Forua Historical Monuments

The Roman village of Forua is located on the top of Elejalde hill (Forua), on the left bank of river Oka, right in the heart of Urdaibai. Created in the Ist century BC over an extension of 6 hectares (c. 15 acres), it developed continuously until the Vth century AD.

According to the present name of the town (Forua), we can interpret that the Roman settlement was a forum (market and tribunal) that gathered the population of the surroundings and articulated the influence of Roma over the valley. In the same way, its location beside the river makes it possible to state that the village was an important fluvial port for the entry of manufactured products in Biscay and the exportation of marble from Ereño and iron from the zone to the rest of the Cantabrian area.

The site, excavated until 2012, has revealed the existence of fourteen structures of different typologies and purposes, built in sandstone masonry. In addition to the huts and houses, many metallurgical furnaces to smelt iron have been discovered, as well as some foundries to produce tools, weapons and metal rods.

Underground the parish church of San Martín de Tours the floors of two superposed arcaded squares dating from the Roman period (Ist century AD) and related with the possible forum and public place have been found during the last decade. Above these remains and inside the Christian temple several mediaeval necropolis have been recovered, as well as the floor of the gothic church that preceded the actual Renaissance church (XVIth century).



General Details

Address: The site stands in the Elejalde district of Forua, close to the church of St. Martin of Tours.
GPS coordinates - N 43º 19′ 56″ / W 2º 40′ 24″
Telephone: 94 465 16 57 / 94 465 16 60
Web site:


Tours will be held on 2, 4, 9, 12, 15, 17, 20, 25 and 27 July and 2, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 23, 26 and 30 August at 11 am and 5 pm. The meeting point will be the church of St Martin in Forua (Elejalde).
Tours will last approximately 2 hours and will include a visit to the church of St. Martin of Tours and its Roman/medieval archaeological site.

Complementary Services

Guided tours in Basque, Spanish, English and French.
Maximum: 30 people


General: €3
Reduced: €2 (unemployed persons, OAPs and people with disabilities)
Free: children under 12

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