">Basilica de Lekeitio
SACROSANCTA PAROCHIALIS BASILICA LEQUEITIESIS
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The current Church of Saint Mary in Lekeitio replaces an earlier one, possibly Romanesque, consecrated en 1287. The actual one is of the Late Gothic style of the Basque Country, as one may appreciate from the floor plan, the design of the triforium, and the approach to the facade, this temple was erected in several stages and at various times throughout the 15th century.
Since then it has undergone various transformation. It is to that carried out in the 1880´s, financed by Pascual Abaroa, that it owes its present apperence. It was then provided with a new sacristy, an ambulatory, and a large side door, all in the Gothic style, with great sensitivity invested inthe construction. Following this expansion, the Holy See branted it the status of basilica. The bell tower, construction of which also involves a long history, is in the baroque style, of needle shape.
As regards the furnishings in this church, the outstanding item is unquestionably the retable belonging to the main altar. This , Gothic-Flemish of the early 16th century, has recently been restored. In virtue of its dimensions and its polychromy it is the most important in Bizkaia, and one of the most important on the Peninsula. The only retables larger in size are those in the cathedrals at Seville and Toledo.
Two other retables have recently been restored, that of "Nuestra Señora de la Antigua" (title-holder of the original churh) and the institutional retable of the Brotherhood of Seamen of Saint Peter, both baroque and of the 17th century. The Romanesque-Byzantine image of the "Virgen de la Antigua"on the first of those retables must date from the late 12th centurt, even though the legend should lay claims to a greater age.
In the Chapel of Santa Ana, today a Parish museum, one may contemplate various pieces earlier distributed about the temple, such as a Spanish-Flemish triptych in polychrone wood, two tombstones(also Spanish-Flemish), and an image of the Trinity, English medieval alabaster, from a niche in Trinity Street, where a exact replica has been installed. There are also various objects of worship on display at the entrance to the sacristy.
Also to be found in the church are an organ and a harmoniun, both Neo-Gothic.
The organ is a Cavaille-Coll that was given to the twon in 1854 by Jose Javier de Uribarren, as the harmonium in 1855. Both are still in use, and it is possible to listen on Sundays (at 10:00 mass the organ & 12:30 the harmonium).