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Catedral de la pelota a mano (Hand-Pelota Cathedral)
Eibar Isasi Astelena.jpg
Full name Frontón Astelena
Location 11 Isasi Street, Éibar, Guipúzcoa province, Basque Country, Spain
Coordinates 43°11′02.04″N 2°28′31.66″W / 43.1839°N 2.4754611°W / 43.1839; -2.4754611Coordinates: 43°11′02.04″N 2°28′31.66″W / 43.1839°N 2.4754611°W / 43.1839; -2.4754611
Broke ground 1903
Opened June 24, 1904
Renovated 1969-2006-2007
Owner Éibar municipality
Architect José Gurruchaga (original), Cosme de Uriarte (1969),
General Contractor Francisco Irusta
Main contractors Josefa Echeverría & sons
Capacity 1250
Field dimensions 41m (Lenght); 11m (wide); 9m (height)

The Astelena fronton, nicknamed Cathedral of Basque Hand-pelota is a fronton, located in Éibar, Guipúzcoa province, Basque Country, Spain. Astelena is a short 41 meter-long fronton were hand-pelota and pala modalities are played. the field has a wide of 11 m, and the wall a height of 9m. It was inagurated in 1904 and it was renovated in several ocations, the last one between 2006 and 2007[1], for accomplish the actual needs. The finals of 1st Hand-Pelota singles championship (1946, 1950, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1966, 1973 and 1999), and the Cuatro y Medio Euskadi Championship final of 1992 were played at the Astelena.



During the patronal festivity of Éibar, San Juan's day of 1904, the fronton was inaugurated in a game to 22 points between the local players Tacolo and Cantabria. On October of the same year, Francisco Irusta a local inhabitant presented a project for cover the open-air fronton , the proposition was signed and approved by José Gurruchaga, the municipal architect.

Due to be the only public closed space in Éibar, most important events of the town were celebrated there, from boxing matches, Dances, Cockfights, festivals and in cases dinners in honor of a specific person. In 1906 it was purchased by C. Aguirre, F. Bascaran, I. Irusta, M. Echeverría, M. Gómez, I. Vildósola, A. Eguiguren and B. Gárate.

The fronton suffered several damages during the Civil War used as barracks and dinning place until 1940 when it was established the 1st Hand-Pelota singles championship. On November 20, 1955 the 50th anniversary of the fronton was celebrated despite the day and year weren't the same.

On December 28, 1969 the fronton was closed for renovations. during the renovation the door gate 9, that gave direct access to the field and the the window of the left wall were replaced.

The renovation was in charge of Cosme de Uriarte, who did not modify the outside look of the building, but the access of the spectators by a new door. The re-inauguration was made on October 8, 1972, in a game played between Retegi I and Tapia. Luciano Gastañagatorre and Alberto Vidarte were the facility owners. The renoved fronton had a maximum of 1300 spectators. On December 28, 1997 the fronton was closed again due to renovations, after two years of being owned by Asegarce.

In 1998 Aspe purchased the facilities, that were reopened with a game between Goñi I and Elkoro. In 2004 was published a commemorative anniversary book. On March 1, 2005, the fronton was again closed due to a disagreement among the owners (60% the Gaztañatorre family , from Bilbao and 40% the Vidarte family from Eibar).

On 2006, was purchased for 3.000.000 by the Éibar municipality and again closed for major renovations during 2006-2007, the fronton was finally reopened on May 20, 2007.



The fronton was named in a publicity move, Astelena which means Monday in Euskara, due that Mondays, for being the first day after the weekend, workers were inefficient and used to attend pelota games instead of working full time.


1st Hand-Pelota singles championship

Year Champion Subchampion Score
1946 Atano III Akarregi 22-16
1950 Gallastegui Akarregi 22-15
1954 Soroa II Barberito I 22-04
1955 Arriaran II Soroa II 22-13
1956 Arriaran II Garcia Ariño I 22-13
1960 Azkarate Ogueta 22-19
1966 Atano X Azkarate 22-13
1973 Retegi I Tapia I 22-20
1999 Eugi Elkoro 22-11

Cuatro y Medio Euskadi Championship

Year Champion Subchampion Score
1992 Eugi Errasti 22-12



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