1.         Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (Spain) (C 383bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/383/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/383/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

High-rise development in the vicinity of the property.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/383/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

On 28 January 2010, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. This addressed the requests of the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) to undertake a comprehensive impact assessment of the proposed development of the Torre Cajasol on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property and its setting, to draft a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee, and to define a buffer zone.

The Committee also requested the State Party to halt any construction works on this project until such a comprehensive impact assessment had been completed and reviewed by ICOMOS. This has not been done.

a) The project of "Torre Cajasol"

The proposed 39 storey tower (36 above ground) is on the western bank of the Guadalquivir river approximately 600 meters from the boundaries of the Alcazar, which together with the Cathedral and Archivo de Indias, make up the property on the eastern side of the river. It is part of the development of an area known as "Puerto Triana" which extends to 66,500 square meters. The height of the tower is approximately twice the height of the Giralda.

The State Party reports that a national Expert Committee was formed to study the impact of the tower on the World Heritage property. The report of this committee is included in the State Party report.

This Expert Committee saw its roles considering the impact of the tower on the surrounding landscape. Although at the time of inscription only three buildings were inscribed, the outstanding urban complex that reflects the power and influence of Seville in the colonization of America also includes a number of other buildings such as the Torre de Oro, that make up a complex around the river, and this was acknowledged in the 2006 State Party Periodic Report that recommended extending the nominated area towards the river to include the “Torre de Oro” looking over the port of Seville.

The Expert Committee considered that although the proposed tower cannot be said to impact visually on the three components of the property it nevertheless has a potential negative impact on the transitional territory demanding dialogue with the historic city. They recommended that a buffer zone should be drawn up encompassing all the key elements of the historic urban landscape that were associated with colonization. They also recommended that, as a matter of urgency, Special Plans should be drawn up for the three component sites under the General Urban Planning Scheme, 2006.

The Expert Committee also summarized the planning issues and consents. The Tower has permission which was granted before Andalusia’s Regional Historical Heritage Act entered into force in 2007. Building work has already started with preparations for sinking foundations and garages in the basement.

b) Buffer Zone

The State Party Report includes a proposal for a buffer zone within an area of 205 ha that is linked through historical, heritage and visual reasons with the three components of the property and also includes parts of the river that has shaped the development of the city and parts of the opposite banks. The buffer zone is an area within which the Giralda tower will stand out as a vertical landmark. It is contained within the Conjunto Historico de Sevilla, 1990, which has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest. The proposed buffer zone does not extend to cover the site of the Torre Casajol.

c) Las Atarazanas

The State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines provides basic information about proposals forLas Atarazanas a significant warehouse complex in Gothic-Mudejar style. Its construction dates from the thirteenth century and it has undergone various transformations over the years. In 1993, the ensemble was restored to accommodate cultural activities. There is now a proposed new restoration project put forward by the Caixa Foundation to incorporate the building into a vast cultural complex.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that the impact assessment carried out in relation to the impact of the proposed Torre Casajol on the setting of the World Heritage property correctly identifies the adverse impact the building will have on the relationship between the three components that make up the World Heritage property and their urban context and thus on the Outstanding Universal Value and on the integrity of their setting. They consider that as set out in the 2006 State Party Periodic Report the three components should be linked to others to give them a firmer context. To understand fully the attributes of the property there is a need to understand the way they were linked to the development of the city and particularly with the river. The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that it is of the utmost importance that the area that the State Party has now identified as a buffer zone should be protected but that given the configuration of the city tall towers beyond the immediate setting could still have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the ensemble. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.100

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.123, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the conclusions of the Expert Committee set up to assess the impact of the proposed Torre Cajasol on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and that this tower will have a potential adverse impact on the 'transitional' area of the historic city;

4. Regrets that the State Party did not halt the construction works on this project and takes note that the State Party has started preliminary works on this project;

5. Requests the State Party to reconsider the current project in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by June 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8B.61

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8B and WHC-10/34.COM/INF.8B1.Add,

2. Approves the buffer zone for the Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain.

3. Notes that the City Council has agreed to complete the remaining catalogues for the sectors within the buffer zone and urges the State Party to ensure that these are in place as soon as possible;

4. Also notes that development outside the buffer zone in the wider setting will be subject to impact assessments on the inscribed property under the 2007 Historical Heritage Act and also urges the State Party to ensure that these are applied rigorously.

 

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 8E

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8E, WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add.2 for the following World Heritage properties: 

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely: