San Sebastian – or giving its Basque name – Donostia traces its history back to 1180, when King Sancho the Strong (Sancho el Fuerte) founded the city in what is now the Old Quarter of the city.
San Sebastian has a is located in a unique geographic with Mount Urgull standing guard over the coastal city.
San Sebastian has witnessed several sieges and wars, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1808 until 1813, Napoleon’s troops occupied the city but was later driven out by Anglo-Portuguese troops led by the Duke of Wellington whose army looted and ravaged the city. A street was named 31 de Agosto Street to serve as a reminder of this painful memory.
However the Basque indomitable spirit helped rebuild the city that today is renowned throughout the world for its style and above all its cuisine.
It is the provincial capital of the Basque province of Guipuzcoa which combines city, country and coastal life in a heady mix which any visitor immediately notices.