Vitoria-Gasteiz Basque Country Spain

Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital city of the province of Álava and of the autonomous community of the Basque Country in northern Spain. It is the second largest Basque city. The dwellers of the city are called Vitorianos or Gasteiztarras, while traditionally they are dubbed Babazorros (Basque for ‘bean eaters’).

Main Sights

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria (Old Cathedral), a 14th century Gothic building with a 17th century tower. Under the portico are three open doorways decorated with statues and reliefs. In the interior, chapels containing Gothic, Flemish and Italian Renaissance images including paintings by Rubens and van Dyck. The cathedral is undergoing restoration and has been studied by experts from around the world for its architectural curiosities, including those deformations which it has suffered due to previous restorations.
  • Cathedral of Mary Immaculate (New Cathedral), built and consecrated in the 20th century, in High Gothic style.
  • Plaza de la Virgen Blanca. It is a square to which converge some of the most typical streets of the old town and the Eixample and is surrounded by old houses with glass verandas. At its center stands a monument commemorating the Battle of Vitoria.
  • Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art of Álava, located in the building’s ambulatory, houses samples of religious art heritage of the province, divided into sections of stone carving, wood carving, painting on wood, paint on canvas, jewelry and furniture liturgical.
  • Church of St. Peter the Apostle (14th century) in Gothic style. The Portico Viejo, with a set of reliefs depicting scenes from the lives of St. Peter and the Virgin Mary, run under the pictures of the Virgin and the apostles.
  • Church of St. Michael the Archangel (14th-16th centuries), in Gothic-Renaissance style. Its portico has an image of the Virgen Blanca, patron saint of the city. Inside is an altarpiece by Gregorio Fernandez.
  • Church of San Vicente Martir. A late Gothic building from the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • Church of the Carmen. A neoclassical temple built between 1897 and 1900.
  • Basilica of San Prudencio. Its original construction dates to the 12th century, but it was rebuilt in the 18th century. The temple houses sculptural samples from different eras and artists.
  • Romanesque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Estíbaliz. Located in the town of Argandoña, 8 km from Vitoria-Gasteiz, it dates to the 11th century.
  • Convento de San Antonio. A Clares nunnery from the 17th century.
  • Convent of Santa Cruz. Dominican nunnery from the 17th century.
  • Former Hospice (16th-17th centuries), originally the Colegio de San Prudencio.
  • Portico Viejo, Church of San Pedro
  • Casa del Cordón, an example of civil Gothic architecture. It was built in the 15th century, but has kept a tower from the 13th century. The Catholic Monarchs stayed here, and Hadrian VI was named Pope while residing here.
  • Basque Museum of Contemporary Art (Artium). Its permanent collection is considered one of the best and most important contemporary art in Basque and Spanish. It was inaugurated on April 26, 2002.
  • Museum of Natural Sciences, located in the Tower of Doña Ochanda, an example of medieval architecture. It is also a center for research and dissemination of Natural Sciences.
  • Museum of Archaeology, located in a house of wood lattice from the 16th century. The exhibition includes dolmens, Roman sculptures found in Álava, and medieval pieces.
  • Fournier Museum of Playing Cards, in the Bendaña palace. Vitoria-Gasteiz is known for the manufacture of playing cards. More than 6,000 cards are displayed in the museum.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, housed in a Renaissance mansion. It displays 14th century carvings, Flemish 16th century triptychs, panels of Spanish masters such as Jusepe de Ribera and modern Spanish paintings.
  • Arms Museum of Álava is home to weapons from various ages, from prehistoric axes to 20th century handguns. There is a large collection of medieval weaponry and reconstruction of the Battle of Vitoria.
  • Montehermoso Cultural Center, housed in restored 16th century buildings, formerly headquarters of the Diocese of Vitoria. In 1997, with the annexation of the former water tank, the property became the Montehermoso Cultural Center, designed as a space for art exhibitions and musical performances.
  • Plaza de España. A large arcaded plaza designed by the architect Antonio de Olaguibel in 1781 and designed to unite the old town with the new Story, then under construction.
  • The Arquillos. This road was built with porticoes between the 18th and 19th century.
  • Ajuria Enea, the seat of President of the Basque government (Lehendakari) since 1980. It was built in 1918 as the main residence of the family of the local entrepreneur Serafin Ajuria, and it is a fine example of the Basque architecture of the period.

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