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San Esteban de Lartaun Parish Church

Standing in the Elizalde district of Oiartzun, San Esteban de Lartaun is an ancient church dedicated to Saint Steven Martyr. During the Middle Ages it was probably a Visigoth chapel, subsequently becoming an important Romanesque construction during the 10th and 12th Centuries. However, it no longer has any remains of that period.

It later became an early Gothic construction, a moment of which a few minor features remain, mainly on its middle stretch and south facade.

Following a number of fires resulting from several wars, subsequent reformations of the building have contributed to mixing a number of its features, hence complicating the task of their classification into a particular architectural style and precise age.

The church has a fortress-like aspect due to its tower with very few openings and strong buttresses. Worth a look inside is the main altarpiece by Juan de Huici.

In her book "El Renacimiento en Guipúzcoa", Mª Asunción Aráosla dedicates a chapter to late-Gothic churches. According to Mª Asunción, the Parish Churches of Zumaia, Ordizia, Lezo and Oiartzun correspond to this period.

The characteristics of these churches are:

  • A single nave.
  • They do not generally have a transept.
  • They have a roof system whereby the walls and their pilasters serve as the support, sometimes forming groups of columns.
  • The interior columns correspond on the exterior to strong prismatic buttresses giving the overall construction an aspect of weight and gravity.
  • The vaults are ogival, sometimes star-shaped and with cambered arches.

Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10 a.m. is offered a guided tour. You can sign up by calling 943 494 521 or sending an email to


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