Restoration of the cultural heritage

Chevet crypts and floors (2010-2014)

Once the archaeological excavation of the chevet was completed and its basic structural consolidation carried out, the functional recovery of this part of the building was undertaken, providing the Cathedral with a new floor at the level of the temple and a series of new visitable spaces underneath it.

In the underground levels, a set of stonework vaults have been built at the intermediate height of the total space gained in excavation (about 8 metres high), so that in the chapels of the transept and the ambulatory five exhibition halls have been created with two different heights, the lower level in contact with the natural rock and archaeological remains, and the upper one creating new spaces similar to the original chapels of the temple.

In the basement of the transept all the exhumed archaeological remains have been left visible and visitable through a system of wooden walkways that runs throughout its length, creating a museum experience that allows visitors to admire the history of the city of Gasteiz.

Work on finishing the Cathedral floor has continued with a system already proposed for work on the naves: construction of a set of supporting arches that brace the bases of the pillars to stabilize their entire height and which support a wooden oak floor framework sawn into joists and boards, forming the usable floor of the temple.

As a unique element of this work, in the transept and the presbytery, a large stone vault has been built supported by free standing pillars in the basement, raised above the main level of the temple, and where the main altar, the ambon, the choir stalls and the bishop’s chair are located. The latter of these were restored and relocated 19th century originals that were placed at the foot of the central nave, although we already found them installed in the presbytery, where they must have been moved around the 1920s.