The Basque Country & Northern Spain

Chillida Leku

(Chillida Place)
Gipuzkoa Province
Basque Country

Chillida Leku, or Place, is an open-air museum in the town of Hernani, a few miles from San Sebastian. It is home to many of the huge steel and granite sculptures of Eduardo Chillida (1924- 2002). Chillida is the best-known Basque sculptor of the 20th century. 

The museum is incredibly large, spread over 275 acres. From the Chillida Leku website: "Chillida Leku is a unique museum, made in itself as a great work of art. In it, the fusion between art and nature occurs naturally. The sculptures are integrated into the landscape as if they had always been part of it. In the garden, beech, oak, and magnolia trees coexist with monumental steel and granite sculptures located in perfect dialogue with the environment. Although the works present an aspect of monumentality, the place was built on a human scale, the scale the artist always used, putting people as the measure of his work."

In 1983, Chillida purchased the Zabalaga estate that eventually became Chillada Leku. Within the grounds is the old country house dating from the the 16th century. It has been renovated but retains its traditional appearance and materials. The inside has been hollowed out and walls stripped back to there original materials. It houses Chillada's works as well as temporary exhibitions, such as one showing works of Phyllida Barlow that coinciding with our visit. 

Eduardo Chillida

Chillida Leku


"Searching for Light-I” 1997

"Searching for Light-I” 1997

“Advice to Space IV” 1987

“Advice to Space IV” 1987

“Knot XXXII” 1998

"Monument to the Tolerance I” 1985


"Homage to Braque” 1990

"Homage to Braque” 1990

"Meeting Place IV,” 1993

"Meeting Place IV,” 1993


"Homage to Balenciaga” 1990

"Homage to Balenciaga” 1990

"Arch of Freedom” 1993


"Arch of Freedom” 1993

"Embrace XIV” 1997


"Advice to Space VIII” 2000

"In Praise of Architecture XV” 1996


"Comb of the Wind XVII” 1990

"Homage to Luca Pacioli” 1986

"Place to Sit III” 1990

"Profound is the Air XV” 1991

"Profound is the Air XV” 1991


The House of the Poet

Zabalaga Country House

Zabalaga Country House

Zabalaga Country House

"Cross VII” by Eduardo Chillida

"Homage to the Sea IV” by Eduardo Chillida

Sculpture by Eduardo Chillida

Zabalaga Country House
Works by Eduardo Chillida

Zabalaga Country House
Works by Eduardo Chillida

"Great Trembling" by Eduardo Chillida

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“House of the Poet I” by Eduardo Chillida

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"Project for the Comb of the Wind I" by Eduardo Chillida

"Gravitation" by Eduardo Chillida

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Phyllida Barlow

“Untitled: fallen-gunstyresandplacard” by Phyllida Barlow, 2015

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“Untitled: tower holder” by Phyllida Barlow, 2020

“Untitled: modern sculpture" by Phyllida Barlow 2022

“Untitled: hollow” by Phyllida Barlow 2022

By Phyllida Barlow

“Untitled" by Phyllida Barlow

“Untitled: folly:doublehang” by Phyllida Barlow  2016-2017

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Zabalaga Country House

© Tom Lebsack 2023

Banner photo taken at Chillida Leku, Hernani