Santa Clara Island at the entrance of La Concha Bay, Source: Ayuntamiento de Donostia-San Sebastian

Lighthouse on iconic San Sebastian isle becomes a work of modern art

Lighthouse on iconic San Sebastian isle becomes a work of modern art

The transformation is the crowning point of an international symposium on art and the environment

‘The Rocky Coast: Geology, Ecology, Sculpture’ is the name of an international symposium, which will take place on 3-4 June as part of the Donostia Sustainability Forum in the Basque city of San Sebastian. The main attraction of this event will be Hondalea, an artistic intervention by renowned sculptor Cristina Iglesias (who also hails from that city) that has seen a reimagining of the lighthouse located on Santa Clara Island in the iconic shell-shaped bay of the city.

Will this become the newest city attraction?

The official inauguration will be part of the international symposium, which will bring together a group of experts to share their thoughts in the fields of art, literature, geology and ecology, over the course of two sessions on the afternoon of 3 June and the morning of 4 June at the Donostia/San Sebastián Aquarium Auditorium.

Cristina Iglesias’ work is meant to be the main point of that symposium. The artist from San Sebastian has transformed La Casa del Faro, an abandoned lighthouse located on the rocky outcrop of Santa Clara, to create a vertiginous sculptural environment. Sunk into the island's rock, Cristina the creative work, which can be best described as a fusion between architecture, sculpture and environment incorporates the characteristic geology and ecology of the Basque coast, as well as the turbulent waters that surround the island within its absorbing form.

The Mayor of San Sebastian Eneko Goia was of the opinion that “we are facing a historical cultural milestone for the city. The work that Cristina Iglesias has had the generosity to offer to Donostia is going to turn the Santa Clara Island Lighthouse into an artistic and cultural reference of international dimension. The symposium will also have great relevance for the work since it will serve to contextualize its entire universe”.

Visiting Hondalea art project

The public opening of the Lighthouse will allow citizens to enjoy the experience created by Iglesias. Given the limited capacity of the enclave and in order to take extreme care of the environment, it will be necessary to reserve the visit in advance on Once the reservation is made, the actual visit will be free, and only the price of the round-trip ticket for the island ship, whose starting point is at the dock, will be paid.

During the first two weeks after its inauguration (5-15 June) and at the initiative of the City Council, the boat trip will also be free of charge.

The visit will have a limited duration in order to be able to organize the flow of people throughout the day and in this way allow to control the capacity of visitors to the island, an aspect in which special care has been taken to preserve the natural environment



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