|Autonomous community||Basque Country|
|• Mayor||Mikel Ansotegui Jayo (EH Bildu)|
|• Total||25.31 km2 (9.77 sq mi)|
|Elevation||85 m (279 ft)|
|• Density||26/km2 (67/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Aulesti is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain. Aulesti is a small village located in the region of Lea-Artibai, 44 km from Bilbao, the capital of Biscay. In 2014, it had approximately 654 residents, with Mikel Ansotegui Jayo being the village mayor since 2011. The demonym for inhabitants of Aulesti is "Aulestiarra".
A characteristic of Aulesti is the multitude of small chapels located in the village and in the surrounding mountains. The chapels date back to the age of the Romans but were rebuilt in the 19th century. There are nine chapels in Aulesti. Every year, the town council organizes a walk to visit all the chapels in the area and on the 16th of September every year, all villagers from Aulesti as well as other nearby villages go hiking to the Urregarai Mountain, where the Santa Eufemi Chapel is located.
Famous type of marble
The mountains around Aulesti contain a very characteristic black marble, which is quarried and shipped worldwide. This rare stone, is valued in the construction sector for use in special buildings and expensive houses.
Aulesti is known for several strength-related traditional sports. These traditional rural sports usually involve farm animals transporting very heavy stone loads of more than 700 kilograms. Also human-strength challenges occur. The origin of the practice is the daily work of the Basque farmers. The gathering usually draws huge interest from neighboring areas and beyond.
Together with the towns of Berriatua and Markina, Aulesti is the birthplace for several professional pelota players. One is Jose Ramon Uriarte, also known as "Katxin". Katxin made his début in Gernika in 1971 at the age of 15. A year later, he went to Miami, USA, for the first time and he played Jai Alai, one of the most famous Basque ball sports practiced in the Basque Country. He was a Jai Alai professional player for several years but is now retired. The Ubilla brothers were famous players of a sport named "Pala", played in a similar way as Jai Alai but with a type of racket instead of the "Cesta" of Jai Alai.
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