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Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)

Factors affecting the property in 1993*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1993
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1993**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1993

The Director-General of UNESCO has been informed of the construction of a modern sports facility in this World Heritage site. A report on this subject, and several newspaper articles which were received by the Director-General, have been transmitted by the Centre to ICOMOS for verification and review.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1993

During its 17th session the Bureau was informed of the extremely negative visual impact of a new sports hall on the western slope of the hill that is crowned by the Cathedral of Santiago. Information from ICOMOS revealed that an agreement had been reached between the local and regional authorities to lower the building by 1,5 meters and to apply materials more suitable to the surroundings.

On 29 September 1993, the Permanent Delegation of Spain confirmed the agreement on the height of the building and explained that, due to a misinterpretation of indications issued by the Historical Department of the regional authority, the building was indeed too high. The project was revised and now meets all legal requirements.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1993
Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

ICOMOS reported on the extremely negative visual impact of a new sports hall built on the western slope of the hill that is crowned by the Cathedral and that affects in particular the view of the Cathedral from the Alameda.

The Representative of ICOMOS informed the Bureau that only a few days ago, agreement had been reached between the local and the regional authorities to lower the already constructed building by 1.5 meters and to apply materials more suitable to the surroundings. Several delegates emphasized that Operational Guideline 47 invites the States Parties to inform the Committee of their intention to undertake or to authorize in an area protected under the Convention, major restoration or new constructions which may affect the world heritage value of the property. The Bureau expressed its disappointment that this was not done in the case of Santiago and that the already inscribed World Heritage site of Santiago is being affected by an extremely disharmonious construction at the same time as the Route of Santiago is being nominated for inscription.

One delegate pointed out that action could be taken only after reports had been received on the construction already in progress and that this case dearly shows the need of a continuous monitoring process involving local communities and organizations. The Bureau concludes that its concerns about the construction will be communicated to the Spanish national and regional authorities emphasizing the need for consultations with the Committee in the case of important interventions at World Heritage sites.

17 COM X
SOC: Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

Santiago de Compostela (Spain)

At its seventeenth session, the Bureau discussed the problems posed by the construction of a sports hall in the World Heritage site. Severe concerns were transmitted to the Spanish authorities. Recently, an agreement has been reached between the municipal, regional and national authorities. ICOMOS evaluated the revised project and found it to be in harmony with its historic environment.

The Committee expressed its satisfaction to the Spanish authorities for the action taken to maintain the integrity of the site.

No draft Decision

Report year: 1993
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(vi)

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.