The Border

The Border

The history of the Txingudi area and the collective awareness of its peoples have been indisputably marked by the presence of the French-Spanish border. A border which has now, physically at least, more or less disappeared, but which has nevertheless left its mark as one of the main values and attractions of this coastal region.

The River Bidasoa has always been the dividing line between the two countries And the relations existing between Irun, Hondarribia and Hendaye have long been influenced by the limitations imposed by a clearly defined political frontier.

Prior to 1841, the date of the third and definitive transfer of the Spanish customs and excise posts to the country’s borders, Irun depended on Hondarribia and Hendaye and consisted of little more than a few scattered farmhouses.
The arrival of the customs houses triggered major changes in the region, and Irun experienced an economic boom, rapidly becoming the second largest town in the province.

Many historical events have left their mark around the Txingudi border and customs post. In 1914 the First World War broke out, triggering an immediate closure of all borders. This had a major effect on all aspects of life in Irun, since only those issued with special passes were allowed to cross the border into France. Smuggling became a vital source of income for many families, with the most valued goods being food and the clandestine passing of Spanish and Portuguese workers headed for the French armament factories.

The border passes were once again closed down during the Spanish Civil War, and the situation remained unchanged throughout the whole of the Second World War. Finally, the wars ended, but the border remained closed. In an attempt to exert pressure against Franco's political regime, Spain became the object of an international economic embargo, which prevented any kind of foreign product from entering the country.
After years of isolation, and a total absence of both administrative and neighbourly relations, one day, suddenly, the border was reopened. Overnight, the region’s inhabitants found that they could suddenly resume relations as if nothing had happened.

Three towns which had turned their backs on each other for years, now share common leisure and recreational areas, and following decades of a total absence of neighbourly relations, have finally managed to re-establish normal social interactions. Local policies have now been replaced by regional policies, and public services are shared equitably between the three municipalities. Furthermore, thanks to the creation of the Bidasoa-Txingudi Cross-Border Consortium, and the subsequent collaboration and cooperation of its members, a number of ambitious projects have arisen aimed at improving the economic situation of the bay area and fostering the wellbeing of its inhabitants.

One powerful symbol of the union of the three towns is the Bay Route, a project initiated in 2004 which consists of a route which runs through the region’s principal areas of heritage, historical and environmental interest. In short, an unbeatable route around the area’s most emblematic places, that can done on foot, by bike or on rollerblades, and which offers stunning views of Bidasoa-Txingudi Bay.
 

Oficinas

Bidasoa Activa, Tourist Dpt.

 

Portua Turismo (Marina)

  • Matxin de Arzu

Timetable (April - December)

  • Monday - Saturday
    10:00 - 13:00 / 15:00 - 19:00
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00

Irun Office

  • Plaza Luis Mariano, 3
    20302 Irun
  • Tel.: (00.34) 943 02 07 32

Winter timetable
Septemer 16th – june 30th

  • Tuesday - Saturday
    10:00 - 13:30 / 15:30 - 19:00
  • Monday
    15:30 - 19:00

Summer timetable
July 1st - september 15th

  • Monday - Saturday
    10:00 - 13:30 / 15:00 - 19:30
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00

Hondarribia Office

  • Arma Plaza, 9
    20280 Hondarribia
  • Tel.: (00.34) 943 64 36 77

November - march

  • Monday - Saturday
    10:00 - 18:00
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00

April - june

  • Monday - Saturday
    10:00 - 19:00
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00

July - september 14th

  • Monday - Sunday
    09:30 - 19:30

September 15th - october

  • Monday - Saturday
    10:00 - 19:00
  • Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00
IrunBerdea Roma Atlantiaca Hondarribiko udala Ayuntamiento Irun Udala: www.irun.org Explore San Sebastian Region Basque Country
Consorcio Transfronterizo Bidasoa Txingudi Red de Ciudades y Villas Medievales Euroziklo Arma Plaza Fundazioa