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Paseo Nuevo (New Promenade)

Donostia - San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa

Audioguide of the Paseo Nuevo (New Promenade)

What to see in the Paseo Nuevo (New Promenade)

Each year, when storms arrive in northern Spain, you can see news items showing huge waves crashing against the coast. Well, if you dare to see this spectacle for yourself, you're in the best place – locals and tourists alike come here to enjoy and defy the wild Cantabrian sea.

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Each year, when storms arrive in northern Spain, you can see news items showing huge waves crashing against the coast. Well, if you dare to see this spectacle for yourself, you're in the best place – locals and tourists alike come here to enjoy and defy the wild Cantabrian sea.

The New Promenade was born in 1916 and baptised by Queen Maria Cristina, once the Ministery of Defence had ceded the land around the base of Mount Urgull to the city council. The engineer Luis Balanzat and the architect Juan de Alday got down to business and started work on what was then called "The Prince of Asturias Promenade". It was carried out in three phases and completed in 1919. A fourth phase was planned but never carried out; the original plan had been to continue the promenade across the port using a viaduct. Years ago, there was also a look-out point, next to the building which now houses the Photographic Society. It was called Drum Square, maybe due to the sound of the waves beating against it...

Because, without a doubt, this promenade is one of the places in the city which suffers most from the fierce attacks of the Cantabrian Sea... After many rockfalls, collapses and other war wounds, the city was forced to carry out substancial repairs and remodelling in 1998, reinforcing and underpinning the slopes of Mount Urgull. For many residents, it was a pity that this work meant that an old hermitage had to be demolished, although the blow was softened somewhat by the placing of a sculpture near the site of the old hermitage in 2002. This is a work by the famous Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza, named the Empty Construction.

If there were a three-star rating for the best places to feel the forces of nature, this promenade would be granted it. We highly recommend strolling along here on a day with rough seas... and don't worry, if things get dangerous, the road is closed off to traffic and pedestrians.

If, on the other hand, the Cantabrian is calm, the sunset over the sea that you can see from here is also worth three stars, or even four, if after a summery day with winds from the south the sky turns red as the sun sinks.


Paseo Nuevo (New Promenade)


Donostia - San Sebastián

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Tags: Coast

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