From the sky to the festival
Nothing is more exciting for a gasteiztarra (Vitoria native) than the moment the txupinazo (a loud firecracker fired to signal the start of a celebration) explodes in the sky and the great Celedón emerges from the bell tower of the Church of San Miguel. Thousands of eyes watch excitedly as the star of the Festivities of Vitoria flies with his umbrella over the Plaza of the Virgen Blanca to the shouts of the crowd gearing for five days of jarana (partying). His speech from the balcony of the Plaza kicks off the Festivities of Vitoria as water is dropped out of buckets from the surrounding windows to cool down the kuadrillas (groups of friends) and pitxipata (multitudes of people).
The Plaza of the Virgen Blanca is the epicenter of the city. When the weather is beautiful, its bars and terraces are the best places to grab a beer and enjoy the surroundings. The Plaza is dedicated to the patron saint of Vitoria who watches from her niche in the portico of San Miguel. Its slopes, tower and typical balconies offer the most iconic image of the city. The Monument to the Battle of Vitoria stands in the middle of the esplanade, commemorating the blend of Spanish, British and Portuguese troops that triumphed over Napoleon’s army.
The location of the statue marks where, in 1882, the people of Vitoria dug in search of water what was at that moment the deepest well in the world. They did not end up finding any aquifers, but their excavation reached 1,021 meters deep. At those depths, they saw temperatures rise to 40 ºC. 140 years later, at Kora Green City, we have begun to dig again – this time using a system of 18 boreholes at a depth of 150 meters. Thanks to geothermal energy, we have used the heat the emanates from the earth to heat the building.