Lanestosa, the place where the clocks stop
This town, founded in 1287, is located in the westernmost point of Bizkaia, in the region of Enkarterri. It is the smallest municipality in the territory and one of the least inhabited. However, the monumentality of its indiano houses, its medieval layout, the richness of the surrounding countryside and the friendliness of its people make Lanestosa a highly recommended visit.
A lbert Einstein was right. Time does not pass in the same way everywhere. In Lanestosa its flow slows down. And it is not necessary to resort to the speed of light or the infinite gravitational attraction of a black hole. It is enough to walk through its cobbled streets, to stop and contemplate the landscape, to listen to nature. Little by little, time will roll more slowly. Urgencies will lose importance.
Like the mythical Shambhala, Lanestosa rises in a valley of evergreen forests and meadows between mountains, linked to a river, the Calera, which flows into the salmonfishing Asón to feed the marshes of Santoña and Colindres. The Calera disappears from sight in the karstic terrain where it also carves meandering limestone canyons.
The entourage of Emperor Charles V passed through the main street of Lanestosa on its way to the plateau half a millennium ago. Those who sit in silence may hear the clopping of horses’ hooves on the cobblestones. Merchants enriched by the passage of goods between Castile and the sea built palaces in the 17th and 18th centuries. Later, Indianos who made their fortune in Mexico, Guatemala or Cuba added the icing on the cake of mansions, now hundreds of years old, to the ancient streets of the town with estates such as ‘La Casona’, ‘La Casa Vizcaya’ or ‘La Casa Sobera’ among others.
For a long time, the inhabitants of Lanestosa have been mainly dedicated to agriculture and livestock farming. This fact has allowed them to preserve not only the spectacular surroundings, but also the way of life linked to the cycles of nature instead of the dictates of the digital clock.
The doors of places such as ‘La abacería’, a supermarket, tavern, hardware store, bodeguilla (wine cellar) and a place for conversation, are still open. You can effortlessly hear the birds twittering, the toads chirping and, certainly in winter, the wolves howling. The rough road through the pass of Los Tornos and the constantly changing weather keep the road traffic away from Lanestosa. There is little more than real bikers, locals or cattle trailers.
That is why the street, when you turn the corner, does not lead to another place, but to another time. A time when the air was thin and scented with hay and the rhythm of the work was set by the ringing of the bell tower.
It is worth breathing in the peace and quiet of Lanestosa. But if you prefer breathtaking activities, whoever stops in Lanestosa is in the perfect spot for speleology, via ferrata, hiking, mountain bikingor bicycle touring.
- During the first week of August, the Virgen de las Nieves, with its unique parade of the “Danzantes”.
- In the middle of August, San Roque.
- Every first Sunday in September, Lanestosa hosts a classic car rally which is bigger every year in terms of number and quality of the participants.
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