The beginnings

The oldest human remains of Zerain are the dolmen of Oamendi and the cist of Irumugarrieta. These funerary monuments date from the Eneolitos – Bronze age and were used to bury the death with their belongings.

The first written record of Zerain is a document dating from the 20th of March, 1384. There the town is referred to as “Santa Maria de Basarte” or “Santa Maria la Asunta de Zerain”.

This document signed by Juan I and King Enrique III linked the people from Zerain to the walled town of Segura. Zerain was under the rule of Segura from the beginning, and in that time it was more a family than a town, or a group of loyal families under the protection of the Lord of Zerain.

Becoming a town

The grounds and mountains of the Consortium of Altzania and Aizkorri where bought at June the 22nd, 1401 to Fernán Perez de Ayala, Corregidor of Gipuzkoa. But the beginnings of what we know as the Consortium of Urbia are from year 1440, when a document regulating communal pastures was agreed.

This agreement was signed at the tunnel of San Adrian by the representatives of the towns of Segura, Idiazabal, Zegama and Zerain at Gipuzkoa and Asparrena and San Millan at Araba.

At 1512 there was a document that changed the live of the town for centuries to come: The Otalora family got the permission to exploit the mines of Zerain from King Fernando the Catholic. 



The tie to Segura was broken on year 1615 paying 31.364 reals to regain the status of town.

Since then Zerain has joined several associations: at 1617 the association of the valley of San Esteban river, at 1637 the association of Zegama, between 1662 and 1768 was associated with Legazpi, at 1825 they created the Artamalastegi association,…

Keeping its strong character, in collaboration with the neighbours, the town of Zerain, with humility and with the sweat of its people, has been and is an important part of the history of the Basque Country.


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