the heart of the sanctuary

The sanctuary is built around the tower house of the Loyola family. The building dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and is divided into the lower half built in stone, which recalls its past as a fortress, and the upper half built in brick that represents its evolution into a palatial house.

the heart of the sanctuary

The sanctuary is built around the tower house of the Loyola family. The building dates from the 14th and 15th centuries and is divided into the lower half built in stone, which recalls its past as a fortress, and the upper half built in brick that represents its evolution into a palatial house.

the entrance

Above the door we can see the coat of arms of Loyola, consisting of a pot on a chain flanked by two rampant wolves.

Near the entrance there is a bronze sculpture representing the arrival of the wounded Inigo at his birthplace.

the family home

The house is divided into four floors which contain important places in the life of Inigo.

Following the path marked on the plans, we arrive at the Chapel of the Conversion where we will learn how Inigo changed his life to devote himself to God.

the ground floor

This was used as a tool store and cellar. Within its walls, which are almost two meters thick, we can imagine the medieval past of the family.

Between the 13th and 15th centuries, feudal lords called “parientes mayores” fought over the territory of Gipuzkoa.

After the conflict, the tower houses of Gipuzkoa were turned into palaces and the Loyola family entered the modern era. In this period of profound changes was born Inigo Lopez de Loyola.

the first floor

This floor shows some rooms at the centre of day-to-day life in the house, such as the kitchen, where masters and servants would gather around the fire.

It was here that old stories about the family’s forebears were told and the traditional values of the Christian faith, fidelity to one's word, loyalty and sense of honour were handed on.

the second floor

This floor belongs to the part of the house rebuilt in brick. It is the main floor, with the master bedroom, oratory, dining room and main hall.

In the bedroom of the Lady of Loyola, Doña Marina Saenz de Licona gave birth in 1491 to Inigo de Loyola, her last son.

the dining room

The dining room, located next to the oratory, was the main living space of the family, along with the main hall, where they received visitors.

During his period of convalescence, Inigo read copies of “Life of Christ” and “Flos Sanctorum”, which raised in him an intense desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, going to Jerusalem. Copies of these books are displayed on the bookshelf in the room.

the third floor

This floor housed the rooms for children and guests. It was here that Inigo was operated on and almost died.

Inigo’s reading showed a new world to him: how the motions of God affect our lives. Gradually, he fell in love with God until he surrendered himself to Him.

All this happened between June 1521 and February 1522, and this room will become the Chapel of the Conversion forever. We are in the heart of the Sanctuary of Loyola.