History

Mendata municipality is located at the south of the Gernika Bermeo area, better known as Busturialdea or Urdaibai, at the north face of the Oiz Mountain. The rivers that cross the region: Golano and Berrekondo, form narrow valleys that make human settlements very difficult, more so the Berrekondo River.

In the area, small urban settlements are predominant, forming small neighborhoods like Olabe, Elexalde, Marmiz, and in particular the old Albiz, in the municipality of Elexalde.

The Origin of our San Miguel Church

Family

On top of a hill, in the X century, the church devoted to San Miguel Arcangel (Saint Mickey) was built by local farmers dependant of the Feudal Lords of Biscay (Señores de Bizkaia). It was rebuilt and enlarged in the XVI century.

During the XIII century an economic diversification takes places and thus, settlements shift from the mountains to the valleys. The old neighborhoods of Albiz, Elexalde and Lamikiz are form this period.

Albiz is one of the oldest guilds in Biscay, and it developed along with the Albiz House. The most important economic activities where armor shops from Besanche, Lamikis, Mansa, Olabarrieta, Olave, Olaeta, Zugaza, Vidasolo... These shops were of great importance for the Ancient Regime economical power.

Lineage and Clans

The Lords of the House of Albiz

The Biscay society in the lower Middle Ages went through severe social conflicts due to an economical crisis that affected Land Lords incomes. The Lineages pressured the farmers and increased their power thorough land possession, a land that often belonged to small villages or local feudal lords.

At the Busturia Region the O–acino Clan was predominant. The Lords of the House of Albiz belonged to this Clan. They owned the Albiz Tower that gave its name to the Albiz Neighborhood.

Towards 1440 a member of the Albiz Lineage, that also owned Berrondo and Manza, married the owner of the House of Meceta, a very ancient linage, thus joining this two lineages. The House of Albiz, side by side with other lineages, intensely participated in the Clan Wars. It was until the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI century that the Clan Wars ended due to economical improvement and change in general politics.