City of Mystery - Tourism in Vitoria-Gasteiz

The Medieval Quarter at night

There are legends and stories that give a special air of mystery to some parts of Vitoria-Gasteiz. As well as the fear and respect that can be felt in the historic Cemetery of Santa Isabel, there is the disquiet that various local books speak of, in a city that every year embraces a festival dedicated to the culture of death.

Santa Isabel Cemetery

Tombs in the Santa Isabel cemetery

Was built in the first decade of the XIX century. It is a sinister and beautiful place, with many different styles of architecture. Marta Extramiana, writer and expert on the history of this place, gives guided tours. Here you can find the tombs of some of the most famous people in the history of Vitoria-Gasteiz, as well as murderers like Juan Díaz de Garayo, the local serial murderer known as Sacamantecas. There is also the story of the vault of Julián Zulueta: they say that if the statue of the angel above the tomb points at a visitor, that person will die within the week.

More information about the Cemetery of Santa Isabel

Secret Routes and Places

The Burullería Square at night

Literature has associated certain parts of Vitoria-Gasteiz with ritual crimes, like those shown in the guided tours of 'The Silence of the White City', based on the novels by Eva García Sáenz de Urturi. Various local companies also offer other tours of secret places and stories of the city, many of them popularized by the local journalist of the supernatural, Iker Jiménez(Opens in new window).

Festival of the Culture of Death, ‘Zakatumba’

Santa Isabel cemetery

‘Zakatumba’ is proof that interest in the occult can bring together culture and fear. The festival, which started in 2016, analyzes historical and cultural events related to deaths in this city, and presents them by guided visits, exhibitions, courses and events such as the Noche de Ánimas [Night of souls] in the Sanctuary of Estíbaliz. This event is celebrated on the last week of October and the first week of November.

More information about Zakatumba(Opens in new window)

Related information

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