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Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada

Factors affecting the property in 1999*
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    State of dilapidation of the Puerta Elvira area

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Construction work of the Rey Chico festivities hall
  • Need for a joint Spain-ICOMOS Scientific Committee 


International Assistance: requests for the property until 1999
Requests approved: 2 (from 1998-1999)
Total amount approved : 25,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1999**

November 1997: UNESCO/ICOMOS mission 

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: The work on the Rey Chico festivities hall situated between the Alhambra and the Albaicín on the left bank of the Rio Darro had been halted and a UNESCO-ICOMOS mission was undertaken in November 1997.

In 1998, the Bureau thanked the national, regional and local authorities for the efforts and the results achieved in the conclusion of the matter concerning the new construction of the Rey Chico. However, the Bureau reminded the authorities of the need to apply the Convention and the Guidelines with regard to the management plan and the unicity of the site. Consequently, the Bureau forthwith requested the Spanish national authorities to establish without delay the Spain-UNESCO Scientific Committee and to convene it as soon as possible so that the measures necessary for the appropriate management of the site be identified and programmed.

New information: To date, the Secretariat has not received any positive information on the creation of the Spain-UNESCO Scientific Committee.

By letter dated 18 May 1999 the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife de la Junta de Andalucía called attention to the fact that various projects proposed in the foreseen revision of the General Urban Plan for Granada would have a negative impact on the site. Particular mention is made of a project of the Municipality of Granada to expand considerably the cemetery that is located near to the Alhambra.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to examine additional information that may be provided/available at the time of its session and take the appropriate decision thereupon.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Previous deliberations

At its twenty-third session, the Bureau took note that the revision of the Special Plan had begun and recommended that the extension of the cemetery respect the protection of the site.


New information

In September 1999, the University of Grenada organized an international seminar on site management and invited the World Heritage Centre to participate.  This seminar provided the opportunity for the Patronate of the Alhambra to present to the public the preliminary work on the revision of the Special Plan for the monumental part of the site (Alhambra and Generalife).  This revision integrates the necessary liaison of the plan with the management plan of the city-centre of Grenada and the Special Plan for the Albayzin.   The three teams responsible for these plans are working together, and it is expected that the co-ordination of these three plans will finally become operational.

However, the monumental site is still at risk from the extension of the cemetery situated at the edge of the olive grove of Los Alijares and this, in spite of the recommendation made by the Bureau at its twenty-third session.

In the Albayzin, the Albayzin Foundation has begun implementation of an urban pilot project financed by the FEDER.  The major works originally foreseen have been abandoned in favour of activities better adapted to the area.  Only the construction of the Mosque adjacent to the Mirador de San Nicolas and the state of dilapidation of the Puerta Elvira area remain a cause for concern.  The restoration work on the altar piece of the Santa Isabel la Réal Monastery and the final work for the rehabilitation of the Monastery continue, and it will soon be authorized to open to the public.


Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1999



Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1999
23 BUR IV.B.77
Granada (Spain)

The Bureau took note of the new information transmitted by the Secretariat.  It thanked the authorities for the preparation of the revised protection plan.  The Bureau recommended that the extension of the municipal cemetery respects the need to protect the site and that the revised protection plan be submitted to the twenty-third session of the World Heritage Committee.

23 COM X.B.46
State of conservation reports of cultural properties noted by the Committee

X.46 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) and included in Annex VIII of this report on the following properties:

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Argentina and Brazil)

The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana (Argentina)

The Potala Palace, Lhasa (China)

City of Quito (Ecuador)

The Delegate of Ecuador informed the Committee that the volcano Pichincha had erupted on 5 October and November 26 1999 and that the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC) and the Municipality of Quito had taken preventive measures to protect the population and the monuments.

