1.         Old Town of Ávila with its Extra-Muros Churches (Spain) (C 348bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (iii)(iv)

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

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/348/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/348/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission March 2005;

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/348/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

As requested in Decision 29 COM 7B.69, the State Party submitted a status report dated 1 February 2006 on the situation of Avila specifically addressing the issues of protection measures and the current state of conservation situation. A report was also submitted by the State Party as part of the Periodic Reporting exercise.

In view of the new building and re-design of the Plaza Santa Teresa, ICOMOS reiterated its view that the building does not negatively impact on the overall integrity and the outstanding universal value of the property. However it also noted that the specific legal protection and planning of the World Heritage property have not been improved to prevent possible similar cases in the future. Despite Decision 29 COM 7B.69 paragraph 9 encouraging the State Party to improve specific legislation to ensure appropriate legal protection of the historic urban fabric and structure on a national level by reinforcing the national and regional institutions in the decision-making process, no specific changes have been made to amend the current legal framework, which allows the city authorities to make short-term changes to the adopted planning documents. It is therefore suggested that the concerned authorities make it obligatory to integrate external expertise into the management system to ensure a balanced view in the decision-making process.

A letter of intention has been signed by the city authorities and the regional authorities to establish an integrated management plan for the property. However, no concrete schedule is proposed for the implementation of this cooperation project. In its review of the documentation, ICOMOS considered that a realistic timetable must be established as soon as possible. It also considered that the PEPCHA (Special Plan for the protection of the Avila Historico-Artistico Ensemble) needs to be refined, if not altered, to ensure the protection of the property. The question of a possible exclusion of the extra-muros church of San Pedro from the World Heritage core zone is not considered to be justified by ICOMOS.

The State Party stated that a buffer zone has been designated in the framework of the Periodic Reporting exercise with legal arrangements to protect the World Heritage property. The review of the designated buffer zone by the Committee will be processed separately as a follow-up to the Periodic Reporting exercise. 

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


Decision Adopted: 30 COM 7B.79

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.69, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes that the State Party has designated a buffer zone;

4. Notes with concern that the legal protection has not been significantly improved to ensure the conservation of the values and integrity of the World Heritage property;

5. Urges the State Party to improve the legal protection of the property on the national level, as requested in Decision 29 COM 7B.69;

6. Requests the State Party to submit detailed maps presenting the boundaries of the property and its buffer zones, and ICOMOS to review the boundaries of the property once the boundary modifications have been presented;

7. Notes the intention of the City authorities to create an integrated management plan for the property and requests that a realistic time-frame for this be established as soon as possible;

8. Requests the authorities to fully take into account the Vienna Memorandum on "World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture, Managing the Historic Urban Landscape" (2005) in the management of the historic urban landscape of the World Heritage property;

9. Also requests the State Party to provide the World Heritage Centre with an updated report by 1 February 2007 on the implementation of all Committee decisions regarding the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session in 2007.