Santuario de Loyola, Azpeitia

#41 of 288 in Things to do in Province of Guipuzcoa
Must see · Landmark · Tourist Spot
The Sanctuary of Loyola or ‘’’Sanctuary of Loiola’’’ Shrine and Basilica of Loyola (Spanish: Santuario de Loyola; Basque: Loiolako Santutegia) consists of a series of edifices built in Churrigueresque Baroque style around the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.

The sanctuary stands along the river Urola at the neighbourhood of Loyola (Loiola, a place-name meaning 'foundry made of clay', or possibly 'hut made of clay') in the municipality of Azpeitia, Basque Country, Spain.

Ignatius of Loyola, whose real name was Iñigo López de Loyola, was the son of the Lord of Loyola, Beltrán Ibáñez de Oñaz and Marina Sánchez de Licona, member of an important Biscayan family. He was born in 1491 in his family house in Loyola.
After he died his birthplace became a place of veneration. In the seventeenth century the house where he was born was given to the Society of Jesus. The Order built there, near the birthplace of its founder, the Sanctuary of Loyola.

In 1900 the Society commissioned an altar for the sanctuary, employing metalwork artist Plácido Zuloaga, who had won international success creating intricate artworks by damascening, a technique which inlays gold and silver into iron. Zuloaga's iron structure houses panels depicting the life of St. Ignatius, and supports a damascened crucifix and candlesticks from the workshop of José Felipe Artamendi.
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  • I came on a weekday, it was really quiet, no pilgrims around. The basilica was grand and beautiful. I also visited the Casa Santa Museum. Glad that our group bought a pass so we could listen to the...  more »
  • The santuario is located in beautiful countryside outside of an industrial town. We came down from the coast (Getaria) and drove through really lovely country with less than lovely towns. The...  more »
  • If you like visiting churches or other historical buildings it is worth a visit. Also there are plenty of paths to have a walk in the nature.
  • Very difficult to find the Sanctuary driving but finally we did it, and I can report it is a very interesting place for those interested in the story of Ignacio de Loyola. He was a Spanish Basque Catholic priest, who founded the religious order called the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Jesuit order served the Pope as missionaries, and they were bound by a vow of special obedience to the sovereign pontiff in regard to the missions. They therefore emerged as an important force during the time of the Counter - Reformation. Highly recommend for those who visit Basque Country.
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