Sanctuary of Arantzazu

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Sanctuary of Arantzazu
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu
Arantzazuko santutegiko ikuspegia.jpg
View of the Sanctuary
Sanctuary of Arantzazu is located in Spain
Sanctuary of Arantzazu
Sanctuary of Arantzazu
Location in Spain
42°58′45″N 2°23′55″W / 42.97904°N 2.39854°W / 42.97904; -2.39854Coordinates: 42°58′45″N 2°23′55″W / 42.97904°N 2.39854°W / 42.97904; -2.39854
DenominationRoman Catholic
Authorising papal bull14th–15th century
DedicationVirgin of Arantzazu
DioceseDiocese of San Sebastián

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu [aˈɾants̻as̻u] is a Franciscan sanctuary located in Oñati, Basque Country, Spain. The shrine is a much appreciated place among Gipuzkoans, with the Virgin of Arantzazu standing for the main worship figure and patron of the province along with Ignatius of Loyola.

The place benefits from the highland silence and peaceful atmosphere of the Aizkorri mountain range along with a good road infrastructure, so the place is frequently visited by devotees and regional and foreign tourists alike. It is located in the site where presumably the Virgin of Arantzazu appeared to the shepherd Rodrigo de Balanzategui in 1468. Legend has it, the figure of the Virgin was in a thorn-bush, and his exclamation "Arantzan zu?!" (Thou, among the thorns?!) gave rise to the name of the place. According to the linguistic explanation, the name stems from "arantza + zu", 'place abounding in hawthorn'.

Arantzazu can be found as a female name in Spain in the forms of Arantza and Arantzazu (especially in Biscay and Gipuzkoa) along with Arancha (Spanish spelling) or Arantxa (Basque spelling), much in line with Spanish phonetics.

The place is also a starting point for several mountains trails and circuits for hikers that provide access to the meadows of Urbia and on to the mountain range Aizkorri, to the massif Aloña and to the lands south and east of the shrine. All the trails are well signalled.

Pope Leo XIII granted a Canonical coronation to the image on 13 September 1885. A variant replica bearing its same title was brought to the Philippines in 1705,featuring a standing posture. Pope Francis granted a Canonical coronation to the Philippine image on 31 May 2017.The image is currently enshrined in the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Arantzazu in San Mateo, Rizal

The basilica[edit]

View of the sanctuary.

In 1950 the works for the new basilica were started, and the building was inaugurated five years later. Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza and Luis Laorga were the leading architects, and other artists also took part in the work:

The Franciscan convent has been a center for Basque culture even under Franco's repression.

The main festivity in Arantzazu is on September 9.


  • Joxe Azurmendi, Joseba Intxausti, Javier Garrido, Migel Alonso Del Val (2007): The Sanctuary of Arantzatzu, Fontanellato: FMR, ISBN 978-88-216-7063-3

External links[edit]