1st year Architecture students visit the Aránzazu Sanctuary

Armando Diago Bernáldez, PhD student and professor at subject of the Graphic Expression Workshop, tells us about the visit

In October, the students of the 1st year of Architecture visited the sanctuary of Our Lady of Aránzazu, located in the municipality of Oñati (Gipuzkoa). According to legend, the Virgin appeared to a shepherd named Rodrigo de Balzategi on a hawthorn tree and he asked her:"Arantzan zu?" (You on a hawthorn tree?). During the following centuries, the Franciscan friars made Aránzazu a place of devotion and pilgrimage, and an exponent of art and culture.

"After a very good introduction and explanation by the guide of the information center, we were lucky enough to tour the building, both its interior and its history, by the hand of a friendly local monk. The weather and the charm of the place made for a stimulating day and a few very good drawings," comments Armando Diago Bernáldez, PhD student and teacher at subject of Graphic Expression Workshop who enjoyed the visit.

The sanctuary survived three major fires (1553, 1622 and 1834) and was rebuilt several times. In 1951, it was decided to build a new basilica that expressed itself in a modern artistic language, for which an ideas competition was held. The winning project was that of Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza and Luis Laorga, although the imprint of the sculptor Jorge Oteiza, author of the sculptures of the 14 apostles on the facade, is present throughout the whole. The paintings are by Nestor Basterretxea and Lucio Muñoz and the iron doors by Eduardo Chillida.

Photos by Armando Diago Bernáldez, PhD student and teacher at subject of Taller de expresión gráfica.

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