Puppet Friendly City
The municipality of Tolosa is in Gipuzkoa (Basque Country), 50 km away from France. Founded in the 13th century, it was the capital of Gipuzkoa for ten years in the 19th century. The waters from the rivers Oria, Araxes and Berastegi converge in this town, which was of great importance to link Navarre with the Cantabrian ports.
Tolosa is divided into areas, the mediaeval quarter and the new expansion, in which we can find buildings and monuments of a variety of styles. In the historic quarter, formed by several squares from which parallel streets radiate, we could highlight the parish of Santa María, from the 18th century and in the “Basque Gothic” style; the church and convent of Santa Clara; the Baroque town hall; the Idiakez, Atodo, Aranburu and Regional Government palaces; The Provincial Archive and the sculptures by internationally-renowned artists such as Eduardo Chillida, Jorge Oteiza, Nestor Basterretxea, Jose Ramon Anda and Rikardo Ugarte, among others.
CULTURE AND GASTRONOMY
Tolosa has an extensive cultural offering full of celebrations and activities held throughout the year: the famous Carnival (one of the oldest in Gipuzkoa), the patron saint celebrations in honour of St John, the most significant features of which are the Bordón dance and the fire, the international choir and puppet festivals, its neighbourhood festivals and the music.
As for its gastronomy, we should mention the weekly market held on Saturdays in the Tinglado, Verdura Square and Euskal Herria square. As it is a regional capital, farmers from the nearby villages come to sell their high quality products.
It is impossible to talk about Tolosa without mentioning the ox steaks, its traditional steakhouses and the beans, known for their dark colour and excellent flavour. Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy the typical deserts: the cigarrillos, tejas and xaxus. All of these products are the main features of the special trade fairs that are bound in autumn.
TOPIC, THE INTERNATIONAL PUPPET CENTRE IN TOLOSA
In the Justice Palace located in Euskal Herria square, we can find the Puppet Museum, which is home to one of Europe’s largest collections, with more than 1500 items from around the world. Although the collection from Asia is the most extensive, there are magnificent items from America, Africa and Europe. The Topic has both a permanent and temporary exhibitions.