Europe, Journal, San Sebastián

Explore San Sebastián: Mount Urgull


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Mount Urgull is a hill by the ocean sitting at the heart of the Basque city of San Sebastián. The hill (123 m at its highest point) became a defence point since the early ages of the city foundation in the 12th century, but the walls and the military structure were reinforced especially after the modern state boundaries took shape in the 16th century.

The hill is topped by a stronghold (headquarters, barracks and warehouses), the Mota Castle, and it had a chapel and a conspicuous 12 metre-long sculpture of Jesus Christ added in 1950, now towering over the bay. The hill (as well as the city) was a hotspot for military operations, like the ones of the Siege of San Sebastián (1813) and the assaults of 1823, 1836 and 1876 (Carlist Wars). It had an advantage being so high up, soldiers could see their enemy coming.

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