La Florida Kiosko
For many gasteiztarras (Vitoria natives in basque language), there is nothing more idyllic than enjoying snowy days in La Florida Park. Silence envelops all, only broken by the sound of snow compacting with each step. At Christmas, this park transforms into the largest and most beautiful nativity scene in the world.
During the summer, La Florida Kiosko is a gathering point where Vitoria’s older inhabitants looking for fun can dance to the rhythm of pasodobles and boleros (traditional Spanish dances). La Florida Park is the green heart of the Green Capital and is a must-see: inside its maze-like layout are hidden secrets, including a grotto, a stream, a Lovers’ Bench and a Secret Water Garden.
This park, which also accommodates the Basque Parliament, has 250 species of trees, many of them centenarians. Highlights include the fern leaf beech, the eastern American black walnut, the gingko and the deodar cedar – the most interesting of all being a specimen of Cercis Siliquastrum (Judas Tree), known locally as ´The Tree of Love´. The tree that currently stands replaces one that died in the 30’s and was said in Vitoria to help you sweep the feet off the mozo or moza (young man or woman) that your heart desired. Tradition states that you must dance around the tree seven times to find true love.