The Ercilla Tower

Puntos de interés > Torre Ercilla

This XV century tower/home is the oldest civil building that has been preserved in Bermeo. In the historic center of Bermeo there was at one point thirty tower homes. Until the middle of the XX century the Ercilla tower had people living in it. Nowadays, it is the Fishermen’s Museum.

This XV century tower/home is the oldest civil building that has been preserved in Bermeo. In the historic center of Bermeo there was at one point thirty tower homes. Until the middle of the XX century the Ercilla tower had people living in it. Nowadays, it is the Fishermen’s Museum.

Built at the end of the XV century. While it presents many defensive elements, it seems that it was intended as a home.

The base of the tower was not the average with six sides and a six paneled roof. The thick walls that surround the building makes it appear as a shelter.

 

The tower was built with a diversity of materials. The façade is made with cut sandstone, another wall also with sandstone and the rest of the walls built with masonry.

 

Until the middle of the XX century the tower was as much a home as it was a place for lodging. In 1944 the tower was declared a monument and years later the regional government of Bizkaia bought it. It was reinhabited and since 1948 has been the Fishermen’s museum.

The museum is one of the only of it’s kind; it shows the visitor the life and trade of fishermen describing the art of fishing, unions and associations, different types of fishing vessels, fishing techniques and the market throughout time.

Also, it informs us on the Battle of Matxitxako during the Spanish Civil War.

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The building is the cradle of Alonso Ercilla Zuñiga’s family. His father, Fortun García Ercilla was born in the tower. Alonso Ercilla was born and raised in the kings court and later took part in the invasion of South America. Despite this he maintained close ties with Bermeo. So much so that in “La Araucana,” a collection of masterful verses retold about the war against the Chilean Mapuches or Araucanos, he made a dedication to Bermeo, remembering his family’s origins.

“Look at Bermeo, fenced in by weeds,

Head of Bizkaia, and above the port

The thick walls of the Ercilla ancestral home

An ancestry founded before the town”

In Lamera Park there is a bust of Alonso Ercilla next to an araucaria tree.

More information about the Museum.

http://bizkaikoa.bizkaia.eus/detalleContenido.asp?id=52&t=1&idioma=EU

Hours:

10:00 – 14:00 / 16:00 -19:00

 

Closed Monday and Sunday afternoons.

                                                                                                         Tel : 94 617 11 71

Other points of interest

Turismo Bulegoa

Lamera Ibilbidea Z/G 

48370 Bermeo, Bizkaia

turismoa@bermeo.eus

(+34) 94 617 91 54

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Photography by Izaro Abaroa