Gateway to Encartaciones
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Right next to Bilbao, Alonsotegi greets the visitor to Enkarterri. As it winds to an end, the Cadagua River flows through this gateway town surrounded by mountains. This is a place of steep but dissimilar terrain, with an altitude ranging from 50 metres (164 ft) up to 1 000 (3 280).
As you have already guessed, Alonsotegi is a must-see destination for nature lovers and hikers. At least two of the best-known mountains in the province stand around this municipality – Ganekogorta and Pasagarri. The latter keeps ice boxex dating from the 17th century, a kind of underground stores that used to gather snow in the cold months for a variety of summer uses such as cooling drinks, storing food and even treating fevers.
Alonsotegi offers more than landscaped views and a sinuous river. It is home to a number of churches and hermitages of great historical value. The San Antolín Chapel, dating back to the 15th century, is without a doubt an architectural jewel in which the neighbours take high pride. Although not as old, a small shrine consisting of a tiny altar set against the wall of a rock, and guarded by a small roof, is worth a visit as well. It boasts an exact copy of the original figure of John the Baptist – which is kept at the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade.
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