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Aia

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Title: Aia  
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Subject: Municipalities in Gipuzkoa, Usurbil, List of municipalities in Gipuzkoa, Larraul, Rachel Maree Neeson
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Aia

Aia
Municipality
250px
Aia
Aia is located in Basque Country
Aia
Aia
Location of Aia within the Basque Autonomous Community
Aia is located in Spain
Aia
Aia
Location of Aia within Spain
Coordinates:
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Basque Country
Province Gipuzkoa
Comarca Urola Kosta
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20809
Dialing code 34 (Spain) + 943 (Gipuzkoa)
Website Official website

Aia (; Basque: ) is a small village situated on the slopes of Mount Pagoeta in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, Spain. It is located 30 km to the west of Donostia-San Sebastián and about 10 km inland from the coastal town of Zarautz. Aia is set amongst hills and forests, and surrounded by mountains. The town still retains its ancient character, with the large Church of San Esteban building as an impressive centrepiece. The population of Aia has gradually declined since the 1950s, to a population of 1,750 in 2005.

History

Based on cave paintings and engravings and also stone implements that have been found in the Aia district, it is believed that human habitation of the area dates back to over 10,000 years ago. The town of Aia itself was mentioned in one of the oldest documents of Gipuzkoa dated 1025. The town was also mentioned as being part of the Union of Sayaz in the Decree of the Brotherhood of the Province of Gupuzkoa in 1375.

Farming was originally the main economic activity in the Aia district, with families of the small villages living within closed, self-sufficient economic systems. Land was generally owned by the municipality and rented to the farmers to work. Specialised crafts also began to develop, and in particular Aia became a main centre for the production of blast furnaces that ran on coal.

Attractions

Aia is known for its natural beauty, still situated amongst Basque farmlands largely unchanged over the past couple of hundred years. It has several impressive attractions that are well known across the province. The 1,335-acre (5.40 km2) Pagoeta Nature Reserve sits just to the west of the town of Aia and preserves not only the natural beauty of the area but also the district's cultural heritage. The park contains numerous ruins of old mills, foundries, and farmhouses, and even some ancient burial mounds dating back 5,000 years.

Agorregi Forge, near Aia, Gipuzkoa Province

The hydraulic energy to power its great bellows and turn its waterwheels.

Also situated near Aia and within the Pagoeta Nature Reserve is the Iturraran Botanic Garden. The garden was established in 1986 and includes more than 1,000 species of plants, trees, and shrubs from all over the world. It also includes some endangered flora of the Basque Country.

External links

  • Aia official website Information available in Spanish and Basque.
  • 360 degree view of Aia
  • (Spanish) AIA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia (Euskomedia Fundazioa)
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