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15. Euskal Herria Square

We are in the first part of Tolosa’s new development: Plaza Euskal Herria. This is a 19th century Neoclassical square, impressive for its size and symmetry: each one of its sides has a length of 50 metres.

The livestock market is held here every Monday. Today the Saturday market stalls can also be found in this square.

The first building to go up was the Courthouse, architecturally different from the others. Above the clock you can still see the scales, the symbol of justice, and the reason why the locals still refer to the area as ‘Justice Square’. The courthouse was also used as a jail, both in the 19th century and during the Civil War.

Here they imprisoned the famous poet, Jose Mari Iparraguirre, for having written songs in praise of Basque nationalism, such as the famous Gernikako Arbola.

What at once represented incarceration and melancholy on coming in through its doors now takes you into the colourful, joyful and magical world of puppets. Since it was remodelled in 2009, the building has housed TOPIC, the Tolosa International Puppet Centre. Its museum contains figures from all over the world, a document centre, a residence, classrooms and even a theatre dedicated to the art, the only one of its kind in Europe. It’s well worth the visit.

We also recommend taking a walk round the covered part of this square, looking up at the ceiling with its paintings by four well-known local artists: Iñaki Epelde, Jose Luis Longaron, Koldo Jauregi and Jose Maria Hernández. The square is also a popular meeting place with a great atmosphere.

Talking about atmosphere: during the festivities this square becomes another of the hotspots for some of the big moments. Perhaps the most noteworthy is during St John’s Day, when all of the companies of riflemen gather to fire rounds in unison. Immediately beforehand, the giants dance in the square, while the bigheads frolic on the Courthouse balconies. Definitely a sight to behold.

Now return to the starting point to continue your tour: to the Plaza Triángulo.