Historic Centre of Tallin (Estonia)

Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France)

Roman Monuments, Cathedral and Liebfrauen Church in Trier (Germany)

Ashanti Traditional Buildings (Ghana)

Churches and Convents of Goa (India)

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Island of Mozambique (Mozambique)

Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha (Nepal)

The Observer of HMG of Nepal assured the Committee that the conservation of the Maya Devi Temple would be undertaken following international conservation norms prescribed by the World Heritage Convention. He informed the Committee that HMG of Nepal would be grateful to receive expert suggestions from UNESCO concerning the draft conceptual design for the Maya Devi Temple conservation work, as such advice would be a guideline for elaborating the details of the design under preparation. The Observer assured the Committee that the designs for the works at Maya Devi Temple, once completed, would be transmitted to UNESCO, as assured by HMG of Nepal. The Observer informed the Committee that a technical cooperation request for the organization of an international technical meeting to discuss the proposed project for the conservation, restoration, and presentation of the Maya Devi Temple, would be submitted, following the request of the Bureau at its twenty-third session.

Archaeological Site of Chavin (Peru)

City of Cuzco (Peru)

Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Philippines)

The Observer of the Philippines assured the Committee that the long-term integrated development plan of the site, including a tourism development plan for the site, would be submitted in due course to UNESCO, preferably before 15 September 2000. To ensure that the authenticity and sustainable conservation of this fragile site is maintained, the Observer stated that his Government would avail of the generous offer of the Committee to provide technical expertise under the World Heritage Fund.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

The Sokkuram Grotto and Pulguksa Temple (Republic of Korea)

Alhambra, Generalife and Albaycin, Grenada (Spain)

Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

The Observer of Turkey thanked the Bureau for the sympathies expressed for the victims of the earthquake this year. The Observer stated that Istanbul is the only one among the nine World Heritage sites in Turkey located in the region impacted by the August 1999 earthquake. While the damage can only be measured over time, initial assessment has noted minor cracks in several historic monuments including the Hagia Sophia, and four museums. Severe cracks have, however, been noted in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the conservation laboratory which is housed in an historic monument, in two historic library buildings, and in more than ten tombs as well as in the city walls (ramparts). The Committee was informed that the impact report of the second earthquake (in November 1999) on World Heritage sites had not been received by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey from its regional offices. The Observer said that a detailed report would be submitted to the Committee through the Secretariat as soon as it is completed.

With regard to the urban conservation plan of the historic peninsula of Istanbul, the Observer informed the Committee that the 1/5000 scale plan has just been completed and submitted to the Greater Istanbul Council and upon approval, will be transmitted to the Regional Conservation Council for clearance. As soon as this is officially approved, the 1/1000 scale plan will be prepared for the Fatih and Eminonu municipalities. In addition, the 1/500 scale detailed conservation plan for the Zeyrek district prepared by Istanbul Technical University, which was co-funded by the World Heritage Fund is about to be completed, and will be submitted to the Fatih Municipality for approval. The Observer thanked the UNESCO World Heritage Centre for having mobilized international support for the conservation of Istanbul's urban heritage, and in this regard, expressed particular appreciation for the financial support extended by the European Commission and the Government of France.

The Observer concluded her intervention by saying that due to the need to finance earthquake rehabilitation activities, the budget of all government services had been severely cut, including that of the Ministry of Culture. While on-going joint conservation projects with the municipalities of Istanbul will be continued, no expansion in the area of work or additional activities will be possible for 2000.

The Delegate of Greece called upon the Committee to provide support to Turkey in the rehabilitation of the earthquake damage. In this regard, she recalled her statement at the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau, which pointed to the need to prioritize the object of international support in view of the vast conservation needs of the Istanbul World Heritage area. The Chairperson, in his personal capacity stated that this spirit of collaboration and solidarity expressed by Greece in favour of Turkey was a demonstration of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention.

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

«The Bureau congratulates the Spanish authorities for the progress made in the revision of the Special Plan for the monumental site and for the co-ordination of the different protection and management plans. It also congratulates the authorities for the ongoing work in the Albayzin and expresses its wish that the remaining problems be treated taking due consideration of the Convention and the nature of the area.

However, the Bureau remains concerned about the continuing threat to the monumental site due to the extension of the cemetery, and hopes that this threat will be rapidly resolved.  It requests the State Party to report to the Bureau on this matter before 15 April 2000.


Report year: 1999
Date of Inscription: 1984
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)

* : 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.