Laudio in Basque and officially Laudio-Llodio is located north of Alava, in the Ayala Valley, surrounded by mountains and irrigated by the river Nervión, on the border with Vizcaya. The origins of Laudio- Llodio are not very clear, it is known that at the end of the tenth century the valley was part of the Castilian county of Fernán González and that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries joined the lordship of Alava within the House of Mendoza. A century later it belonged again to Castilla and later the chancellor Ayala established in Laudio- Llodio, before the displeasure of its inhabitants, its lordship. At the end of the 15th century, the town was definitively incorporated into Alava. The locality, which used to be an agricultural and livestock area and is now industrialised, is an important economic centre of the País Vasco.
A walk through the urban environment of Laudio-Llodio makes the visitor find interesting corners and beautiful buildings that in the past had an outstanding importance as the many stately tower houses of which stands today the tower-house of Ugarte, located in the neighborhood of the same name and built between the fourteenth and fifteenth century. On the remains of a tower-house destroyed by fire was built in the eighteenth century the palace of Katuxa. In the centre of the town, in the Herriko Square, the town hall square, is the church of San Pedro de Lamuza which was built in the 16th century on top of an earlier temple from the 11th century. On the slope of Mount Kamaraka, on a rocky promontory called Torrontegieta, the sanctuary of Santa Maria del Yermo, popularly known as Santa Lucia, is a 15th century Gothic construction.
Historical witnesses of a past epoch are also its bridges, the Vitorica bridge, possibly a vestige of a Roman road or the bridge of Anuntzibai, from the 18th century, also known as the bridge of the Lions, as two stone lions are the guardians of the bridge on one side and a beautiful triumphal arch on the other. It joins the banks of the Altube river where in one was the tower house of the Marquis of Falces, the forge and the mill and in the other the hermitage of San Miguel from the 16th century. The Etxebarri farmhouse is emblematic and has been declared a Cultural Asset in the category of monument, dating back to the year 1575. The old gardens of the estate of the Marquis of Urquijo are today an attractive municipal park, the Lamuza Park, where a great diversity of trees are the protagonists; among cedars, cypresses, araucarias, linden trees, magnolias, firs, yews, sequoias... it emphasizes a cypress of Monterrey, of more than four meters of perimeter in its base and 130 years of life. The beautiful valley in which Laudio/Llodio is nestled, surrounded by mountains such as the Kamaraka, the Goikogane or the emblematic Ganekogorta, is an attractive attraction for nature lovers. Mountaineers, hikers, on foot or by bicycle, enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding this town.
Laudio-Llodio celebrates its patron saint festivities in honour of San Roque from the 15th of August until the end of the month, they are famous for being the longest in the whole of Euskadi. San Prudencio, patron saint of Alava, is celebrated on 28 April. At the end of January, at the beginning of February in Laudio-Llodio, San Blas is celebrated.
On the second day of Easter of Pentecost, a traditional pilgrimage is held in Laudio-Llodio to the hermitage of Santa Lucía located next to the sanctuary of Santa María del Yermo. Nowadays, in order to maintain the ancestral tradition that existed in the pilgrims of drinking water with their mouths at the Santa Lucía fountain and taking it to the neighbouring hermitage of San Antonio and Santa Apolonia, where they threw it into a hole in a stone to prevent or soothe toothache, the young people wage a war between themselves with the water from the fountain.
The Friday before the start of Easter Week, the Friday of Sorrows, an important fair of cattle, horses, sheep and even exotic animals has been held in Laudio-Llodio since the end of the 19th century. A beautiful exhibition that is completed with various recreational and sporting events and where the party is assured.
The history of the Witch of Letziaga, legendary woman who lived in the cave of Letziaga, is heard in the place. She attracted the shepherds of the place with the beautiful songs that with sweet voice and while combing, with gold brushes, her golden hair, she intoned, and from which they never came out again.
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Laudio-Llodio can be reached via the AP-68, which connects it with Bilbao and Vitoria as well as with other state roads. The BI-625 road connects it with Orduña and Bilbao and also with regional towns such as Amurrio. The A-3632 joins Laudio-Llodio with Oquendo, through the port of Garate and the A 4616 through Malkuartu.
Laudio-Llodio has regular bus services that connect you with Vitoria-Gasteiz, Okondo and Artziniega on different routes. Different Bizkaibus lines also connect it with Bilbao and the different localities of the routes.
Laudio-Llodio has a railway station where long-distance services stop, linking it with Bilbao-Abando, Vigo, Madrid, and the services of the C-3 line of Renfe Bilbao suburban trains.
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