Isozaki, tuna and the Gothic altarpiece

Gehry , Foster, Moneo , Isozaki , Siza, Calatrava … were the ones who motivated us to pack and travel across the world to Bilbao, UNESCO City of Design. Déformation professionnelle.

We were surprised when they took us out of our bubble of Contemporary Urbanism to visit Lekeitio. This little town of about 7,000 people, made us, from the get-go, feel at home.

The Tuna Club opened just for us. Eating on the waterfront, accompanied by the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, the grilled fresh fish tasted amazing.

Afterward we walked right to the Basilica. It seemed a miracle that they could have built such a striking building of this size in this small town. Inside, darkness, strict silence and a smell of wax mixed with salt.
We sat at medium nave. I was observing the structure of the vaults and didn’t realize that Stéphanie (+) was heading toward a switch that, when entered a coin, lit the altarpiece. When I looked down I was overwhelmed by its beauty: its opulent design, superb polychrome wood retable, imaginary gold plated panels, figures, detailed filigree work on canopies and traceries and, all of it centered by, with supreme presence, Andra Mari *.

Finding one of the most important Gothic altarpieces in Spain ** hidden among the basque cliffs, was a surprise which go Basquing managed to keep secret until seeing our face. Thank you for the gift!

H.K.
go Basquing & friends

* Andra Mari: Virgin Mary in Euskera (Basque language)
** The altarpiece of The Basilica Assumption of Santa Maria of Lekeitio is the third largest in Spain, right behind the Cathedral of Seville and Toledo.