This is an unusual rural building in the heart of the urban centre. It was built during the second half of the seventeenth century beside St. James’s Arch outside the old city walls, behind the parish church of Santa María Magdalena where the road to Gorliz passed through Calle Portaleta.
The structure deteriorated during the twentieth century and by the 1980s had become uninhabitable. But the town council took urgent action to preserve this unique example of rural architecture, and it is now listed as a monument in the General Inventory of Basque Cultural Heritage, and is well suited for cultural uses.
Evidence of the age of the building can be seen in some of the architectural features, such as the straight feet of the structure, which support the lintelled beam of the arch. The ground floor housed the stable and a central staircase, with the main dwelling on the first floor and a loft running under the two-slope roof. In the 18th century, the building was extended, with rows of rooms added to the side to provide two homes with independent access by way of outdoor stairs. This extension was part of a general expansion to meet renewed demand for housing as a result of an increase in the shipping trade and a consequent rise in the population. At that point the house ceased to be so clearly rural in character and was integrated within the urban framework.