It is located in the Zenita neighbourhood on the outskirts of Elorrio, surrounded by oaks, in a mystical and historical place, in the middle of nature. This place of light, the meaning of Argiñeta, dates back to the Visigothic period in the Early Middle Ages when it was a necropolis like so many others in the area around the village church, which in turn was also the place where they met to resolve social problems and problems of coexistence that arose. In these burials the different social classes were also noticed, the humblest and of lesser rank were buried in graves excavated in the earth. But the sepulchres and stelae that occupy this necropolis were placed there in the nineteenth century, regrouping burials from other neighboring neighborhoods.
The necropolis, the hermitage of San Adrián and the bucolic environment in which it is located make the visitor enjoy a pleasant tourist day immersed in nature. The hermitage of San Adrián, which was rebuilt in the 16th century and later reformed several times, has an artistic 17th century cobblestone floor and keeps the original stelae inside. The necropolis, with its stelae and sarcophagi dating from the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries, of which some of its covers bear funerary inscriptions that constitute the oldest written testimonies of the presence of Christian nuclei in Bizkaia. One of them reads "Obiit F(a)m¯ (u)l(u)s d¯ (e)i Paterna XVII k(l)ds Augustas", Paterna, servant of God, died on the 17th of the kalendas of August. Christian symbols such as alpha and omega can also be seen, all surrounded by a fence made of smooth slabs placed vertically and in the shade of large oaks that give the place a halo of mystery.
On the first weekend in August, a unique pilgrimage is held in the fields around the necropolis and the hermitage of San Adrián of Argiñeta, on the day known as the Brotherhood.
The stones with which the sepulchres and funerary stelae were built came from the quarries of Mount Oiz. Some of the inscriptions that can still be seen on them are considered to be the oldest Christian inscriptions in Bizkaia.
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As you can hear from the place, these are the tombs of some Visigoth nobles who arrived wounded after the fight, fleeing from the Arabs.
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As far as Elorrio we arrive following the N-634 that joins it on one side with Durango and on the other with Mondragón. In Elorrio, the Argiñeta Necropolis is reached by following the local road that joins Elorrio with Mendraka and which starts in the very centre of the town, around the town hall.
Shortly after following this road and after passing a residential area we will approach the Necropolis of Argiñeta, where we will have a small area to park our vehicle and make the visit.
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