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Algorta Old Port

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Visiting Algorta, one of the enclaves making up Getxo, is to visit its Old Port, a place which takes visitors to a tiny fishing village, blending old cottages where the fishermen used to live with the bustle of bars where you can savour some pintxos looking out over a unique and beautiful landscape of the Bizkaia coastline.

Video

An entertaining video summary of the Festivities in Algorta Old Port, a tour through a day of traditional festivities that are of great interest for tourists. This quaint fishing port becomes a festive meeting place where popular customs are the focal point bringing together residents and tourists in a unique day, replete with music and Basque fishing tradition.

To approach this place you need to know a little about its history, tied to the history of the town of Getxo.

The History of Algorta Old Port

A former fishing port which is today a leisure and recreation area for visitors and local inhabitants alike, the Old Port is one of the places with most history and tradition in Getxo. Its beginnings date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and are tied to the peculiar physical and weather conditions of the El Abra Port.

Despite this tiny enclave initially lacking the privileges of other villages for direct trade, the Old Port managed to achieve great importance thanks to the combination of coastal fishing in small vessels and the pilots who helped boats to negotiate the river mouth sand banks.

Hareazko That sand “bar” was precisely the reason many ships were wrecked in the region. As time went by a rescue team was formed made up of specially trained men to act in these cases. Hence the Sea Rescue Station was created, a task which continues today thanks to the work of the Maritime Red Cross.

Little by little, as the seafaring activities in the port increased, the Algorta seafarers found it was necessary to create a body to regulate said activities.

Although with only a minimal organisation due to the legal constraints imposed by the privileges of Portugalete, the St. Nicholas Seafarers Brotherhood was founded in Algorta. The Chapel of San Nicolás witnessed its first meetings, which, a century later, moved to Etxetxu House, a premises built specifically for this purpose.

Main Points of Interest

Puntos principales

The first news about the existence of the former Chapel of San Nicolás date from 1634, when the St. Nicholas Seafarers Brotherhood in Algorta chose it to hold their early meetings. In the 19th century the chapel was closed, although it was used for other purposes, whereby it came to be a Sailing School. Early in 20th century, in 1948, after being restored, it became a residential property, losing all its original essence, because all that remains is the building’s central apse.

These two sculptures pay tribute to two ancient Old Port professions, no longer in existence today. The female sardine seller (Sardinera), a work by the sculptor José Luis Butron and the fisherman (Arrantzale) by the sculptor Luis Iñiguez, which are located beside the Ribermune parapet.

This building was built in the 18th century by the Seafarers Brotherhood for them to hold their meetings. A single floor, closed, with an open porch and a continuous bench, at one time it came to house the former Town Hall of Getxo. It can be considered the undisputed centre of the Old Port.

Located right beside Etxetxu, on the landing of the steps which take us down to the port, this parapet was, for generations, a typical gathering place for seafarers and fishermen from where they could scan the horizon.

Asuerka square, with its spectacular sea views, lies just a few metres away from Riberamune. In the oral tradition it is known by the name of Suerka.

This photograph is a creation by the Argentine artist, Marcos López. It was exhibited in Getxophoto and subsequently acquired by Getxo Town Hall to be exhibited in the Old Port. It is a dynamic piece of art that interacts with the sea, revealing or concealing part of the work depending on the tides.

Download free of charge the book "The Flavour of the Old Port of Algorta" and discover Getxo’s traditional recipes.

Other Points of Interest

a. Usategui Park
Usategui Park is a small walled enclosure with cobble-stones that still remind us of the fort that once stood there in the past.
b. Church of San Nicolás
This church came into being due to the growth of the population of Algorta, although it would not become a parish until the middle of the 19th century.
c. Rescue of Shipwrecked sailors “Casa de Náufragos”
Built in part over the water, this building was the former headquarters of the Shipwrecked Sailors Rescue Society. Today it is home to the Maritime Red Cross.

How to get there

Logo Metro Bilbao Parada “Algorta” Metro stop. Less than one kilometre on foot.
Logo Bizkaibus Existen There are a number of bus services that will take us to our destination.
Logo Carretera

The BI-637 road, “La Avanzada”. Once in Getxo, we take the Marqués de Arriluce e Ibarra Promenade and Muelle de Ereaga street. The Old Port is 1.5 km away.

 

Further information

Bilbao Tourist information

 

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Heritage routes through Getxo QR Tour  brochure

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