Paintings of Gazeo and Alaitza

Paintings of Gazeo and Alaitza

For a treasure to be considered a treasure, it must stay hidden for everybody during some time.

The treasure of the Church of San Martín de Tours, in Gazeo, scarcely twenty kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, fully meets this condition: seven centuries had to pass until the amazing gothic paintings of the church’s apse were exposed, in 1967, hidden beneath a layer of lime. Chance gave way to surprise: the murals in Gazeo were one of the best examples of 13th century plastic art and they were perfectly conserved.

They picture meticulous scenes, such as the mystery of the Holy Trinity or the disturbing Judgement of Souls, in gothic colours.

The neighbouring village of Alaitza shelters the Church of La Asunción, where the story of the hidden paintings was repeated. On this occasion, the murals of the apse show secular themes, not very appropriate for a sacred place, and a more primitive style than the one in Gazeo; enigmatic figures in warlike postures, primitive hunting scenes and other vignettes of everyday life in medieval times. You can visit both churches and examine their paintings in detail.

Location

The churches are easy to reach as they are all located close the the A-1. The three villages where the churches are located are all near Vitoria-Gasteiz, ranging between 15 and 25 kilometres, so a private vehicle is the best way to visit them.