Monday, January 14, 2013

Small but important local Markets in the Basque Country

Local markets exist in all towns in Spain. They often take place every day in a nice building dedicated to the purpose of being a market. Sometimes they take place only once a week but always in beautiful old or old looking style buildings

There are three small although important local markets not too far from San Sebastián. These markets determine the entire region's weekly prices of many  products.
Two of these markets are in Guipuzcoa (Ordizia and Tolosa) while the last one (Guernica) is in Vizcaya. 
For your information the Basque Country is composed of Guipuzcoa with capital San Sebastián, Vizcaya with capital Bilbao and Alava with capital Vitoria, which is also where the Basque Parliament is located but not only, this city won the price as the European greenest capital 2012! 

Basque Country's Parliament in Vitoria

Vitoria: European Green Capital 2012

The Ordizia market is on Wednesdays.
Here follow a few pictures:
the building of the Ordizia market place

the inside of the building of the Ordizia market place

different kinds of mushrooms at the Ordizia market place

game at the Ordizia market place

more game at the Ordizia market place

The Tolosa market is on Saturdays.
Here follow some pictures, one is of the market's building but without the market taking place because that Saturday and during 4 days they celebrated Tolosa’s Fiesta de la Chuleta (Chop Party) therefore the market had taken place the day before in another location. 
To note that this small town is full of life. It doesn't have the sea but has a river and the city life runs back and forth on both sides of the river for which there are many pretty old bridges. They also have a patisserie museum and a lovely puppet museum. 

building of the Tolosa market place

the chop and the choper at Tolosa's Fiesta de la Chuleta

the cook and the eater! at Tolosa's Fiesta de la Chuleta

a serving of meat in Tolosa's Fiesta de la Chuleta

The Guernica market is on Mondays.
The famous Guernica from Picasso was inspired by the suffering of these people. The original painting is in Madrid but they have a ceramic mural copy, they also have a museum and a park dedicated to peace (Museo de la Paz y Parque de los Pueblos de Europa) and they consider themselves the city "symbol of peace" with monumental sculptures dedicated to peace by Henry Moore and Eduardo Chillida placed in the Park.
Here follow some pictures.
Please note the man weighing himself on the scale, so did many people before leaving the market place (me too!)
Because Guernica is so important for peace, I've posted some non-food pictures...

Guernica's market place

the Guernica market scale with person on it

the Guernica market scale without person on it

the bacalao stand was the only stand with many people in line

the complete bacalao family working at their stand

so much bacalao!

the herbs' stand at the Guernica market

a stand selling Feijoa, an Argentinian fruit, from their own garden near Guernica

A copy of Picasso's Guernica in a ceramic mural in downtown Guernica

Moore's sculpture in the Park of the Peoples of Europe "Large figure in a shelter"

Chillida's sculpture, Monument to Peace, in the Park of the Peoples of Europe "La casa de nuestro padre" oriented towards the Guernica Oak

a beautiful sculpture in the Park of the Peoples of Europe: Mujer bailando sola

the Guernica Oak "el Árbol de Guernica" symbolizes freedom and tradition and is located in the garden of the Assembly House in Guernica. Now there is a new tree growing near the famous old dead tree

The new Guernica Oak

Near Ordizia there is another small town called Idiazábal, known for its famous Idiazábal Cheese, made of sheep’s milkThey also produce sheep salami and, believe it or not, a sheep’s ham; in the picture my finger is there to give an idea on how small it is, but so good.
The consortium of all the shepherds that produce this cheese is based in Idiazábal. 
This tiny town holds the Center for the interpretation of cheese “Centro de interpretación del queso”. 
They are all so very proud for what they have, and they all, in each and every town, have so many interesting things to offer!

Centro de Interpretación del queso in the town of Idiazábal

sheep's ham

sheep's ham with my finger to show the tiny size of it



  1. These local markets offer an unique experience that enriches your five senses. I adore them!

    1. I agree! and show you the nature of the people that live there. they seem alike but are then so different...