The Golden Mile
Like a pocket watch that has stopped, the silence and stillness that enfolds the Golden Mile of the Basque capital takes you back in time to the Belle Époque. Almost one hundred century-old plane trees and magnificent horse chestnut trees lead the way to grandiose palaces and mansions that are the legacy of wealthy families and the entrepreneurial class of Vitoria at the turn of the 20th century.
Stepping out of the center and going down the boulevard that connects the La Senda, Fray Francisco de Vitoria and Cervantes walking paths is not only an activity that soothes the soul (and stretches your legs) but it’s also an experience one cannot miss. This boulevard is lined by a series of noble buildings, among them the Zulueta Palace, the Casa Zuloaga and the Casa de las Jaquecas, a building whose striking name is revealed upon studying its façade.
Other highlights include the Ajuria-Enea Palace, the official residence of the Lehendakari (the President of the Basque Government); the eclectic Villa Sofía, with its unmistakable façade decorated with Moorish and Indian details; and the Augustín Zulueta Palace, which today is home to the Fine Arts Museum of Álava and serves as a popular backdrop for wedding photos of vitorianos (Vitoria natives). Felix Rodríguez de la Fuente, who studied at the Colegio Corazonistas (School of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart) for five years, splashed around in the Batán river and ran through these streets as a child.