Villa médiévale

Convent of Saint Augustine

The church in the Middle Ages

Plaza Berria

Early 20th century

Beroitz Etxea

High society


Defensive Hernani

Saint John church

A church for the people

Town Hall

Carlist Wars

Andre kalea


The Arch

The Hernani wall


From "hermandades" to councils


Defensive Hernani

Hernani was a strategic point in the territorial disputes between the kingdoms of Castile and Navarre. In 1180, the Navarrese King Sancho El Sabio founded the town of San Sebastián, thus giving the Kingdom of Navarre an outlet to the sea. Years later, in 1200, the Castilian crown conquered the so-called “maritime Navarre”, Araba and Gipuzkoa (Bizkaia was already aligned with the Castilian orbit through the pacts made by the Lords of Biscay). Throughout the 13th century, different Castilian monarchs granted town charters to towns such as Getaria, Hondarribia, and to those that facilitated access to the sea for Castile: Segura, Tolosa… and Hernani.

It is believed that in the middle of the 13th century, Alfonso X The Wise, King of Castile, granted a town charter to the town of Hernani, but there is no record of this, as the document disappeared in one of the numerous wars and fires that devastated our town.

The tower house at Kale Nagusia 13 was one of the powerful bastions defending access to the town. A real medieval fortress, powerful and heavy. Undoubtedly a hidden gem, which is listed as a historical-artistic monument, and is one of our oldest buildings, possibly dating back to the 14th century. The dwelling was on the first floor and was accessed by an attached stone staircase, which was demolished in the 19th century.

Over time, the building has been transformed from a fortress to a dwelling. As a result, the floors were redistributed and enlarged and big windows were opened. However, the strong ashlar walls, the small pointed arch entrance, the arrow slit with embrasure and a series of other details speak of a warlike past.