Palacio Sortalekua

Point of interest en Markina

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Palacio Sortalekua

The history of the Sortalekua Palace

Located in Markina-Xemein, the Palace of Sortalekua is one of the best known sites in the area. Also known as Mugartegui Palace, its construction dates back to 1666 by Lucas Longa. Nowadays this building of urban baroque style serves as town hall. A place that undoubtedly deserves a visit also given its position in the Camino del Norte as the first town in Biscay at the end of the route. 

Its construction was at the request of Juan José Fernández de Mugartegi y Mañozca, who lived in the town in the 17th century. Its construction was carried out on the medieval wall itself, as a way of defending the town. Taking a look at the structure of the building, one can appreciate this unquestionable baroque style on the façade, accompanied by wrought iron balconies, as well as several coats of arms. 

Markina, a town linked to armor

Since its foundation, the town of Markina was characterized by its walls but more especially for becoming one of the largest centers of armor manufacturing in the Peninsula; being the central core of this type of equipment in the Basque Country. 

The popularity of the place as a manufacturing enclave was such that a delegate of the Portuguese king during the 15th century referred to Marquina as "honde he os armeiros". Although the village has undergone several restructurings, especially in the 18th century. Years after the Civil War and more specifically in 1952, the village of Marquina and the parish of Jeméin were merged, giving rise to the municipality of Villa de Markina-Jeméin.

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