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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks, Columns and Magazine.

The magical Basque mountain


Coastal theme parks, enormous fun parks with millions invested in theming, setting or rides that would even inspire Edison, parks where tens of thousand people are in charge of the daily attendance, – and in the middle of all the commercial mess there is a survivor that has hardly experienced a changed over the past decades. Its name is Monte Igueldo and its location is unique in the country and perhaps in the world, too. .

In the beginning of the 20th century, amusement parks and fun fairs used to operate all over Europe. The booming fun and recreational places drew the attention of important entrepreneurs to come to the, back then, flourishing coastal city of San Sebastián, admired for having such a proximate and characteristic geographical point due to its height above the sea level (160m). They decided to found a PLC called Sociedad Anónima del Monte Igueldo in 1911, to buy land fittingly attractive and, by means of important economic investments, to convert it into a leisure and recreational centre for all locals and even the first tourists that arrived at La Concha Bay.

Montaña Suiza
In order to enhance a degree of similar attractiveness and with the profits made by selling the hillside fields, they agreed to build right next to the fortified tower Torreón a big casino, a restaurant and, to reach them easily, a funicular railway designed by Emilio Huicio. This particular mountain railway has remained absolutely intact for more than 100 years, being the third railway with the country's oldest system from today's perspective.

The popularity grew all around the region with the passing of years, and Monte Igueldo became an amusement park from which they could watch the lively city revealing its full beauty.

Discretion is the secret

Although it may seem that Monte Igueldo cannot compete with the voracity of the market, which the majority of all parks has nowadays, nearly unbeatable treasures are hidden in its heart (and some are yet undiscovered by visitors). The list speaks volumes: inside there is an indoor labyrinth with more than 80 years of existence, a flume ride built in the same slope on the steep gorge with views over the Atlantic, a dark path of oldschool horror or some bumper cars dating back to the roaring 60's.

Nobody can deny that the crown jewel is Montaña Suiza, an already 85-year old coaster. It provides big wooden trains and still has a brakeman onboard, a braking system rare to be found at any other world-class amusement park. This feature paired with the fabulous view makes the ride one of the most precious attractions for any park enthusiastic, a milestone difficult to attain. Year after year, the oldest roller coaster in Spain keeps refusing to kneel down to the voracious requirements of new generations, thrill seekers and large steel structures.

More impressions of Monte Igueldo

Bild links Bild rechts
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez
  • Eine Attraktion im Monte Igueldo.<br />© Xavi Rodríguez

It looks like Monte Igueldo will never cease to keep on going because it welcomes thousands of visitors every year, they might be keen on taking pictures of the precious views over the whole La Concha Beach or enjoying the attractions, almost 20 in number. There is a possibility that a diamond in the rough like the magical Monte Igueldo withstands all potential threats. The park is a sweet, albeit short respite from proliferating and aberrant low-quality parks.


Please note
The texts writen by our column writers express their personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of the parkscout editorial.

Information on the writer Xavi Rodríguez (Jivo)

Xavi Rodríguez, aged 28, decided on a beautiful day to travel and cover one by one the parks on his way around the world. He still is fascinated by the magic and charm of each and every one of them. He has been furnishing his blog bloggercoaster.com with writings that intend to reflect his personal and critical point of view, without being tied to any park in particular, offering the chance to get to know new all types of parks ranging from the unknown to the most well-known. As he loves the thematical quality, the old school touch and the detailed work, he confesses that he is a fan of the unmistakable European style.



© parkscout/XR/AF



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