in 1503, but until 1548 works could not be started for lack of money. The modern building is the local variant of Gothic called Basque Gothic.

In 1761 Martín de Carrera endowed the current baroque façade with central bullring and two towers joined by balustrade, and a few years later the atrium was added. In the nineteenth century Silvestre Pérez carried out reforms with neoclassical style. It has a central altarpiece, and in one of the side chapels is conserved the Romanesque-Gothic doorway.

Church of Corpus Christi.

Convent of Saint Francis, located at the exit of the Camino Real to Castile. The basilical plan, was constructed towards 1676 by Nicholas of Zumeta and Agustín de Lizarraga. The altarpiece of its main altar and the chapel of the Antia stand out.

Civil architecture

Provincial archive of Gipuzkoa, built in 1904 by the architect Cortázar, was one of the first to be built in concrete in the province. From the sixteenth century, Tolosa was already home to the Archives of the province.

Town Hall, built between 1657 and 1672, Baroque style, with the ground floor portico and wrought iron balconies. Work of the master stonecutter Juan de Arburola.

Old Town Hall, a rectangular elongated building that follows the line of the old wall, so its facade is perpendicular to the streets of the old town. In neoclassical style, it was totally remodeled in 1980s for home of culture.

Palace of Aranburu (century XVII), prototype of the baroque Basque.

The coat of arms of the jurisconsult Miguel de Aramburu, author in 1697 of the Compilation of the Fueros de Gipuzkoa is present.

Palace of Atodo (XVI century), at №35 on the Main Street in the Renaissance style with a large proportions and facade of ashlars.  Cradle of Fermín de Atodo, captain of the Tercios tolosanos in 1558 and ambassador of Felipe II in Rome.

Palace of Justice (1853), occupies one side of the public square’s portico. Neoclassical group of unitary composition, emphasizing the palace by a greater wealth of materials. The portico is transformed here into an arcade. Facade of limestone ashlar in ground floor. Work of the local architects Unanue and Escoriaza.

Palace of Idiakez, built in 1605, stands on the wall, in the area of the old Puerta de Navarra. The current building is estimated from the eighteenth century, after a fire destroyed the previous Casa-Torre. Its main facade is hammered ashlar (closes the Old Square), while the latter is brick on the river. The building is now the headquarters of the Casino de Tolosa.

Tolosa Bullring opened on 24 June 1903, has a ring of 37.5 m for 5300 visitors. Basque rural sport competitions (korrikalaris, aizkolaris, stone lifting, etc.) take place in it.

Andia Tower located at № 17 of the Main Street.


The Carnivals of Tolosa (Tolosako Iñauteriak) are very popular, a pagan festival that has never ceased to be celebrated since its inception, even after its prohibition for a time by the Franco dictatorship.

The patron saint festivities are those of San Juan, which are celebrated on June 24.

In September, the beer fair is popular.

Since 2007, the LAN party Gipuzkoa Encounter has been held there in mid-March.

How to get to?

By car:

From San Sebastian 30 min (28.7 km) via A-1

From Vitoria 1 hr 3 min (83.8 km) via A-1

From Bilbao 1 hr 13 min (104 km) via AP-8

From Madrid 4 hr 28 min (435 km) via AP-1 and A-1

Main information

Area: 37 km²

Coordinates: 43°08′19″N 2°04′20″W

Population: 19 795

Languages: Spanish, Basque

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

Read more: The cities of the Pyrenees and around with Andrew Morato ...