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Romanesque and Gothic Doorways of cemetery

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The cemetery in Pasai San Pedro contains the oldest remains of this part of the municipality. We can therefore observe the outside walls of the original church, dependent on the office of the archpriest in Donostia-San Sebastián, built between 1450-1460 and destroyed in the first half of the 18th Century.

Standing on a little hill, the only part still standing is a blocked Romanesque doorway with four archivolts. The arches stand on groups of columns with imposts in the shape of capitals. In addition to the former, a Gothic entranceway serves as access to the cemetery; this entrance with its ogee arch has three archivolts. On the keystones of the two interior arches there were once details in relief, although one of these has now disappeared. This door stands in the somewhat irregular sandstone ashlar wall.

Outstanding inside this building is a chapel dedicated to the politician Joaquín María de Ferrer, a monument erected by his descendents in 1865.

Ferrer Family

The legacy of the Ferrers is still visible in a set of elements that we will find in different parts of the town in relation to this great family of Pasaia.

Attached to the church of Pasai San Pedro, his descendants erected in 1865, for Joaquín María Ferrer and his family, a mausoleum-chapel with an inscription on the frontispiece: D. Joachim Ferrer progenitori. Pia Proles. Hoc monumentun erexit anno MDCCCLXV, and that, on the occasion of the works on the fishing pier, was moved in 1952 stone by stone from the Parish to the Cemetery of the Villa.

A blazon embedded in the Nautical School, the family pantheon in the Church of Pasai Donibane (San Juan) and the mausoleum of Pasai San Pedro are other elements that evoke the life of a saga of pasaitarras not for little known less relevant.

Some relatives in this family are:

  • José Joaquín Ferrer Cafranga (Pasai Donibane 1763-1818), naval officer, carried out important scientific and mathematical works both in Europe and in America, among them referring to the measurement of the diameter of the moon or collaborating in the establishment of geographical coordinates in North America. His works were published in English and French in various magazines. Another relative, Juan Manuel Ferrer (1769) was a diplomat in Rome and a knight of the Order of Carlos III.
  • Joaquín Mª Ferrer Cafranga (Pasai San Pedro 1777-1861) A progressive politician, he was a deputy to the Cortes of Gipuzkoa. As mayor of Madrid, he was president of the same and of the provisional government in 1840. Then minister of State and vice president of the provisional regency the same year, minister of State and Finance, and president of the Council of Ministers in the regency of the Duke of La Victoria in 1841.
  • Juan Bautista Ferrer Cafranga (Pasai San Pedro 1775-1882) was the chief minister of the Río de la Plata station (naval administrative unit of the Spanish Crown during the viceregal era, founded in 1776 and extinguished in 1814).
  • Juan Manuel Ferrer Cafranga (Pasai Donibane 1769-1834). Minister Plenipotentiary in Rome. Knight of Carlos III. Benefactor of the parish of Pasaia Donibane, where he is buried together with his brother José Joaquín.

Members of the Ferrer family were first-vote mayors of Pasaia: Joaquín María in 1817, José Joaquín in 1818, Juan Bautista in 1819 and Juan Manuel in 1820. This alternation in the mayor's office is due to the Royal Order of Carlos IV of 27 May in which it is established that the two neighborhoods divided by the port channel form the same and only council, and that this is composed of a Mayor, his Lieutenant and three Councilors, and that in the election of all there is an alternative so One year a neighbor of the Fuenterrabía gang is mayor, and the next one of the residents of the neighborhood to San Sebastián.

San Pedro Parish Church

San Pedro Parish Church, with its sober lines and compact aspect, was partly built with stones from the former construction. The first church stood on the site now occupied by the neighbourhood cemetery. It gained independence from San Vicente Parish Church in Donostia-San Sebastián in the mid-15th Century on proposal by the locals; remains of the former church are the entrance door to the churchyard (Gothic doorway, Romanesque window) and other elements (openings and walls).

It has one single storey facing towards the east, formerly the largest part of the village and site of the no longer standing Donostia-San Sebastián tower, observatory and battery. To the north, the ancient church on the hillside; to the west, the remains of the village and the King's Shipyard and, to the south, a long stretch of sand now occupied by Trintxerpe Bay.

The Church has a polygonal apse with a vestry on either side and three naves of equal height, although the central one is much wider than the other two. The space is divided into three parts by four columns, with a presbytery and choir at the rear. This kind of pillar church is typical of the Middle Ages.

The building has two entrances, one at the rear, and the other beside the epistle level with the second part. The choir occupies the smallest part, while the altar stands on five steps and the side passageway leads to the vestries.

