Monday, October 16, 2017

La Concha Bay in San Sebastian is spectacular!

La Concha beach is very grandiose and one of the most beautiful in the world.   La Concha beach is sheltered between Mount Urgell on the east and Mount Igueldo on the west.  The shape of the bay explains the name "concha" (shell).  It has a length of 1,350 meters and an average width of 40 meters.  I say average, since the tides can strongly influence the size of this beach on the Atlantic Ocean.
The elegant Art Nouveau railing of La Concha Bay is very symbolic in San Sebastian.  It runs the whole length of the bay and it makes for a lovely walk.   
The railing was built in 1910 by Juan Raphael Alday but it was not until 1916 when King Alfonso XII officially inaugurated the railing.  The construction cost about 34 Euros (5,700 pesetas at the time).
Walking west of my hotel, the Hotel de Londres y de Iglaterra, one comes upon a stately building across the street, formerly the Royal House.
In the 19th century La Concha beach was the place where Queen Isabel II came for her bath therapy, after her doctor recommended this.  Soon San Sebastian turned into the summer residence of the Spanish royal family and also a place where other European royals would spend their summers.
It is in front of the former Royal House that the section of the railing is different from the rest.  The round design has become oval.
You can either stroll along the beach or walk above it on the boardwalk.
The symbolic street lanterns of La Concha bay are made into little sculptures that are used as the awards during the International Film Festival which is held every August.
You can find the end of La Concha beach at the "Pico de Loro" (the so called parrot’s beak).
The "Pico de Loro" is a small passage of rocks which disappears during high tide.  Behind this “Pico de Loro” the Ondaretta beach starts, this beach is also located in the Concha bay and its border is marked by the Igueldo mountain.
An exciting event to witness is the "Day of the Dance".  For one day every March , more than a thousand students of classical dance perform next to the railing.
The Basque name for a citizen of San Sebastian is Donostiarra.  There is a popular saying in San Sebastian, "You're more Donostiarra than the railing of La Concha".  
It's a beautiful spot, one of my favorite places and every time I am here, I pretend to be a

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