San Severino Church

Gothic church

Next to the Town Hall and dominating over the square of the same name, we find the majestic San Severino gothic church.

It is built over the base of an older hermitage.


The San Severino church, whose name commemorates the old St. James Way in Biscay, dates back to the 15th century (gothic church), even though you can find some baroque additions, like the pinnacles and archangels.

The main entrance (next to the Town Hall) is very simple; it only has five archivolts that are not decorated and a rose window above.

The side entrance has a pointed arch entrance between 2 buttresses with five archivolts of which only two are decorated. Under these we see a large tympanum and mullium with the image of the Saviour (San Severino: vocation of St. James).

The tower and bell tower, highly decorated, are baroque, even though they were built over a previous gothic base. This constitutes the newest part of the church (18th c - 1726).

The temple was restored in the beginning of the 18th century because of its bad state.

On the southern facade a beautiful portico was opened, where the market was held when it rained, with the marks still left on the same wall. The portico was demolished in 1887 after another restoration.


This church is divided into three naves: a central, higher nave and two side naves, which are also divided into four separate sections for 6 columns. The central nave finishes at the apse, the altar, which has some impressive stained glassed windows from the 19th century. The back side of the church has a choir with a Cavaille - Coll organ from the 19th century (1892).

The ceilings are made of groin vaults, with the side naves´ ceilings also groin, and a complex groin of the central naves.

This church, and its first storey, added side chapels financed by the best families in the town: the Inmaculada and Cristo church and the Urrutia and San Pelayo families (from behind the altar). Each built their chapel to their taste and economic power.

The most interesting of the three is the Urrutia family’s: a 16th century chapel (late – gothic), with a station’s of the cross altarpiece and a very interesting groin vault that makes an 8 pointed star with vegetable decorations inside. It was designed by Juan de Rasines and dates back to 1545, as inscribed on the wall.

The church has 5 tombs. On the right they belong to the Bermejillo family, and those behind are anonymous. The one on the left belongs to the Zumalabe family (14th century- from the previous hermitage).

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Plaza San Severino, 1
48800 BALMASEDA (Bizkaia)


Phone: (+34) 946 800 074
Mobile: (+34) 665 737 907