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—  Municipality  —

Coat of arms
Location of Elorrio in Biscay
Elorrio is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 43°8′N 2°32′W / 43.133°N 2.533°W / 43.133; -2.533Coordinates: 43°8′N 2°32′W / 43.133°N 2.533°W / 43.133; -2.533
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  País Vasco
Province Biscay
Comarca Duranguesado
Founded 1356
 - Alcalde Niko Moreno (ANV)
 - Total 37.32 km2 (14.4 sq mi)
Elevation 185 m (607 ft)
Population (2008)
 - Total 7,165
 - Density 192/km2 (497.2/sq mi)
 - Demonym Elorriotarra / Elorriano
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 48230
Official language(s)
Website Official website

Elorrio is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, northern Spain.



Elorrio lies in eastern Biscay, in the mountainous terrain of the Durangaldea commonwealth, at the point where the provinces of Biscay, Guipuzkoa, and Araba meet. The town is surrounded by various mountains, such as Intxorta (797m) and Udalatx (1092m), and is traversed by the River Zumelegi that, after joining the River Arrazola in Atxondo, goes on to form the River Ibaizabal.

The town is situated 39km from the provincial capital of Bilbao, and its population (as of 2004) is 7,112 inhabitants.


Elorrio's main church
Elorrio's central plaza

The Argiñeta tombs that today lie just outside the town of Elorrio are both pre-Christian and Christian (the earliest date of the latter is recorded as 893). In 1053, the San Agustín de Etxebarria monastery was founded, which in time was renovated and eventually became present-day church (an example of Gothic architecture). In 1356, Don Tello, Lord of Biscay, officially created Elorrio (through a foundational charter) on the land where the monastery stood, as a means of creating a town to defend his borders against invasion from neighboring Gipuzkoa. In 1468 the town was the site of a major battle between warring clan factions in the Basque Country (the Oñacinos and the Gamboinos). However, incidents of this type decreased, and between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, the town's fortunes grew, gaining renown for its iron-forges, and especially the production of lances. As a result of this economic expansion, a number of important buildings were constructed (mostly during the sixteenth century) that are today considered monuments of significant historical and architectural importance. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Elorrio, although it remained a predominantly rural town, became a tourist destination, as people visited the locality to attend one of its two well-known spas. After the Spanish Civil War, Elorrio went through a period of industrialization, with a number of small, family firms and worker cooperative enterprises emerging. In 1964, the whole town was the first one in Biscay to be declared a Centre of Historical and Artistic Importance. Its population, which grew from 3,500 in 1950 to 8,000 in 1981, currently (2004 records) numbers just over 7,000 people.[1]

Famous people from Elorrio

Archway in the heart of Elorrio
  • Saint Balendin Berrio-Otxoa (Valentín de Berrio-Ochoa in Spanish), one of the Vietnamese Martyrs, was born in Elorrio in 1827. Ordained in 1851, he became a Dominican and was later sent to Manila and Tonkin as a missionary. At the age of thirty-one, he was named a bishop, but was later killed in Tonkin in 1861. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.[2]
  • Alejandro Goicoechea, born in 1895, was the engineer who developed with José Luis Oriol the Talgo railway vehicle. He died in 1984.


Elorrio from above

External links



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