What to see in Vitoria Gasteiz

The Plaza de la Virgen Blanca

Virgen Blanca Square

If you wonder what to see in Vitoria Gasteiz because you are thinking of visiting it this summer, we will tell you that it is a city with more than eight hundred years of history (even more so if you consider the precedent of the primitive Victoriacum), a precious medieval town and a spectacular oenological and gastronomic tradition.

But, above all, it is a town that prioritizes a healthy life, since it has a large number of natural parks both inside and outside. Not for nothing, it was declared European Green Capital in 2012. If you want to know her better, we invite you to follow us.

What to see in Vitoria Gasteiz

The city of the Basque Country It is strategically located in a plain surrounded by mountains like those of urquilla, urban y the deaf. Its urban expansion has been harmonious and orderly, reserving a green ring on the outside that is destined to be the lung of the Vitoria of the future. But, without further ado, we are going to explain what you can see in this town.

Virgen Blanca Square

Also called old square, is the nerve center of the life of the city as it enjoys a privileged location between the old town and the expansion. At its center is a spectacular monument that commemorates the battle of Vitoria, during the War of Independence.

Old Cathedral of Vitoria

Cathedral of Santa María

Also, at one of its ends, is the imposing church of san miguel, built in the XNUMXth century following late Gothic canons to which numerous Plateresque elements were added. On the outside, next to the entrance, you can see a niche where the White virgin, patron saint of Vitoria. And, inside it highlights the magnificent main altarpiece, Baroque work of Gregorio Fernández.

From the top of its tower, the Celedon to inaugurate the festivities of the city. This character represents a villager who comes to Vitoria to enjoy the celebrations and symbolizes the invitation to all visitors to join in the festivities.

Two cathedrals

Vitoria is one of the few cities that can boast of having two cathedrals. The one of Santa Maria o Vieja is precisely a XNUMXth century Gothic building with a XNUMXth century tower. In addition, inside it keeps paintings of Rubens y Van Dyck.

For its part, the New Cathedral is that of Mary Immaculate, from the XNUMXth century and built in the neo-Gothic style. It also houses treasures inside, in this case, modernist sculptures and also the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art of Álava.

Other religious monuments to see in Vitoria Gasteiz

In addition to the cathedrals, you can visit the Gothic churches of Saint Peter the Apostle, San Miguel Arcangel y San Vicente Mártir, as well as the neoclassical Carmen. But above all, the Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia, a jewel of the Basque Romanesque built in the XNUMXth century. You can get there by walking from the magnificent Florida park.

The basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia

Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia

Wall and medieval town, the first thing to see in Vitoria Gasteiz

You also have to see in Vitoria Gasteiz the medieval wall. And this not only because of its historical importance, but also because of its recent discovery. A section of more than two hundred meters and two towers was uncovered in 2001 during archaeological excavations carried out in the basement of the Old Cathedral. In addition, in 2010, this wall received the Europa Nostra award, which is considered the Nobel Prize for heritage.

It is part of medieval town of the city, one of the best preserved in all of Spain. It still maintains the distribution of its streets, in addition to housing most of the Gothic temples and some museums such as the Bibat of Archeology or the most unique of the Playing cards.

Palaces and stately homes

There are also many in Vitoria renaissance palaces. Good examples of them are the Escoriaza-Esquivel palace, the Álava-Esquivel palace and the Ruiz de Vergara palace. On the other hand, in the baroque style it is the one with the Marquises of the Alameda and in the fifteenth century the Doña Ochanda Towers y of the Hurtado de Anda.

Very different character, although it is also from the XNUMXth century, it has the PortalónIt was built as a post house and retains all its medieval appearance. Other constructions such as Cordon houses, of the Maturana o of the González Chávarri they complete the heritage of civil architecture in Vitoria.

The medieval wall of Vitoria

Medieval wall of Vitoria

Mural itinerary

Another peculiarity of Vitoria is the so-called itinerary of the murals, a set of paintings made by different artists on facades of the old part of the city. You can see them in the Burullerías square and in the Cantons of the Butchers, of Santa Ana y by Anorbin.

Parks and green areas

As we told you, in addition to many things to see in Vitoria, you also have many green areas to enjoy. Among them stands out the florida park, which we have already mentioned and which is an authentic botanical garden adorned with streams and small forests in the style of Romanticism.

Continuation of the above is the Senda park, which leads to the Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia along a path strewn with chestnut trees. And, next to them, the Gardens of Bishop Fernández de Piérola with its peculiar sculpture of a rhinoceros and the San Martín parks, from North y from Arriaga, among others. Without forgetting the green ring made up of a network of garden areas that surround the city.

What to eat in Vitoria

Our information on the Basque city would be incomplete if, in addition to explaining what to see in Vitoria Gasteiz, we did not tell you what to eat in it. Because the gastronomy of the Basque Country is among the most famous in the world.

As far as Vitoria cuisine is concerned, it is nourished by the magnificent products of its orchards and its mountains. Among them, the lima beans and mushrooms. Regarding the latter, those known as perrechicos, which someone has described as "the elvers of the mountain."

Plate with perrechicos

Scrambled eggs with perrechicos

Among the typical dishes of Vitoria, the snails alavesa, which are served with a strong sauce; the potajes, especially red beans or potatoes with chorizo; the braised quail and beef steaks. Regarding fish, they eat a lot of pickled bream and trout with ham.

To finish your meal, you can ask the gochua, a dessert that has cream, sponge cake, pastry cream and liquid caramel. But you can also choose some eclairs, One little bastards or some snacks. And, to wash the food, nothing better than a good broth from La Rioja Alavesa, one of the best wines from Spain.

However, if you want something lighter, you can take advantage of the pot-pintxo custom, which is in Vitoria. It consists of a wine and a tapa at the price of one euro. There are several organized bar routes throughout the city so you have the option of enjoying this habit so deeply rooted throughout the Basque Country.

In conclusion, few locations offer you as much as Vitoria: a rich monumental heritage, many green spaces, delicious gastronomy and the tranquility of a small town. If you were wondering what to see in Vitoria Gasteiz, we hope this little guide has given you some answers.

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