Atalburu is the name given to the lintel above the main entrance of traditional Basque houses
A baserri is a traditional type of half-timbered or stone-built farmhouse found in the Basque Country in Northern Spain and Southwestern France. The baserris, with their gently sloping roofs and entrace portals, are highly characteristic of the region and form a vital part in traditional Basque...


For each new house, it was usual, in particular in the province of Lower Navarre
Lower Navarre
Lower Navarre is a part of the present day Pyrénées Atlantiques département of France. Along with Navarre of Spain, it was once ruled by the Kings of Navarre. Lower Navarre was historically one of the kingdoms of Navarre. Its capital were Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Saint-Palais...

, to engrave on these stones:
  • the year of construction,
  • generally the name of spouses,
  • religious symbols, as a cross,
  • other traditional motives, as a lauburu
    The lauburu or Basque cross has four comma-shaped heads similar to the Japanese tomoe. It can be constructed with a compass and straightedge, beginning with the formation of a square template; each head can be drawn from a neighboring vertex of this template with two compass settings, with one...

     or simply its constitutive comma
    A comma is a type of punctuation mark . The word comes from the Greek komma , which means something cut off or a short clause.Comma may also refer to:* Comma , a type of interval in music theory...

    s, dove
    Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

    s symbol of fidelity, stylized plant
    Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

    s symbol of prosperity
    Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and/or successful social status. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health....

    , rosettes
    Rosette (design)
    A rosette is a round, stylized flower design, used extensively in sculptural objects from antiquity. Appearing in Mesopotamia and used to decorate the funeral stele in Ancient Greece...

     of laurel
    Bay Laurel
    The bay laurel , also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, or simply laurel, is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. It is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking...

     leaves, symbol of immortality or various others as sun, stars...
  • working tools

The text may have religious references, for example:
  • Au nom du Père et du Fils et du St Esprit m'a fait bâtir l'an 1806 ('In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Gost, (one) made me build in year 1806')...

Traditionally, all Basque houses have a name, but this was seldom written on the atalarri and more commonly found on the armarria. On modern modern houses, the house name is frequently engraved on a stele near the door. Once a house is named, the name is virtually never changed.
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