The only town in Bizkaia with the title of city, it is located on the left bank of the Nervion River, advantageously situated at the foot of the famous rock of its name. Urduña-Orduña, limited by the provinces of Alava and Burgos, is a true geographical island of Biscayan lands between Alava and Castile. The municipality of Orduña is formed by the city of Orduña itself and the councils of Belandia, Lendoño de Abajo, Lendoño de Arriba and Mendeica. These councils, which form the Ruzabal Board since, according to documentation, the 15th century, retain a certain autonomy and specific government within the municipality. The valley where Orduña is located is a wide and spacious basin through which the population, crop fields and pastures extend, as well as housing salt water springs, ferruginous and sulphurous springs, lagoons and chasms.
Although the first writings about Urduña-Orduña are found in the chronicles of Alfonso III, 8th century, we know of prehistoric settlements, Dolmen of the Campas de la Choza, from the Neolithic-Bronze period from 2000 to 400 B.C. Orduña was founded as a town in the year 1229, when the sixth lord of Vizcaya, Don Lope Díaz II of Haro, granted it a town charter. Its strategic enclave, both on the commercial route and in the defensive field, led to its being granted the title of City of the Lordship of Biscay in 1467, according to the royal decree of Henry IV. In 1535 a great fire practically destroyed the city, but it was not an impediment so that in centuries XVI and XVII Orduña was consolidated like great commercial square. The construction of the Customs building, between the reigns of Charles III and Charles IV, and which began to function as such in 1792, came to culminate this important economic development. The 19th century, and the successive wars that took place there, meant the decline of Orduña, which saw, in addition to the customs being moved to the coast, the abolition of its privileges after the first Carlist defeat. In the 20th century, the lack of industrial development in the city contributed to maintaining its excellent historical, patrimonial and environmental resources intact, favouring the new approach to tourism that the city of Orduña can boast today.
The socio-economic importance that the city of Urduña-Orduña, declared a Historic-Monumental Site in 1997, experienced is reflected in its historic center. Narrow, cobbled streets that converge in the beautiful, arcaded Plaza de los Fueros, and which are home to buildings of great historical and cultural interest such as the renaissance palace Ortés de Velasco, also known as the palace of Arbieto, from the 16th century, a military building that was originally attached to the city walls. The Mimenza Palace, also renaissance. The palace of Díaz-Pimienta. The only tower that resists the passage of time since the thirteenth century, and whose task was to strengthen the walls of the city, has attached the building of the Tower-Palace Town Hall. The neoclassical building of the Customs House, built between 1787 and 1792. Forming part of what was the defensive complex of Orduña we admire one of the few fortress-churches of Bizkaia, the church of Santa Maria, gothic from the 15th century. Another religious building that forms part of the cultural and historical heritage of the city is the baroque church of the Sagrada Familia. A little far from the urban center we found one of the most important sanctuaries of Euskadi, is the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora La Antigua, which welcomes the image of the patron saint of Urduña-Orduña, and was constructed in century XVIII on other previous constructions and in the place that was the origin of the population nucleus of the zone.
But also Urduña-Orduña can boast of the spectacular natural space that surrounds it and that attracts hikers and mountaineers who tour and admire these beautiful places. The rocky walls of Sierra Salvada, Red Natura 2000: Zepa de Sierra Salvada, and which protect the enclave of the city, are an exceptional habitat for rock birds such as the Griffon vulture, the Egyptian vulture, the peregrine falcon... which will accompany us on our routes to the summits of this mountain range, the Tologorri, the Txarlazo or the Solaiera among others await us. Curiously, it is the top of the Txarlazo mountain where the borders of the provinces of Burgos and Alava converge with the enclave of Orduña, being crowned by a monument in honor of the Virgin of Orduña. In the eastern part of Sierra Salvada we will enjoy the natural monument of Mount Santiago and in it we will see, from a vertiginous viewpoint, the Nervion Waterfall, the biggest waterfall in the whole Peninsula Íberica, with more than 200 meters of fall. If this still doesn't seem like much to us, maybe "el bollo", as the striking phenomenon that the mountains of Orduña offer us from time to time is known, a waterfall of thick and icy fog falling down the cliff and covering the landscape with frost, can serve as the culmination of our tour of such an emblematic city.
Urduña-Orduña celebrates its patron saint festival in honor of Nuestra Señora la Virgen de La Antigua on May 8. The festivities of the Coronation are the first weekend of September. In addition, in the villages of the Junta de Ruzabal, San Pedro is celebrated on the 29th of June in Lendoñogoiti. On August 3 is in Lendoñobeiti that is celebrated to San Esteban. San Miguel is celebrated the last weekend of September in Mendeika. And in Belandia the celebration is for Santa Maria del Rosario the first weekend of October.
The "otxomaios" is the most important festival of Urduña-Orduña. These patron saint festivals have been celebrated since 1600. A great protagonist of these festivities is the Bihotza, a festive icon that is burned on the last day of the festivities, although the traditional agricultural and livestock market is also famous. On May 9 the villages of Arrastaria, which belongs to Ayala, Aloria, Artomaña, Délika and Tertanga, celebrate. On this day, the mayors of the villages hold the ruler's stick, makila, which is given to them by the mayor-mayor of Orduña, and the inhabitants of Arrastia renew their vote for the patron saint and during the celebration is held the popular dance of Las Entradillas.
At the foot of the majestic Sierra Salvada, escorted and protected by its unmistakable rocky wall with a characteristic profile conferred by peaks such as Iturrigorri, Bedarbide, Txarlazo,...Urduña-Orduña enjoys a fantastic environment that is included in the Catalogue of Unique and Outstanding Landscapes of the CAPV. Meadows and crops at the bottom of the valley, and forests of gall oaks and beeches on the slopes of the rock give it a characteristic green color that autumn, with its appreciated palette of colors, is responsible for turning into red and gold. In this same landscape you can also find the Pico del Fraile, nicknamed in Orduña as Pico Sopeña, in homage to the climber who in 1924 opened the considered first climbing route made in the Euskal Herria.
The legend tells us that in Sierra Salvada, specifically in the Txarlazo, there lived an enormous dragon whose diet consisted of sheep's milk and meat from the shepherds who looked after them. One of these shepherds was with his flock in the area and, looking around so as not to come across the feared dragon, he found an image of the Virgin tangled up in the branches of a mulberry tree. At present and since the beginning of the 20th century, a monument to this Virgin, the Virgin of Antigua, crowns the top of the Txarlazo.
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Urduña-Orduña is located on the N-625 road, Bilbao-Pancorbo, through which it also communicates with the towns of Saracho and Berberana. A regional road joins it with Aloria, Artamoña,... and by small branches it does it with Lendoño and Délica.
Urduña-Orduña has a train station located in C/La Estación S/N. Line 3 (C3) of Renfe's suburban trains connects Orduña with Abando station in Bilbao.
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