General view of Tolosa
General view of Tolosa
Coat of arms of Tolosa
Tolosa is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Coordinates: 43°8′N 2°5′W / 43.133°N 2.083°W / 43.133; -2.083
Country Spain
Autonomous community País Vasco
 • MayorOlatz Peón (PNV)
 • Total37.39 km2 (14.44 sq mi)
75 m (246 ft)
 • Total19,525
 • Density520/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Tolosano/a, Tolosarra
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Official language(s)Spanish, Basque
WebsiteOfficial website

Tolosa (Spanish and Basque: [toˈlosa]) is a town and municipality in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, in northern Spain. It is located in the valley of the river Oria, next by Uzturre, a local mountain topped by a white cross.

Its economy relies primarily on the industrial sector, specifically papermaking.



Iurre, Berazubi, Bidebieta, San Esteban, Izaskun, San Blas, Amarotz, Usabal, Santa Lutzia, Montezkue, Belate, Belabieta, Alde Zaharra (Parte Vieja), Auzo Txikia, Alliri, Arramele, Iparragirre, Urkizu, Aldaba, Larramendi, Aldaba Txiki and Bedaio.[2]

Notable buildings

Saint Mary church


One of Europe's tallest Douglas fir trees can be found in the fir plantation in Tolosa.[3]


A 9000-year-old human settlement was discovered in the neighbourhood of San Esteban. From the tools and remains of flint carvings found, it would be a group whose economy was based on hunting and fruit gathering.

From the Bronze Age, about 4000 years old, are the dolmens of Belabieta and Añi, burial constructions that bear witness to the first religious manifestations.

In the Iron Age, about 2300 years ago, the first settlements appear. They settled on medium-high mountains, such as Intxur in Aldaba, and protected themselves by surrounding themselves with walls. In addition to their knowledge of iron, they were farmers and ranchers.

The whole of antiquity, including Romanization and until at least 1025, when Gipuzkoa entered history, is an obscure period about which little is known.

The territory of Gipuzkoa was incorporated to Castile in 1200. In 1256, King Alfonso X the Wise of Castile granted the charter to Tolosa, naming it after Toulouse, France. In this charter, the inhabitants of Tolosa were granted privileges that were not granted to the inhabitants of nearby villages, nor to those of other provinces. It also provided for the fortification of Tolosa, Ordizia and Segura, border points with Navarre. The original city was built on an island separated by an arm of the Oria that passed through the current Calle de la Rondilla (previously named after Pablo Gorosábel [es; eu]) and is completely walled, with six gates equipped with defense towers (gates of Castile, Arramele, Navarre, Casa de las Damas, Matadero and Our Lady of Help).

In 1282 it suffered a fire that destroyed it. Sancho IV of Castile granted new privileges to encourage its reconstruction and the arrival of new inhabitants, including freeing those who were to settle there of all tribute to the Crown (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 20 April 1290), privileges later confirmed by Ferdinand IV of Castile and Alfonso XI of Castile.

However, maintaining these privileges was problematic at times, as when in 1463 the tax collector Jacob Gaón demanded payment of the tax called pedido from the Tolosans. They replied that they were exempt from payment because of the provisions approved by the king. Gaón threatened them, and several of them killed him, beheaded him, and put his head on a pillory as punishment for having put Tolosa at the top of his list of collections. King Henry IV of Castile went to Tolosa to avenge his death, but the perpetrators fled the village. The king ordered the house where the crime was committed to be demolished. He did not execute the perpetrators, since before catching them he received a petition from the Junta of Gipuzkoa requesting pardon for the Tolosans, and presented their arguments, and Henry IV acknowledged that they were exempt from payment.

The prevailing insecurity since the 14th century means that over two centuries, several towns and villages joined and separated from the council of Tolosa, including Abaltzisketa, Aduna, Albiztur, Alegia, Alkiza, Altzo, Amasa, Amezketa, Andoain, Anoeta, Asteasu, Baliarrain, Belauntza, Berastegi, Berrobi, Zizurkil, Elduain, Ezama, Gaztelu, Hernialde, Ibarra, Ikaztegieta, Irura, Laskoain, Leaburu, Lizartza, Orendain, Orexa and Igorre. Tolosa is committed to the defense of the towns, which remain under the jurisdiction of the mayor, and are usually ascribed the privileges and charters of Tolosa. During the fourteenth century there were various disagreements with these cities and a conflict with San Sebastián over the cases of Andoain, Aduna and Alkiza, which was settled in 1479 with the transfer of these three towns to the jurisdiction of San Sebastian.

In 1469 it underwent another important fire, and another major one in 1503 that affected even the parish church, despite being isolated. In both cases it was granted new privileges to aid in its reconstruction, and the Catholic Monarchs issued an order for the mayor of the province to reside in Tolosa when not visiting other towns.

After the uprising of the Count of Salvatierra in 1520, during the Revolt of the Comuneros, Tolosa was on the communal side,[4] and the royalist army defeated the resistance of Tolosa and other Basque communal towns after the defeat of the army of the Count of Salvatierra, Pedro López de Ayala, in the battle of Miñano Mayor on 19 April 1521.

On 9 August 1794, during the War of the Pyrenees, French troops occupied Tolosa. During the Peninsular War it was occupied again. While it was dominated by the Napoleonic army it suffered attacks from area guerrillas.

From 1844 to 1854 under the government of the Progressives, Tolosa was the capital of Gipuzkoa for two years, later returning to San Sebastián, which had been declared the capital city in the decrees of 1822[5] and 1833,[6] with the consequent transfer of the regional council and all management to the new capital of the province.

Tolosa was one of the most important cities of the territory controlled by the Carlists in the civil war of 1872–1876, and was one of the headquarters of the newspaper El Cuartel Real [es].

Spanish Civil War

On 11 August 1936 Tolosa was captured by rebel Nationalist troops under Major Latorre.[7]


On 29 March 1939, there was a fatal accident to the overnight Sud Express train between Paris and Lisbon.

Notable people


  1. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  2. ^ "Barrios". Tolosako udala. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Common Douglas-fir 'pseutsuga menzsi' in the una plantación de abetos in Tolosa, País Vasco, Spain". Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  4. ^ Ramírez Olano, Eliodoro; González de Echavarri, Vicente (1905). La Guerra de las Comunidades en el País Vasco (in Spanish). Imprenta de la Provincia. p. 174.
  5. ^ "División provisional del territorio español". (in Spanish). 2009-12-14. Archived from the original on 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  6. ^ Real decreto de 30 de Noviembre de 1833 (in Spanish). Imprenta Real. 1833. OCLC 955790431.
  7. ^ Thomas, Hugh (2012). The Spanish Civil War (50th Anniversary ed.). London: Penguin Books. p. 364.