Municipality with a marked rural character that occupies a mountainous zone of narrow valleys. It is divided by neighbourhood and located on the right bank of the River Golako. In another time, there were up to five foundries that were not able to survive with the appearance of large steel establishments. And the influence of the Middle Ages can be seen in the numerous family houses and arms museums built here, which include Zubiaur house tower and Montalbán tower.The patron saint festivals are celebrated on 21st December, in honour of Saint Thomas the Apostle.
The Santo Tomás Church, in the Eleizalde neighbourhood, crowns a hill from where a large part of the municipality of Arratzu can be seen. It is important to bear in mind that this church is from before the municipality of Arratzu was laid out, making it an obligatory stop for pilgrims on the way from Santiago de Zenarruza to Guernica. The original temple could have been built between the 12th and 13th centuries, and was rebuilt in the first third of the 16th century.
The church has one of the most important Baroque choirs in Biscay, where it was the norm during the 18th century to replace old wooden structures with quarry stone works.
The portico is very interesting. It must be considered one of the best of its kind.
Artzubi Medieval bridge
The bridge is a round arch and well-constructed with ashlar. Having survived numerous floods, it is a historic element that is perfectly incorporated into an idyllic forest setting. The bridge, in addition to becoming a border with the municipality of Mendata, has a Medieval road that corresponds to the coastal section of the Camino de Santiago between Zenarruza and Guernica.
Oppidum de Arrola and Arrolagune
Oppidum de Arrola is one of the most important indigenous towns of east Cantabria and has occupied the summit of this mount for 23 centuries (4 B.C to 1 AD). It was the population centre that governed life in Urdaibai until the 1st century, covering 40 acres. These types of fortresses or hill-forts were the usual settlements during the Iron Age, Arrola being the best preserved of Biscay.
Arrolagune is the Interpretation Centre of Oppidum de Arrola. It recreates life in the town and shows this site in detail, a key to learning about the history of Biscay. The display, through panels and reproductions, is a tour through the history of Europe in the Iron Age II and show the importance of its imposing defensive walls. It also informs about the ways of life of the town and of its funeral world.
Rural life remains present in this quiet neighbourhood, with country houses from different eras, including Dolaretxe, a 16th century farmstead built on the old factional tower of Belendiz.
Camino de Santiago
Arratzu came to have an important role on the coastal Camino de Santiago in Biscay because it was home to the Santo Tomás Church, organised to physically and spiritually attend to pilgrims.
From here, they arrived in Guernica after passing through Mendata and Ajangiz or Arratzu.