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07/01/2003

The Cathedral opens its doors all year round

07/01/2003 The Programme of Guided Tours is to be available all year, in response to the incessant demand.

07/01/2003 Vitoria-Gasteiz´s Santa María Cathedral will open its doors to the public throughout the year 2003 in order to respond to the high level of interest shown by visitors to the city in the restoration work being carried out. In response to the growing public demand, the Programme of Guided Tours will for the first time be available all year round. Since last April, almost 50,000 people have visited this gothic cathedral, double the forecast number.

Although the third Programme of Tours was originally scheduled to end on 31st December, the organisers decided to extend the deadline to 5th January. Well before this date, however, the Santa María Cathedral Foundation, constituted by the Alava Provincial Government, the Vitoria-Gasteiz Local Council and the Bishopric, had already received over 3,000 reservations for the coming months.

During the month of January a number of school groups are scheduled to visit the cathedral, thanks to an agreement signed with the Local Education Department and a number of associations and groups who have already reserved their tours in advance. During this month, the Foundation will restructure its tour service (which is sponsored by Caja Vital Kutxa) in order to ensure that it remains compatible with the works being carried out in the historic building.

Despite these changes, anyone interested in visiting the cathedral this year can make their reservation by either dialling 945 255 135 from 10.00 to 14.00h and from 16.00 to 20.00h or by visiting the cathedral´s web site at : www.catedralvitoria.com.

During the first months of the year the programme of tours will continue to function, although at a reduced intensity (around 75%). Even so, the programme will offer a total of 500 hours more than in previous years, by remaining open between January and April. Up until 16th of April, the Old Cathedral will open for three hours a day from Monday to Friday (11.00 to 13.00h and 17.00 to 18.00h) and for the normal six hours at weekends and on bank holidays (11.00 to 14.00h and 17.00 to 20.00h). From April onwards, the Cathedral will be open for six hours every day up until 31st December 2003.

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