Tombs of the Iñiguez de Vasterra family

The Gothic tombs of the founders, the Iñiguez de Vasterra family, are located in the dividing wall that stands between the Chapel of the Holy Trinity and the Chapel of Saint Anne. They are sheltered in the form of a sepulchral niche by two pointed arches with a moulded profile surmounted by a coat of arms and an inscription. Excavations have uncovered evidence that this position was not its original location.

The first tomb is that of Iñiguez de Vasterra I, who is depicted recumbent, dressed in a long tunic and toggle fastened cloak, thereby indicating his civil nature. He is portrayed with his eyes open, referring to the awakening of eternal life. He has a beard and long hair partially covered by a simple cap. The lower section, including the feet, has been damaged, perhaps due to its relocation. It is in line with the Castilian style and most likely dates back to around 1300.

The tomb of Iñiguez de Vasterra II is also very simply decorated, although it has a more plastic, naturalistic treatment than the previous tomb. He is depicted recumbent, wearing a tunic and cloak, but the fact that he is wearing spurs on his heels and is holding a glove in his left hand refers to his status as a knight. He has an oval face with protruding cheekbones, open eyes, curly beard and long hair covered by a tight cap. A dog, symbolising the deceased’s loyalty and status, sits at his feet, as is customary in these cases. At the head of the deceased, there are two partially damaged angels holding the cushion of the recumbent figure with their hands. This tomb most likely dates back to the 14th century because of its clearly Castilian influence stylistic features.

The two tombs bear the coats of arms of the Iñiguez and Ugalde Garibay families on the sepulchral box, and the coat of arms of the Vasterra family on the top edge together with an inscription.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Anonymous
  • Date: 13th and 14th centuries
  • Technique: Stone carving
  • Measurements: Iñiguez de Vasterra I (Approx. 127 x 200 x 85 cm.)
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

Image gallery


AZCÁRATE RISTORI, José M.ª de. “Catedral de Santa María (catedral Vieja)”. En: PORTILLA VITORIA, Micaela J. et al. Catálogo Monumental Diócesis de Vitoria: Ciudad de Vitoria. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Obra Cultural de la Caja de Ahorros Municipal, tomo III, 1968, pp. 97-98.

LAHOZ, Lucía M.ª “Sepulcros góticos de la catedral de Vitoria”. Cuadernos de Sección, Artes plásticas y documentales, 11, 1993, pp. 73-91.

LAHOZ GUTIÉRREZ, Lucía M.ª. Escultura funeraria gótica en Álava. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, 1996.

LAHOZ, Lucía. “Gótico”. En: GONZÁLEZ DE SAN ROMÁN, Miguel (Dir.). Vitoria-Gasteiz en el Arte, vol. I, Vitoria-Gasteiz: Gobierno Vasco, Diputación Foral de Álava, Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1997, pp. 232-233.