Ihartze Artea – a unique history

Ihartze Artea is a genuine “labourdine” farmhouse (The “Labourd” is one the 7 Basque provinces). The half-timbered north façade was built at the end of the 16th century, but the south façade without half-timbering, dates from the 17th century ; this asymmetry gives to this farmhouse an original and aesthetic style. But more than its outside look, the particularity of Ihartze Artea, thanks to which it’s a listed building, is inside the house.

The frescoes by Gaspar Montes Iturrioz

fresque-pelote-basquePushed by the Spanish civil war into taking refuge in Sare, the famous Basque painter, GASPAR MONTES ITURRIOZ, decorate in 1937, the big room situated on the ground floor of the house. He painted monumental frescoes showing scenes of the Basque way of life. We can distinguish 3 different scenes of approximately 40 m2, and the original logo of the SARAKO IZARRA association which came into being in this room, in September 1937. These frescoes are outstanding by their themes (pelota, dance, music), but also by their pictorial style (refined, sober, commanding respect). They pay tribute to the “Saratars” (the inhabitants of Sare) who took in hundreds of refugees, as the “Erresoinka” troupe, which was frowned upon at this period.


Shortly after the bombardment of Guernica on April 26th, 1937, the Basque government through its president AGUIRRE created a choral society and a group of dance in order to represent and promote the Basque country and its culture to the international community. A hundred of singers, dancers and musicians, hand-picked ( Luis Mariano and the mother of Placido Domingo belonged to it), were thus gathered in Sare to form the Erresoinka troupe. Paul Dutournier and the Mayor of Sare, Dr Lerremboure, threw open to them this large deserted house : Ihartze Artea. There, in the big room of the ground-floor, took place the rehearsals of the troupe for their show which went around the European capitals, beginning by Paris in the mythical Pleyel concert hall.

Ihartze Artea, a listed monument

This house has been listed thanks to the frescoes by Gaspar Montes Iturrioz, and to this rich history. For the chief curator of the listed monuments of the DRAC (regional level management of ministry of culture), Mrs Mauriac, these frescoes are an art déco jewel, between the impressionism and the neo-cubism, an artistic and historical witness of this period. Thanks to her, and with this help of the regional council, the Basque government, the “Banque Populaire”, and the council of Sare, that we can now admire these frescoes, restored in 2006 by the best French restorers under the direction of Mrs Passicos.

Ihartze Artea Réceptions

Today, the renovated building of 1000m2, the space of which was thought and redrawn by an architect, have got 8 apartments and 2 reception rooms. It is in this unique and historical place that we invite you to enjoy the charm of an old building with a today comfort (3*** and 4**** rating apartments).