MANUEL PLÁCIDO DE BERRIOZABALBEITIA
The creator of the Well-Spring of Love and Elorrio’s biggest patron.
Manuel Plácido de Berriozabalbeitia (Elorrio 1775 - Madrid 1850) was born on the Berriozabalbeitia farmstead in the hamlet of Berriozabaleta. On completing his schooling he obtained a place in the colonial administration in Peru, where he forged a successful career for himself which culminated with him taking part in the negotiations for the country’s independence. He was the judge representing the crown at the courts of Lima, Cuzco and Charcas and became Elorrio’s biggest patron.
He returned from the Americas in 1828, and devoted his time to managing his properties and helping his family. Between 1832 and 1833 he commissioned the building of the mansion that stands to the left of the path which leads to the well. This first building sowed the seed for a much more ambitious project: after completing the mansion itself he decided to build the Berriozabaleta well, also called the “Well-Spring of Love”, and to move the old chapel of Santa Catalina, which was rebuilt from the foundations up.
Manuel Plácido not only paid for this work but also made generous subsequent donations to prevent the chapel falling into disrepair. As an educated man he showed a clear interest in improving the living conditions of his fellows and improving the appearance of the hamlet where he was born, thus ensuring that he would be remembered fondly.