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Gros and The Zurriola

Donostia - San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa

In 1849, the area on "the other side" of Santa Catalina Bridge, which was just sand dunes and salt marshes and didn't even form part of the city, was sold by the city council to Don José Gros. The area was known as La Zurriola, an old name which can be seen in documents dating back as far as 1278.

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In 1849, the area on "the other side" of Santa Catalina Bridge, which was just sand dunes and salt marshes and didn't even form part of the city, was sold by the city council to Don José Gros. The area was known as La Zurriola, an old name which can be seen in documents dating back as far as 1278.

As a start, the new owner embarked on an ambitious project to fill in the marshes, which reached as far as what is now Miracruz Street. He gave his surname to the new area that began to appear: the neighbourhood of Gros.

When, in 1892, the city council decided to intervene to speed up the building work on this land, they had to reach an agreement with the owner. The latter would pay for the building of a sea wall, which was situated where Gran Via Street is today. In exchange, the city council would buy the new land created, in order to build on it, for the modest price of 2 pesetas per square metre. In 1921, with the construction of the Zurriola Bridge, the new neighbourhood of Gros was annexed to the city.

As for Zurriola beach, it used to extend as far back as Zabaleta Street. Later, small hotels were built in this area, pushing the beach back to where it can be found today. In 1979 the promenade beside the beach was also given the name of Zurriola. In 1995 major remodelling work widened the beach, but this time out into the sea, thanks to the dumping of vast quantities of sand. At the same time, the whole area underwent a plan of urban renewal.

On the new beach, as on the old, surfing is the king of sporting activities. The right-hand wave of Mompas is outstanding, as well as the left-hand waves of the central area at low tide, which become right hand as high tide approaches. Thanks to these waves, today the city forms part of international trials of this noble sport.

Here's a tip from a local: from the beginning of this promenade in the neighbourhood of Sagues, you can follow a route beside the sea for more than 8 kilometres, until you reach the Wind Comb, without crossing a single pavement. If that sounds too far, let me tell you that there is a cycle track next to the footpath... Time to burn up some calories with the sea as a witness!


Gros and The Zurriola

Barrio de Gros
Donostia - San Sebastián

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