If there is something that San Sebastian stands out for it’s its French style architecture from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. What is known as romantic architecture, because this style mixes elements from historicist architecture and elements from modernist architecture. All the city centre and part of the adjacent neighbourhoods have this characteristic architectural style. And the nicest street in the city centre is the Prim street.
The Prim street, called like that after politician and general Juan Prim, goes from almost the beginning of San Martin street to the Araba park, always parallel to the river. Back in the day in this street were most of the embassies and the consulates that there used to be in the city when it was the summer holiday place for the monarchy. Nowadays the buildings that we see are homes, but what homes! Inside we can only guess how they were and are these buildings, sense it thanks to the entrance halls that we see through the main doors. From outside it’s clear that these are majestic buildings.
And here we see perfectly this blend of styles characteristic of the romantic architecture. Starting from the corner with San Martin street, in the number 1, being this the only white building in the street. Going to the number 10 with its modernist main door that still keeps the original intercom. Or the number 17 just in front of it, decorated with ceramics in both façades (the one in Prim street and the one looking to the river). Not forgetting the neobaroque small palace in number 21. The corner with Larramendi street is an impressive building with giant order columns and a wonderful bulbous dome. And we could keep going for paragraphs and paragraphs until the Bellas Artes building, just at the end between Prim and Urbieta streets.
About the Bellas Artes we have written about it in the past, as it’s an important building. To sum up, go down and up the Prim street, enjoying the modernist whippings, the decorated bars, the oval windows and the neoclasicists friezes. And as you are on it, go down and up the Árbol de Gernika promenade, where you can see the back façades of these buildings and be amazed.