A great deal of the material used in its construction came as we know from remains of the former church: "the stone seats will be removed from the presbytery -of the former parish church-... and used to make the walls of the cemetery at the new church... serving as parapet and seating for people and preventing them and especially children from falling into the sea".

Outside, seats were installed as protection, permitting people to enjoy the sea without falling, given that at that time there was no promenade as we know it today.

Its interior is characterised by sobriety and humility. This is obvious from the simplicity of its Tuscan order pillars and columns and their high Baroque bases, distributed entablature-style round the temple, a real ornamental luxury. Only a fine and well-made moulding surrounds the basket-handle arch of the choir, with spandrels bearing the name of the artist who completed the work: "MANUEL MARTIN CARRERA ME HIZO Año 1774" ("MARTIN CARRERA MADE ME Year 1774").

The ornamental nudity of the interior starkly contrasts with the skill and wealth of the facade. To achieve this, the maestro followed a pattern widely used in the Spanish Renaissance period, proceeding to endow it with spacious proportions. A semicircular arch, supported by giant pilasters, stands out for the fact that gives the impression of height to the entire cubic shape of the building, stressed by the ascending effect of the crowning tympanum, opening out in mixed lines towards an oval medallion standing vertically over the biggest axis with the tiara and the keys.

Both the volumes and surfaces of the parish church are extremely simple and defined in style. Here the perfect cube shape of the building dominates the tower attached to it. It is essential to point out the plastic expressiveness of the mortar, a relevant note in this work clearly influenced by neoclassical sensitivity. The fact that they underlined and increased the ornamental and decorative aspect of the north door, creating an urban compass or framework perfect for meetings of the faithful or passers-by, demonstrates that a certain amount of care was taken in the project to connect the external space with the building, thus creating intimacy and recollection.

Blas de Lezo House

Standing right in the centre of the old part of Pasai San Pedro, on its narrow, picturesque street, not far from the Fishermen's Association and the Parish Church, is the stone Blas de Lezo House with its magnificent and perfectly preserved family shield. The building, with its rectangular ground plan and gable roof, takes its name from the most famous sailor born in Pasaia: Blas de Lezo.

Admiral Patapalo, Blas de Lezo, General of the Armada, was born in Pasaia (Gipuzkoa), in 1689. In 1701 he joined the marine guards and, in 1704, when the Spanish War of Succession had already started, joined the fighting as a crew of the French squadron against the combined British and Dutch troops at a battle in front of Vélez Málaga, in which he had his leg shot off by a cannon ball, demonstrating the tremendous cold blood which he himself so admired.

His intrepidity and serenity during the fighting were rewarded with his promotion to Sub-lieutenant and later Lieutenant. He participated in the defence of Santa Catalina Castle in Toulon, losing his left eye in the doing. He held the command of various convoys aiding Philip V in Barcelona, outwitting British vigilance. During one of these he was surrounded by stronger forces, nevertheless finding a way of escape by burning some of the ships pursuing them and therefore breaking the surrounding circle.

In 1713 he was promoted to Ship's Captain and a year later was assigned to second place in Barcelona where he lost his right arm. At that time, in command of a frigate, he captured eleven British ships, including the emblematic and well-prepared Stanhope. At the end of the War of Succession in 1723 he was put in charge of the Lanfranco flagship and given command of the South Seas Squadron, cleaning the Pacific coasts of pirates, during which he captured twelve Dutch and British ships.

He married in Peru in 1725 and in 1730 returned to Spain where he was promoted to Head of the Mediterranean Naval Squadron. He travelled to the Republic of Genova to demand payment of the 2,000,000 pesos belonging to Spain and retained by the Banco de San Jorge, getting his own back by threatening to bombard the city if they didn't pay up. His energetic attitude had its effect and the Genovese Senate gave in immediately.

In 1732, aboard the Santiago, he set sail for Oran in command of 54 ships and 30,000 men. Oran gave in, but Bay Hassan gathered new troops, assaulting the city and creating a complicated situation. Blas de Lezo came to their rescue with six ships and 5,000 men, successfully chasing off the Algerian pirate after a terrible fight. The pirate's 60-cannon captain ship took shelter in Mostagán Bay, defended by two castles and 4,000 Moors. This didn't put Lezo off and he followed the Algerian ship despite shooting from the forts, setting fire to it and even causing great damage to the castles. He patrolled these seas for months, preventing the Algerians from receiving reinforcements from Constantinople, until an epidemic forced him to return to Cadiz.

In 1734, the King rewarded his services by promoting him to General of the Armada. In 1737 he returned to America with the ships Fuerte and Conquistador and was named Commander General of Cartagena de Indias, a place he defended from the attacks of the English Admiral Sir Edward Vernon, a glorious page in the history of Spanish armed fighting.

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