Mount Ulia Basque Country Spain

Mount Ulia is a minor ridge located east of San Sebastián in the Basque Country, territory of Spain, reaching 243 m at its highest point. The ridge stretching out to the east along the coastline sinks in the strait leading to the Bay of Pasaia. The chain overlooks San Sebastian to the west, with the Zurriola beach and the district of Gros lying right under it. This privileged location turned the place into an important leisure and romantic area in the early 20th century, a condition that has remained up to date, despite the pressure of increasing urban development.

Ulia is recorded as Mirall (a Gascon name and term) in 1530 after the whale observation point or rock still to be seen at the top of the ridge, while the it was called Uliamendi as it approached the Zurriola inlet. The rock was used to watch out for migratory whales passing off the Basque coast before they became extinct in this area, with the watchers notifying the whalers from Donostia of their presence by means of a bonfire.

Later the westernmost tip of the ridge standing out onto the sea, i.e. Monpas, took on a strategic value for a short period after 1898 and became a stronghold with hidden corridors, military facilities and batteries, ready for an attack from the ocean.

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