Places of interest


Next to the beach is the impressive Gorliz Hospital (formerly the Marine Sanatorium) founded, 29th June 1919 by Doctors Areilza Larrinaga for the treatment of child tuberculosis. Built in collaboration with the provincial Government, The Sisters of Charity, the Women’s Institute, it was the first reinforced concrete building in Spain. The location is a key enclave for the treatment of child tuberculosis, thanks to sunray treatment (Gorliz has the most number of days per year of sunshine in Bizkaia) marine iodine.

A statue of Dr. Areilza, the driving force behind the Sanatorium, at first was found just opposite the main entrance, but due to the works of 2008 has been moved to Astondo where will be remained. However Laureano de Jado’s one, is found in the garden, visible from the promenade. Both works are by the sculptor Moisés de Huerta.

Gorliz Hospital has played an important role in the development of Gorliz. Owing to its location, agreements were signed between the provincial Government the municipality which allowed for Gorliz to be the first to have a network of clean drinking water piped in.

The hospital was born of the altruist vocation of citizens committed to the social cause, in answer to one of the most ravaging plagues of the time: tuberculosis. By 1911 in Bilbao, with a total population of just under 80,000, close to 6,000 people were infected, a number which would continue to grow during the Spanish Civil War postwar period. With the advent of patented antibiotics, the disease was eventually beaten.

The Sanatorium had as its main allies in the fight against the deadly enemy: sunshine, marine iodine, a spacious building, with its open balconies, ample solariums, covered with hygienic blue white tiles, a healthy diet. However, it was the exquisite care by a group of self-sacrificing nuns who would quickly remedy the illness for 110 children admitted during the first year. Year after year, numbers of patients admitted steadily increased, by 1935 would be double.

The Sanatorium was managed by the Women’s Institute by collecting donations in fundraising drives. The society of the day looked favourably upon women who volunteered their time in social causes, especially where children were affected.

While the number of child patients waned, adult patients on the other hand became the primary group requiring care.

Gorliz Hospital is one of the most important in Bizkaia.

The medical team is composed of a consolidated group of doctors, physiotherapists, nurses aides who are efficient hold to a high standard of responsibility. The Gorliz team know that the key to a quick recovery is physical emotional well-being, they strive to ensure that patients receive the best of care. Fundamental to this success are the team members physical comfort, both of which comprise the best therapy.

Not only is the hospital the biggest company, public private, in Gorliz, it is also a landmark of the town, having contributed much to the sustainable development of this area since its inception.

The hospital has seen many changes occurrences throughout its history. One such event, fortunately anecdotal with hindsight, was the total evacuation carried out in June 1937, when all the staff the children with tuberculosis were sent to France aboard the ship “Goizeko Izarra". Due to the threat of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war, the Sota family loaned a ship of their own property to ensure the children’s safety.

In 1970 the Sanatorium is transformed into The Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The hospital’s present epoch is initiated in 1985 when it is assimilated into the Basque Public Health System (Osakidetza), becomes a rehabilitation centre.