Gaztelugatxe Hermitage

Bermeo, Spain

Gaztelugatxe is an islet on the coast of Biscay. On top of the island stands a hermitage, dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th century, although discoveries indicate that the date might be the 9th century.

In the year 1053 it was donated, by don Íñigo López, Lord of Biscay, to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña near Jaca in Huesca. Medieval burials from the 9th and 12th centuries have been found on the esplanade and in the hermitage.

In 1593 it was attacked and sacked by Francis Drake. Among other incidents, it has caught fire several times. On November 10, 1978, it was destroyed in one such fire. Two years later, on June 24, 1980, it was re-inaugurated. The hermitage belongs to the parish of San Pelayo in Bakio.

The hermitage also houses votive offerings from sailors who survived shipwrecks.

The hermitage is accessed by a narrow path, crossing the solid stone bridge. According to legend, after the slightly strenuous climb to the top of the crag one should ring the bell three times and make a wish.

HBO filmed scenes for season 7 of its fantasy series Game of Thrones at the islet. Gaztelugatxe stood in for Dragonstone, with a digitally created castle on top of the islet.

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Details

Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lars B Christiansen (10 months ago)
Just a stunning place to visit, extreme beautiful and it's like walking in a different time age. Well worth the walk back and forth.
Sanjeev George (11 months ago)
Looks magical. Went when it was raining it disappeared. It was serenely beautiful. The walk back was HECTIC!!! its a long way back!
Melissa Eisner (11 months ago)
Amazing stop in Basque Country. Loaded with history and a scenic view. Breathtaking.
Fabian Rydel (16 months ago)
An absolutely amazing place, you don't need have to be a Game of Throne's fab to enjoy it, but if you are it's twice as fun to walk through the steps that Jon and Danny walked.
Matilda von Sydow (16 months ago)
I loved seeing how the waves came in around the different parts of the island, and being close to the ocean out there. It was a fairly easy walk if you have normal shoes on and is average physically fit. Parts of the path is really steep, but it is covered with stone all the way out, so no mud. We came at a really quiet time, and it was super-easy to find a parking space. Public toilets are available close to the parking lot, and several places to eat. We spent around 2 1/2 hours, but that was mainly because my boyfriend was taking a lot of pictures with his fancy analog camera. You can make it in less than an hour if you just walk in and out.
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