Press Releases


The Princes of Asturias want to visit the restoration works

27/05/05 At the Santa María Cathedral´s stand at the Madrid Book Fair, Don Felipe and Doña Letizia expressed their wish to visit the Cathedral.

27/05/05 Today, the Princes of Asturias visited Santa María Cathedral´s stand in the Madrid Book Fair. There, they expressed their wish see the Gothic temple´s restoration works. Their Majesties Don Felipe and Doña Letizia said they were very interested in both the monument´s architectonic recovery, which they had been told about, and the cultural and artistic atmosphere the cathedral´s restoration has created in Vitoria Gasteiz.

Don Felipe and doña Letizia came to the Old Cathedral´s gazebo, where they were met by Marta Alaña, the President of the Santa María Cathedral Foundation and Secretary for the Environment and Urban Planning of the province of Álava, Federico Verástegui, Secretary of Culture, Gonzalo Arroita, the Director General of the Santa María Cathedral Foundation, and Carlos Rodríguez, the Secretary of the Foundation´s Board.

The President of the Santa María Cathedral Foundation gave the Princes a reproduction of the Gothic cathedral and showed them through the stand. Deeply interested, they talked to the people in charge of the restoration for ten minutes, showing that they knew quite a lot about the project carried out in the Old Cathedral.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía visited the church in June last year, some days after awarding the Europa Nostra special prize to the works. Other members of the Royal Family, such as the Dukes of Palma, Don Iñaki Urdangarín and Doña Cristina, have also been to the works. In addition, the Princes made reference to archaeologist Agustín Azkarate´s explanations given in a workshop held some time ago.

For all these reasons, the Princes said to be "really willing" to visit the Santa María Cathedral´s works. Don Felipe was particularly interested in Ken Follett´s visit to the Church, and the data the writer is collecting for his sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, which, according to the author himself, is inspired by the monumental project of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Cathedral.

In their visit to the Old Cathedral´s stand, the Princes were accompanied by Carmen Calvo, the Spanish Minister of Culture; Esperanza Aguirre, the President of the Community of Madrid; and Teodoro Sacristán, the Director of the Madrid Book Fair.

Special Invitation to the Madrid Book Fair
The Santa María Cathedral Foundation has been specially invited to participate in the 2005 Madrid Book Fair, the most significant of its kind in Spain and one of the most important in the world, as a way to acknowledge its cultural and literary initiatives. As a result, until June 12, some 3.5 million visitors will be able to learn about the cultural phenomenon produced by the Santa María Cathedral´s restoration.