The Palace of Lazarraga-Amézaga in the village of Zalduondo is popular for two reasons.
The first is obvious, given that this is a 16th century Renaissance palace with an interesting Plateresque style doorway, flanked by two pairs of Ionic columns on pedestals with a coat of arms beneath a pediment.
This imposing shield, in turn, is accompanied by two full length anthropomorphic sculptures.
The second reason is a little less obvious.... Until you cross the threshold and go inside. This building houses the Zalduondo Museum featuring various objects and historical elements related to a population and an environment which, from the Low Middle Ages onward, benefited from being on the Basque St. James’s Way.
Its assorted content illustrates diverse perspectives of regional history, geography, ethnography, folklore and art, the latter including the Palace’s old wall paintings, along with other more contemporary examples of painting and sculpture. Consequently, its historic, cultural and artistic offerings span various centuries.
The visitor can see maps, plans and illustrations of the Jacobean route; examples of religious art with tombstones and funerary steles from different periods; domestic, working and pastoral scenes depicting the old ways of the local inhabitants; puppets and characters from its renowned carnival; and an excellent display of ceramics and handicrafts.
The Palace of Lazarraga-Amézaga and Zalduondo Museum are open to the public on Sunday from 12:00 to 14:00. Visits can be arranged for organized groups by phoning 945 30 43 93.
It is very easy to find, being located next to the A-1 (exit 385 Araia/San Román). After leaving the A-1 take the A-3020 and the A-3012 to get to Zalduondo.