History of Bakio

Of mediaeval origin, Bakio parish was originally organised in districts, with two main nuclei: on the one hand Basigo, within which there was an enclave belonging to Mungia up to 1882, an independent Parish, with a parish church; and a second nucleus, formed by Zubiaurralde and San Pelaio, both part of the Town of Bermeo until annexation to Bakio in 1927.

Bakio’s rural economy was based mainly around the Basque farmhouse, with scarcely any economic dealings beyond the immediate sphere of influence. As a result of increased economic activity, however, certain families took control of the municipality from the 13th century onward, giving way to the emergence of some famous foundries, along with the mills: Goikolea Foundry and Mill; Gaztañazarreta (Kurtzikena); Olatxu Foundry and Mill; Urgura; Eitzaga; Zubiaurrerrotatxu (Errotatxu); Balandaerrota (Telleria); Elexpuruerrota (Katxuena); Errotatxu (Panaderiena); Bekoerrota; Bengolea Foundry and Mill; Urkitzaerrotazarra; Errotabarri; Urgitxi; Olazarra Foundry and Mill; Ureta; Azeretxokoerrota; Olabarri Foundry and Mill; Ondarra Foundry and Mill and Ibarraerrota.

At the end of the 18th century there was a progressive concentration of property in the hands of a group of powerful families from the municipality: Elexpuru, Ormatza, Artetxe, the Duke of Ciudad Real, the Marquis de Mortara, the Marquis de la Torrecilla and Sota, amongst others.

Many Bakio residents were forced to emigrate to Cuba in the 1870s as a result of the three Carlist Wars fought during the period from 1833 to 1876, coupled with the various economic crises of the time. Having amassed their fortunes there, those who did return home at the end of the century invested in the construction of large and ostentatious mansions, erecting such buildings as Quinta-Torre, Villa Clotilde and Feliena, among others, which still remain to this day.

In the 20th century the first summer residences emerged, such as Etxegorri (Pili-Palas), Itxas-Begi, Bitz-Gane, Itxas-Ondo, and others, becoming even more popular in the 1970s onward, appearing all throughout the municipality.