Decision : 33 COM 8B.27
Cultural properties - New Nominations - Tower of Hercules (Spain)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-09/33.COM/8B and WHC-09/33.COM/INF.8B1,

2. Inscribes the Tower of Hercules, Spain, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criterion (iii);

3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

Brief Synthesis

The Tower of Hercules is the only fully preserved Roman lighthouse that is still used for maritime signaling, hence it is testimony to the elaborate system of navigation in antiquity and it provides an understanding of the Atlantic sea route in Western Europe. The Tower of Hercules was restored in the 18th century in an exemplary manner, which has protected the central core of the original Roman monument while restoring its technical functions.

Criterion (iii): The Tower of Hercules is testimony to the use of lighthouses in antiquity. The Tower is also proof of the continuity of the Atlantic route from when it was first organised by the Romans, during a large part of the Middle Ages, and through to its considerable development in the modern and contemporary eras.

Integrity and Authenticity

The architectural integrity of the property, in the sense of a structurally complete building, and its functional integrity are satisfactory. While the authenticity of the central Roman core is certain, the authenticity of the building only makes sense when judged from the point of view of a technological property that has required numerous renovations and functional adaptations.

Management and protection requirements

The conservation of the property is monitored to a good scientific level. In the final analysis, all the measures and projects presented form an acceptable management plan. The role of the Tower Management Plan Monitoring Committee needs to be upgraded by virtue of its being the coordinating authority for the management of the property.

4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:

a) Clarification of the relations between the Tourism Consortium, the responsibilities of which are currently only of a tourism and commercial nature, and the Tower Management Plan Monitoring Committee, the member organisations of which indicate that it is designed to be the real coordinating authority for the management of the property; the State Party should specify how it is to operate and its working schedule;

b) Production of a more comprehensive and more detailed management plan, to be examined by the World Heritage Committee in 2011;

c) Indication of who will assume the scientific responsibility for the future museum and visitor centre, given that the Tourism Consortium currently has no qualified personnel;

d) Installation of permanent monitoring of the hygrometry in the rooms associated with water infiltration and condensation phenomena, and planning of the necessary measures for ventilation and possibly limiting visits;

e) Development and strengthening of control over urban and outer urban development in the buffer zone that are commensurate with the monumental and landscape values of the property;

f) Provision of details about the progress on the interpretation and visitor centre.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Spain
Properties: Tower of Hercules
Year: 2009
Decision Code: 33 COM 8B.27