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Did you know that…?

The name Santurtzi seems to stem from the name of Saint George, through a historical evolution that has seen 17 different names registered, i.e.: Sancti Georgi, Sant Yorgui, Sant Yurdie, Sant Yordie, Sant Yurye, Santiorde, Santiurde, Santurye, Santuye, Santurdi, Santurci, Santurde, Santurze, Santurse, Santurce, Santurtze and Santurtzi.

To recognize our immediate geographical environment, one generally resorts to expressions such as, “Margen izquierda” (Left bank), "Gran Bilbao” (the greater Bilbao area), industrial and mining area; but the name that has represented this area since olden times, has been that of Valley of Somorrostro, which is integrated within the region of Encartaciones in Biscay.

The most important fiesta of Santurtzi, celebrated since 1907, is that of the Virgen del Carmen (our Lady of Carmen), which share since that date the age-old patronage St. George had previously held. The most outstanding rite is that of the maritime procession of our Lady of Carmen, which reminisces the rescue of a sculpture depicting this dedication to our Lady, led in the 19th century by the crew from a small fishing boat from Santurtzi.

Until 1600 the chapel of Mamariga had been dedicated to St. Eulalia, or St. Olalla. But the miraculous apparition of an image of our Lady amongst the rocks located at the foot of the chapel motivated the enlargement of the temple and, since 1650, a change of dedication which passed on to our Lady of the Sea (Virgen del Mar).