The ancestral home

We have identified three caseríos Elortegui, two of them in Maruri-Jatabe, and the third one between Lemóniz and Arminza, in Biscay.

In our opinion, the older caserío and origin of the name is at Maruri, in a place known as Jatabe,  meaning "lower side of Jata Mountain".

The house is a typical basque caserío, with the front southern oriented and a two slopes roof. It houses people and cattle, with a straw loft under the roof. It is known, even today, as "Elórtegui Goikoa", meaning "upper Elortegui".  It is restored and inhabited.

Walking towards the mountain from "Elórtegui Goikoa", just two hundred meters away, the wild vegetation is mainly the elorri, the plant of  the Elortegui name. Heavy robes are necessary on legs and body, because the elorri are one meter high and covers all the area.

Caserío Elórtegui Goikoa about 1950

Caserío Elórtegui Goikoa in july 2001

The second caserío is known as "Elortegui Bekoa", meaning "Bottom Elórtegui". In an early visit, about 1948, it was unoccupied long time ago. Today an adjacent house, on the side of the original caserío is inhabited. The owners are three Elórtegui brothers, about seventy years old, the last men of their branch.

The description of the architecture of Elórtegui Goikoa is the same as for Elórtegui Bekoa, but eastern oriented.

Caserío Elórtegui Bekoa about 1950

Caserío Elórtegui Bekoa in july 2001

A view with both caseríos. Elórtegui Goikoa is the white one centred in the image. Elórtegui Bekoa is on the right side of the image, with a side view. Behind them Mount Jata, covered with elorri or elortza.

A different view, with Elórtegui Bekoa in the centre of the image. The small adjacent house is actually inhabited. Elórtegui Goikoa is the house at the left side of the view, behind Elórtegui Bekoa, with a white front.


The third caserío was on a terrain now occupied by the Lemoniz/Lemoiz nuclear plant. The actual caserío is a modern house build in 1951. It is occupied by Francisco Elórtegui, who told us the old caserío was not a Elórtegui caserío but a Bengoechea one acquired by a marriage. This branch of Elórtegui is related with the australian Elórtegui family.

General view of the caserío Elórtegui near Arminza, between the road and the sea. Behind, the Arminza cliffs.


Maruri-Jatabe valley in 2001 July. The San Lorenzo Church, is at the centre-right of the image. The Church is a good reference for arriving  to the caseríos Elórtegui, on the right, between the Church and the trees. Back of the photograph, the Andrakas pass, on the road to Plencia.

How to reach.

To reach the houses, you must leave from Plentzia/Plencia in theMunguía direction, following the 6320 road  (referenced too as BI-2120) between Plentzia/Plencia and Munguía. About  five kilometres from Plencia it is  Andrakas pass and the road goes down.  Two kilometres away, on the left side is Maruri-Jatabe. By going to the Church and turning right (to the east side) it is Elortegui Goikoa, restored and white painted..

About 100 metres on the east side it is the caserío Elortegui Bekoa, in a three building group with a U shape. At the base of the U it is the original house, at the adjacent houses are the actual Elórtegui brothers home.

The third caserío, the most modern one, is on the BI-3152 road side, from Arminza to Bakio, between the road and the cliffs, about three kilometres form Arminza and before arriving to the Lemoniz nuclear plant.