In the Old Town you can find Esterlines St., a fantastic place to have a drink and something to eat (for example in the Intza bar). This is a place worth exploring, especially because many times it gets overlooked due to the proximity with Fermín Calbetón st. And it is also worth exploring the origins of its name, as it takes us back to the city’s history as one of the most important harbours in the Atlantic trades.
Throughout the medieval ages, the merchants of the Hansa League where known as esterlings or “merchants from the east”, and they had a very good relationship with basque tradesmen. Throughout the whole League there were colonies with basque merchants, and they also visited our city more than Bilbao, as it was the most important harbour in the cantabric coast. And, because of this good relationships, thay had a whole street with their inns, markets and businesses. And because of these foreign merchants and all the money they brought to the city, they had their own street.
We could talk a lot about this “esterlines”, on how this merchants and wealthy people from the city protected them from the Spanish Inquisition throughout the 16th century or their alliances with the local tradesmen. But is better to keep it short and sweet, reminding you than even before the pintxos, the Belle Epoque, the casinos or the fireworks, Donosti was an international harbour.