Few characters are as loved by the locals as Santiago Hernández Redondo, better known as Txantxillo. Musician, wanderer, hoarding model, urban legend, actor, popular icon.

From extremely humble beginnings, he became incredibly famous throughout his life in the city. With his cap firmly set on his head and his old coat, playing thousands of songs with his xylophone (his favourite being The International) and asking everyone for “a “pesetita”, please”. He was always carrying many bags, hence an expression that still nowadays you can hear in San Sebastian: when someone is carrying many things we tell them “You look like Txantxillo!”. So, if someone tells you that don’t get offended, it´s not something bad, quite the opposite.

(Photo: Pop Art Txantillo/ by Lanpernas)



It was usual seeing him speaking with someone, because if you asked him he had no issues telling you about his day in his high-pitched voice and then going his way after saying “good day”. He was said to be a multimillionaire, although it was also said that he lived in the 5th floor of a building without an elevator lended to him by his parents in the Gros district. It is there where the city immortalised him putting a portrait of him made by the artist Txitxi Orbegozo that was originally located in the Old Quarter.

Although Txantxillo left us in 2003, his memory carries on and will carry on in the hearts of the locals.