Saturday, August 1, 2009

EUSKADI: DONOSTIA - SAN SEBASTIAN


After the three days we spent in Santander, Comillas, Santillana del Mar and Bilbao, we arrived at Gipuzkoa, where we visited:


I must say that I really liked these places.

Tuesday, 28th july 2009

Donostia (San Sebastián)



Donostia is an elegant and lovely town with a fantastic beach, a genuine old quarter and a magnificent and an harmonious urbanistic design, as I will try to show you in the next pictures. I really liked this town. These are the beautiful places we visited in Donostia:

  • La Kontxa (Concha) Beach
  • Ondarreta Beach
  • Miramar Palace
  • Peine del Viento by Chillida
  • Urgull Mount
  • Kursaal
  • Gipuzkoa square
  • Constitución Square and Old Quarter
  • Cathedral and New Quarter

La Kontxa (La Concha) Beach


Beach of La Concha in San Sebastian
As soon as we arrived at Donostia, we went to the wonderful beach of La Kontxa. In the background, the Urgull mountain


Beach of La Concha in San Sebastian
From the same point than the previous picture, but in the opposite direction, we can see the Igueldo mount and Santa Clara island


Beach of La Concha in San Sebastian
Igueldo mount and La Concha beach in San Sebastián



Ondarreta Beach



Ondarreta beach in San Sebastian
A bit later the sunshine caressed warmly our faces and we started to see some bathers in La Concha beach who were eager to enjoy this hot and shining day in San Sebastián

Ondarreta beach in San Sebastian
Ondarreta beach and Igueldo mount in San Sebastián

Ondarreta beach in San Sebastian
A fantastic view of Ondarreta beach and the Igueldo mountain from the Miramar Palace in San Sebastián


Gardens near Ondarreta beach in San Sebastian
A little garden we saw walking along Ondarreta beach. Gardens in Donostia are splendid



Miramar Palace


Miramar Palace in San Sebastian
Miramar Palace is a really colourful building in "Cottage" english style. From here we could enjoy fantastic views of La Kontxa Bay in San Sebastián



Peine del Viento by Chillida


Peine del Viento in San Sebastian
Under the Igueldo Mountain in San Sebastián, and after walking for almost one hour, we arrived at the "Peine del Viento". The "Peine del Viento" is a monument created by the famous sculptor Chillida in a windy place

Beach of La Concha in San Sebastian
A panoramic view of La Kontxa in San Sebastián. In the background, on the right, the Igueldo Mount


Beach of La Concha in San Sebastian
The building on the right, between the Kontxa beach and the Urgull mountain, is the City Hall of Donostia. The old quarter begins just behind this bulding

City Hall of San Sebastian
The building of the City Hall of San Sebastián was built originally to be a Gran Casino. In front of it, the Alderdi Eder Gardens



Urgull Mount


Urgull Mount in San Sebastian
Everybody had told us that the view of Donostia from the Urgull mountain was wonderful, so we went up to the top of the mountain

Zurriola beach in San Sebastian
Already on the top of the Urgull mount in San Sebastián, we could see, on the left, the Kursaal (a bit hidden) and the Zurriola beach


La Concha beach in San Sebastian
This is the view of the Kontxa beach in San Sebastián. This b
each gives an special charm to the city. Its 1,370 metres of length draw a gentle curve and relates harmoniously to the mountains and buildings of Donostia-San Sebastián. On the left the old quarter appears between the trees and the City Hall


La Concha beach in San Sebastian

Here, in the background appears the old city of San Sebastián


San Sebastian from Urgull mount
The cathedral of Donostia can be better seen in this photo, where the City Hall appears too together with In front of it, the Alderdi Eder Gardens




Kursaal


Kursaal in San Sebastian
After coming back to Donostia from Zarautz, we went for a walk and we could admire the Kursaal at night



Kursaal in San Sebastian
The San Sebastian's Congress Centre is an amazing architectural built in 1999 by Rafael Moneo. In the Background a light arrives from the Mount Urgull



Wednesday, 29th july 2009

Donostia



Gipuzkoa square



Gipuzkoa square in San Sebastian
Probably one of the most charming places in Donostia-San Sebastián is Gipuzkoa square, whose gardens appear full of small surprises. Donostia offers an oasis of peace in these romantic gardens, From this lovely square we went by bus to Hondarribi, a beautiful little town in the border with France with a wonderful old town


We came back to Donostia in the afternoon, so we could spent a good time until the evening, when we had to get on our coach to come back to Santander. From there we would catch our flight to Barcelona.



Old Quarter



For centuries, Donostia-San Sebastián was reduced to the group of streets located at the foot of Mount Urgull, what nowadays is known as the Old Quarter. The Old Quarter is the festive axis and a friendly area where the people from Donostia meet.


Old town of San Sebastian
A typical street of the old quarter of San Sebastián. We walked along one of this streets to reach the Constitución Square


Constitucion square in San Sebastian
Constitución square in San Sebastián is surrounded by arcaded buildings. Among those buildings, we can stand out the former Town Hall and its emblematic clock


Constitucion square in San Sebastian
Everybody walking or sitting at the pavements cafés surprises at one detail: each balcony in the square is numbered. As Donostia didn't have a bullring, bullfights took place in this square, always lively, and the 147 balconies were the boxes


City Hall of San Sebastian
The two towers of the City Hall of San Sebastián stand out at one of the ends of La Concha Bay. This emblematic building keeps the same splendour as when it was the Grand Casino


Cathedral and New Quarter


After the demolition of the walls in 1863, Donostia-San Sebastián could extend between the Urumea River and La Concha Bay by means of the enlargement Antonio Cortázar designed. This romantic area, with several pedestrian axis blocked by the Boulevard and the Libertad Avenue, nowadays makes up the urban centre, characterised by the elegance of the buildings.


Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastián
The 75 metres high tower of the Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastián, the most striking element of Donostia's cathedral, can be seen from a good part of the city. This neogothic church was built between 1888 and 1897 using stone blocks extracted from Mount Igeldo's quarries


Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastian
Inside the Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastián we could observe all the characteristic elements of gothic style


Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastian
The Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastián dominates the Buen Pastor Square, with gardens and two outstanding twin buildings, the present headquarters of the Post Office and the Koldo Mitxelena Cultural Centre, at the back


Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastian
On the left the current Post Office and, on the right, the Koldo Mitxelena Cultural Centre, are two twin buildings at the back of the Buen Pastor Cathedral in San Sebastián



Finally, other beautiful places you can visit in Spain are:



- Catalonia

- Granada

- Sevilla, Córdoba, Cádiz and Costa de la Luz

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