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Old City of Salamanca

Spain
Factors affecting the property in 2002*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2002
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2002**

February-March 2002: ICOMOS monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002

The World Heritage Centre was informed in several instances by NGOs and citizen associations of the construction project for an auditorium in the old City of Salamanca, inside the perimeter inscribed on the World Heritage List. An ICOMOS monitoring mission was carried out from 28 February to 3 March 2002 to study the impact of this project on the World Heritage site.  In its report, ICOMOS highlighted the following:

·  The planned auditorium is a lyric theatre of more than 1,400 places;

·  The land foreseen for the construction project belongs, with regard to heritage protection, to "The  Historic-artistic Ensemble"  of the Old City declared as a national monument in 1951 and which was provided with a "Special plan for protection and interior reform of the university area and historic-artistic ensemble" approved in 1984, which was part of the nomination dossier submitted for inscription of the site;

·  At the end of the 19th century, this plot belonged to the congregation of the Worshippers who had constructed a building;

·  The plot is surrounded on three sides by several "properties of cultural value" (national monuments), two of which benefit from a "zone of respect" delimited in 1999 and in particular the Church and the Ursuline Convent which includes the  land under consideration for the project;

·  By the decision of 15 September 2000, the Director General of Heritage and Cultural Promotion of the Junte of Castille and Léon approved a modification to the protection plan rendering the plot constructible;

·  The planned auditorium is a large building covering a surface of 2,563 square metres, occupying most of the area and providing for an unbuilt peripheral area of about ten metres wide;

·  Even if the project would eliminate a certain number of "parasite" constructions existing in this perimeter, the land today considered as an open area beyond its surrounding walls would be replaced by a building that would be overwhelming, a change that would disadvantage the surrounding monuments and the values of the Old City of Salamanca;

·  The visual impact other than from the pedestrian perspective has not been considered; thus, the view of the auditorium from the panorama of the two towers of the Monterrey Palace - "property of cultural value"- would be particularly negative;

·  Due to its dimensions, the construction of the auditorium would dominate the quarter and provoke an inversion of the dominant perspective of the ensemble of the sector;

·  The urban values of such a project are not taken into consideration, and the maintenance of the surrounding wall could appear to be a concession towards the concern for heritage protection;

·  The safeguarding plan for the site, approved in 1984, has never been revised but a dozen partial modifications have been made, the last one making it legally possible to erect the auditorium;

·  In this area, the construction of new buildings appears to have been intense and the options concerning planning protection have not always been respected;

·  The extent of guarantees submitted by the State Party for the implementation of the Convention is greatly weakened by the facility with which the document for urbanism protection has been modified. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2002
26 COM 21B.69
Old City of Salamanca (Spain)
The World Heritage Committee,

1. Takes note of the ICOMOS mission report indicating that the auditorium project in the Old City of Salamanca is likely to greatly alter the immediate vicinity of several historic monuments in the centre of which its construction is foreseen and could also alter the outstanding values for which the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List;

2. Recommends that the State Party seek another location for this project, the utility of which is not disputed;

3. Recommends, with regard to the management of the World Heritage site, that the State Party avoid making minor modifications to the present safeguarding plan and elaborate a new adapted and sustainable management plan.

The Committee may wish to adopt the following decision:

 

"The Committee takes note of the ICOMOS mission report that considers that the auditorium project in the Old City of Salamanca is likely to greatly alter the immediate vicinity of several historic monuments in the centre of which its construction is foreseen and could also alter the outstanding values for which the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Committee recommends that the State Party seek another location for this project, the utility of which is not disputed. With regard to the management of the World Heritage sites, the Committee recommends that the State Party avoids making minor modifications to the present safeguarding plan and elaborate a new adapted and sustainable management plan."

 

Report year: 2002
Spain
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 26COM (2002)
Exports

* : 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.


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