The creation of a hospice for the pilgrims was one of the main concerns of the Franciscans from the beginning. There is evidence of the existence of several hospices that even came to work simultaneously.
The current Hotel is located at the old hostel opened by the Guardian of the Sanctuary P. José Querejazu, in 1779. It is noted that different places of Alava and Guipuzcoa collaborated with materials and alms in its construction, and in particular the town of Oñati.
The old hostelry underwent several reforms through time to adapt itself to the new needs as well as to maintain a minimum social prestige.
During the 20th century, the hotel stood out as a reference point for ceremonies in the area, especially weddings.
The last reform began in 2006 and was completed in the summer of 2008 – the hostel was completely rebuilt to become the current Hotel.
YOUR HOTEL IN GUIPUZCOA
Combining heritage with modernity, the Hotel Santuario de Arantzazu is one of the few hotels in Guipuzcoa that offers Culture and Spirituality in a unique ecological environment, in the geographical heart of the Basque Country.
The Hotel Santuario de Arantzazu in Guipúzcoa, located 9 km from Oñati downtown, is distinguished by its modern architecture that respects the natural, cultural and spiritual environment of Arantzazu and by sober and elegant interior design.
Peace, calm, tranquility and rest, are its main qualities thanks to a unique ecological environment, in the geographical heart of the Basque Country, nestled between the mountains and the silence of the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park.
It also emerges from the history of a more than 500 years old Shrine in which spirituality, culture and nature converge. This establishment was the former hostelry for pilgrims for more than three centuries.
The total renovation of the building was completed in 2008, and its new facilities have been designed to offer maximum comfort to its visitors. When designing the facilities we also kept in mind the disabled people and that’s why we eliminated all possible architectural barriers.
And thus it has become the modern and comfortable hotel that is today whithout giving up its historical identity marked by sobriety, good service, friendly service, humane treatment and respect for the natural that characterize the religious and Franciscan environment of the Sanctuary.
The Hotel Santuario de Arantzazu in Guipúzcoa has a bar-cafeteria, a restaurant with two dining rooms (cider house), a living room, a fitness area, saunas and meeting rooms (in addition to the meeting and event center rooms) of the Gandiaga Topagunea Building, all attended by a team of professionals whose first objective is the client’s full satisfaction.
ARANTZAZU: ITS HISTORY AND TREASURES
Once upon a time a shepherd named Rodrigo de Baltzategi left his flock when he heard the tinkle of a cowbell coming from the forest. He thought it could be one of his sheeps but he found an image of the Virgin in a hawthorn, with a cowbell that sounded with the movement of the wind. This is how the story of Arantzazu begins. This encounter that took place in 1468 and could be merely anecdotal, marked the beginning of a long history that is still alive today.
That image of the Virgin received the name of Arantzazu according to the legend, because the pastor exclaimed in Basque “Arantzan zu” (you in the hawthorn) when it saw it. Since then and even before any religious order arrived to this place in the ravine, the locals began their devotion to the image of the Virgin. It was linked to the improvement of the crops that had not been good for years, as well as to the arrival of peace between oñazinos and gamboinos. Arantzazu was born from the people.
Arantzazu offers a picture of overwhelming beauty and a silence only broken by the sound of the bells of the Basilica. It is the gateway to the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park. Arantzazu is a world reference in architecture and religious art for its current Basilica whose decoration brings together in one the work of three Prince of Asturias Awards: Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida and Néstor Basterretxea.
In addition to discovering all the values that the Sanctuary contains, visiting the Arrikrutz caves or the Gomiztegi shepherd school, discovering the monumental heritage of Oñati, or making countless mountain excursions or hiking routes are just some of the possibilities that can be enjoyed when you stay at the Hotel Santuario de Arantzazu.
To make visits easier, the hotel offers a complete guide to the Sanctuary and a guide to up to 8 existing trails in the area.
Arantzazu is just one hour from Bilbao and San Sebastián, 45 minutes from Vitoria and 1:45 hours away from Pamplona.
Arantzazu is a world reference in architecture and religious art, especially for the current Basilica (1950-55), which brings together the work of 3 Prince of Asturias prizes in a single work: Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida and Néstor Basterretxea. And other great artists like Saénz de Oiza, Xabier Alvarez de Eulate, Lucio Muñoz or Xabier Egaña participated in addition to them.
Experts consider the Basilica of Arantzazu to be the best religious construction of the 20th century.