The Cathedral of Santa María of Vitoria is debuting its new lighting thanks to the Endesa Foundation

Published on Thursday, 18 October 2018

The Cathedral of Santa María has a new interior lighting system at the architectural and artistic level. The project, which has the objective of reducing energy consumption and achieving better lighting quality inside the church, has involved changing the entire electrical installation, as well as the projectors and points of light.

After installing a set of five large hanging lamps for general lighting in the church’s vaults in 2014, it is now time for the monumental lighting. The project, already drafted and executed by the Technical Office of the Cathedral of Santa María Foundation, was presented today at an event attended by the Bishop of the Diocese, Juan Carlos Elizalde, the Congressional Deputy of the Basque Country, Culture and Sport, Igone Martínez de Luna, General Director of the Endesa Foundation, Carlos Gómez-Múgica, the Endesa Foundation Project Director, Gloria Juste, the Architect and Technical Director of the Cathedral of Santa María Foundation, Leandro Cámara, and its Managing Director, Jon Lasa.

The lighting mounted in Santa María responds to the need to show the building as a monumental element, and its property as the subject of contemplation. For this reason, it has two subsystems that can act together or separately.

The first is the building’s architectural and functional lighting. It is comprised of a group of eighteen candleholders placed on the pillars of the cathedral slightly below the decorated capitals. They are formed of brass tube rings fastened to the stone that support four lights in the shape of a torch. These lamps also have two sources of light, a stronger one that points up and looks like a candle with a white glass lampshade, and the other points toward the ground and is equipped with a glare protection grate. The top lights provide general lighting for the architectural space, and especially for the vaults of the naves, and allow you to appreciate the sculptural details of the pillars. For their part, the bottom lights provide lighting for moving around, as they only illuminate the ground of the Cathedral, allowing people to walk safely.

The second subsystem is intended to illuminate the cathedral’s artistic elements, whether they are stationary (sculptures, shields and tombs) or movable (paintings, altarpieces and carvings). It is organised through the use of lights placed on electrified rails. They are orientable in any direction and may be located at any point of the track to achieve the best lighting angle in each case.

All of the lights are LEDs, with low consumption and good colour performance, appropriate for the building’s architecture and the quality of the objects being shown.

The installation of this monumental illumination has included collaboration with the Endesa Foundation, which already has more than 700 lighting projects of authentic cultural and artistic jewels: cathedrals, churches, museums and monuments. Among them, the Endesa Foundation had the opportunity in 2017 to illuminate the Medina Azahara (the city of the Córdoba caliphate), as well as the National Art Museum of Catalonia and the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. In addition, the Endesa Foundation has brought light to the Basque Country at the Vizcaya Bridge and three buildings as part of an International Meeting for Autism Research in San Sebastián.

In this regard, and as was the case at the Cathedral of Santa María, we have applied the most advanced techniques of energy efficiency and innovative solutions, contributing to more efficient lighting with regard to energy consumption and savings.

About the Endesa Foundation

The Endesa Foundation, chaired by Borja Prado, has a clear commitment to social development through its educational projects, training for employment, environmental pledge and cultural initiatives.

It runs educational projects, promoting initiatives aimed at transforming and innovating education at all levels and fostering academic excellence in universities through scholarships, grants and academic chairs.

It supports employment training projects, focusing on the promotion of talent, aimed at people at risk of social exclusion, low-income young entrepreneurs and professionals over the age of 50.

It implements environment-related initiatives linked to ecological culture education and specific projects for the improvement of natural environments and areas used for industrial purposes, which is another of the Endesa Foundation’s commitments.

Last but by no means least, the Foundation continues to work on shining light on historical-artistic heritage properties and promoting, restoring and preserving art and culture.

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