Home  WHAT TO SEE  Horacio Echevarrieta – Route around the stately homes beside the Arriluze quayside in Getxo

Horacio Echevarrieta

Photograph on loan from Getxoko Liburutegiak – Getxo Municipal Libraries

Getxo is linked to the sea both geographically and historically. Many local people, Getxotarrak, have made the sea their way of life, a source of pleasure... or a business. The fact is that Getxo was home to those families behind much of Spain’s industrial and financial development in the 20th century.

This route salutes the life of one of those businessmen, the industrialist and politician Horacio Echevarrieta, whose life is worthy of a filmscript. You will see, furthermore, that the Galleries at Punta Begoña, stop no. 6, embody the way in which Horacio sought to make his name on the international stage: a ground-breaking building that used cutting-edge technology at that time.

We will be walking down the promenade Marqués de Arriluze e Ybarra, where we will see some of the most famous stately homes from the first quarter of the 20th century, and then we will walk through the more built-up area until we come to the Atxekolandeta lookout point, where Neguri once again greets the sea.

Shall we start?


Born in Bilbao, he spent part of his life in Getxo, and his house stood on the cliffs over the Galleries at Punta Begoña. With great acumen and his father’s inheritance, Cosme Echevarrieta saw his businesses extend across frontiers and become the kernel for some of today’s most influential companies: Iberia, Iberduero (now Iberdrola) and Cemex.

In addition, he was responsible for some of the historical milestones of his time: the building of the Juan Sebastián Elcano training ship, the founding of El Liberal newspaper, and representing Bilbao in the republican-socialist coalition in the Spanish parliament, Las Cortes (1914-1917).

Despite his love for the ocean he could see from his galleries, he died inland at his Munoa estate (Barakaldo, Bizkaia). His remains were laid to rest in the family crypt at the cemetery of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Getxo.

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