Press Releases


The Basque Government gives 800.000€ to the restoration

11/02/2005 This section covers the period 2004-2007 and is aimed at upgrading the tower and portico to give them with new cultural uses.

11/02/2005 The Basque Government, through the department of Culture, is to contribute 800.000 euros over four years (2004-2007) to the integral restoration of Santa Maria Cathedral of Vitoria-Gasteiz, as outlined in the agreement signed today with Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation. The amount will be aimed at upgrading and recovering the temple for public use by creating new spaces and cultural and museum uses in the tower and portico.

Financing from the Basque Government is part of the Cultural Infrastructure Plan (2004-2007), approved in December 2004, a plan over several years for the development of infrastructures in the fields of culture and sports. The inclusion of Santa Maria Cathedral in this plan responds to its consideration as a "strategic project" in the cultural development of the Basque Country.

In the case of Santa Maria Cathedral, this new agreement gives continuity to the Plan "Euskadi 2000Tres" signed in 2000. In addition to the 800.000 euros proposed now, at the rate of 200.000 each year, another 720.000 euros have already been programmed as part of the 2000-2003 period.

The Master Plan for the Integral Restoration foresees the creation of new spaces and cultural, touristic and museum uses centred on the recovery of the monument. In this sense, the contribution of the Basque Government is aimed at upgrading and refurbishing the Cathedral, and disseminating its cultural function, in particular the tower and portico. The budget for the consolidation and structural reinforcement project is estimated at seven million euros.

Within the scheme to recover the Cathedral as a religious building, but at the same time equip it with new touristic, cultural, scientific, pedagogic uses etc. it is anticipated to complete the guided routes, facilitating access to the interior of the tower and giving a logical use to the space within the portico.

One of the primary objectives of this project is to open the viewpoint in the tower belfry to the public making it possible to visit the inside of the structure. To do this a stairway, platform and elevator system will be built. The area situated above the vaults in the portico will be used as a large hall where one can arrest before proceeding on to the tower, but also as an area for exhibitions, social gatherings, etc.

A 30 million euro-project
A period of ten years (2000-2010) has been calculated in order to carry out this Integral Restoration Project of Santa Maria Cathedral and an investment of nearly 30 million euros. The majority of this budget is provided by the institutions that make up the Trust:

- Autonomous Government of Alava: 7.8 million euros.
-Town Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz: 6 million euros.
-Bishopric of Vitoria-Gasteiz: 1.8 million euros.

Also cooperating in the financing are:
-Central Government: 8.4 million euros.
-Basque Government (2000-2007): 1.5 million euros.
-European Union (Feder Funds): 288.000 euros contributed to date.

Sponsorship of the guided visits programme:
-Caja Vital Kutxa (2000-2005): 1.8 million euros.

These quantities are aimed in their entirety at the material recovery of the building. However, the Santa Maria Cathedral Foundation also carries out cultural, touristic, training and pedagogic activities for which it has to resort to financing every year.