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Avant-garde gastronomy and stays in front of the Bay of Biscay

The influence of the Belle Époque in San Sebastian

During your next visit to San Sebastian get immersed in the architecture from the Belle Époque that surrounds the city. Its history began by the end of the 19th century when Queen María Cristina, decided that San Sebastian was to be the royal summer home. The city gradually built majestic buildings in the French style, leaving a magnificent mark that has maintained its original charm over the years.

We propose a route full of architecture and history, through some of the most remarkable buildings of the Belle Époque in San Sebastián:

The City Hall
San Sebastian City Hall was home to the city’s Gran Casino from its opening in 1887, providing entertainment for politicians, writers and artists in the Belle Époque period.

Funicular Railway Station
The Funicular Railway Station allows, since 1912, to go up to the Monte Igueldo Amusement Park in original wooden wagons. The essence of this historical place remains, preserving the most emblematic attractions and elements that everyone in Donostia recognizes and remembers with affection. Both the Amusement Park and the Monte Igueldo Funicular were named Monumental Complex in 2014.

Miramar Palace
Located in La Concha Bay since 1893, the palace is today one of the images of the city. It is an English-style construction that was commissioned by the Spanish Royal Family as a summer residence, making San Sebastián the reference point for aristocratic tourism. The Miramar Palace is a Historic-Artistic Monument since 1968.

La Perla
This spa was built at the legendary Concha Bay in the early 20th century, to meet the aristocratic needs of Queen María Cristina and her court. La Perla was considered by the newspapers of the time to be one of the most beautiful in the world. La Perla has been refurbished ever since, yet it maintains original elements.

Victoria Eugenia Theatre
Located in the city centre, this theatre is considered from the Belle Époque in design yet highly modern in spirit.
The Victoria Eugenia Theatre is a sandstone building created by the architect Francisco de Urcola in 1912. Particularly interesting on the facade are, over the Doric columns, four groups of sculptures representing the opera, the tragedy, the comedy and the drama.

Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa
The Provincial Council building was designed by the local architect José de Goicoa in 1885. That same year it was almost razed to the ground by fire, only the facade survived. Making the most of the aspects saved from the fire, a new project was started, finishing in 1890.
The arches outside of the building link it to the other buildings in the Plaza de Gipuzkoa. Its facade displays busts of several famous people from Gipuzkoa: Urdaneta, Elcano, Oquendo, Lezo and Legazpi.

Koldo Mitxelena Library
This building, opened in 1900, was completely revamped in 1993 (except the facades) to house the Koldo Mitxelena Culture Centre. It hosts an incredible library, as well as different exhibition halls with visual arts by contemporary artists both international and from Gipuzkoa.

La influencia de la Belle Époque en San Sebastián