If not knowing its history we are amazed by its lines and elegance, knowing it we will take off our hat to this example of tenacity and respect for the historical heritage. And it is that Urgoiti Palace was originally in Galdakao, 15 kms from Mungia. Because of some historical events it had to be disassembled stone by stone and after 30 years it was rebuild in its current location.
In 1968, due to the construction of the Bilbao-Behobia motorway, it was expropriated and demolished despite repeated requests to the authorities of the time to prevent the disappearance of the historic Palace by its owner, D Jose Maria Solano Gil-Adan Delgado de Yarza, who before seeing this historic emblem disappear decided to dismantle and number it stone by stone.
The stones were kept stored for 30 years, waiting for a propitious moment to be rebuilt.
In 1983 the Basque country suffered one of the worst floods of our times. This affected our history in two ways: first, many stones were covered with mud and some others were dragged to the estuary. On the other hand, the Study of the architect Amann, located on the banks of the Bilbao estuary, was completely waterlogged so all the project drawings were lost (the digital age had not reached yet).
Yet the dream of the recovery of the Urgoiti Palace remained at the head of their owners and after the recovery from the limited documentation that was saved, diverse studies and lot of courage, set their hands to the task. Thus began a long, slow process which began by moving all the stones to the ground now occupied by the Palace. There, an absolutely craftsmanship work of order, classification and cataloging of the stones that formed the original building was developed: stone by stone was measured, as if there were redoing a jigsaw puzzle almost out from nowhere.
In 2004 began the real reconstruction of Urgoiti Palace with the laying of the foundation stone, specialized stonemason, specialized cranes to avoid damaging the stones, carpenters, the French ceiling … with the difficulty of adapting to the current comforts and technologies.
This exemplary reconstruction, using noble materials that maintains the style and the original trace of Urgoiti Palace, allows us to continue enjoying this magnificent jewel of the Biscayan palace architecture.
The Urgoiti Palace, also known as Del Gallo or De Adan de Yarza, was built by Don Miguel Vélez de Larrea at the end of the XVII century in Galdakao and has always belonged to the Adan de Yarza family lineage.
Its strategic location dominating the original paths from Zornotza and Arratia, originated Urgoiti Palace to be the backdrop for some different events in the history of Bizkaia and meeting place for illustrious visitors, including the Infante Don Carlos de Borbón, pretender to the throne and rival to Elizabeth II, who used to stay overnight here on several occasions. Adan Yarza surname, ordered the building of the Zubieta Palace in Lekeitio. These two Baroque palaces are undoubtedly the most beautiful examples of palace architecture of Bizkaia.
There were many notable Adan Yarzas who lived in these palaces or in the preceding towers, as Rodrigo Adan Yarza already starting to sound in the history as mayor of the Jurisdiction of Bizkaia since 1338.
In the Low Middle Ages the members of this lineage participated as leaders in the Wars of the Bands usually on the Oñacinos side.
Another historic curiosity is that Pedro Adan de Yarza was among the Mayors of Bizkaia negotiating with the King the first Basque Fuero system of 1342 under the Tree of Gernika and after some time was Mario Adan Yarza who came to the General Meeting of April 1877 as Deputy General of Bizkaia to the same place to reject the law abolishing the Fueros, which despite his efforts, that year were abolished and the General Council of Bizkaia dissolved.
It is noteworthy the countless services to the King like Rodrigo Adan Yarza’s as former secretary of the Catholic Monarchs since 1487, president of the Royal Treasury, the Indies and the Royal Council. He also features in the Granada and Seville conquest, or in the defense of San Sebastián. He was also Admiral and General Captain of the coast of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Asturias and Galicia to Portugal. And Antonio Navarro Larreategui (1554-1624) who changed his surname to Adan de Yarza, who was secretary of King Philip III, secretary of the royal archives of Simancas and secretary of Prince Manuel Filiberto of Savoy; Lord Mayor of Logroño and Lord of Los Arcos , as well as Provost of Lekeitio like as all his predecessors.
We cannot fail to mention Carlos Adan de Yarza (1812 – 1863), fuerist liberal politician, Mayor of Bilbao and General Deputy of Bizkaia, who put the same determination in planting trees in Bilbao than in the garden of Zubieta Palace. And Mario Adan de Yarza (1846 – 1920), who was also General Deputy of Bizkaia and shared his father’s passion for Botany. He is owed, after a first test in Zubieta Palace gardens and then using grounds of Urgoiti Palace, the introduction and beginning of industrial exploitation of the Radiata Pine of Monterey or Insignis Pine. This specie was referred to as green gold for reforesting the mountains of Bizkaia, damaged by long periods of over-exploitation, and the wealth it generated to the rural land.
Not subject to forgetting, for uncommon, is that after three centuries, both Zubieta and Urgoiti properties are still held by the same family.