1.         Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (Spain) (C 383bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iii)(vi)

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/383/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/383/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

High-rise development in the vicinity of the property.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/383/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2011

Further to the World Heritage Committee’s discussion at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010) and Decision 34 COM 7B.100, the State Party invited an ICOMOS advisory mission to the property, by letter dated 10 December 2010, in order to assess the state of the construction work on the Torre Pelli - Cajasol project, prior to the 35th session of the Committee. At the time of the preparation of this working document, the advisory mission had not taken place.


In accordance with Decision 34 COM 7B.100, the State Party’s report was received on 31 May 2011. This report provides information on the profile of the buffer zone and setting of the property but does not provide information on the status of the Torre Pelli-Cajasol project nor address the request of the Committee to “reconsider the current project in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property” or its request to submit information on the “steps taken in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property”.

The State Party sets out views on the way perceptions of the city have changed over the centuries, but affirms that despite the natural growth of population and the expansion of neighbourhoods during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, “Seville city has retained the urban profile of the historic city. The Arsenal, the Giralda and city towers as backdrop maintain the profile by which the city was universally known during five centuries”.

However it maintains that the growth and development of the city has created new forms and new urban landscapes with new landmarks and visual references which bring the need for new conceptions of the concept of monument and historic landscape. It goes on to say that now is the time to “face and extend the policies of protection and reappraisal of the urban landscape which is the site of monuments declared and the measures to recuperate the Columbine imprint in the Buffer Zone, as resolved in Decision 34 COM 8E”.

It states that it is in general essential to “guarantee the iconographic archetype and the already consolidated image of the Seville represented during the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries so that the vision from the calle Betis does not suffer any visual contamination which alters it” and to incorporate visual analysis of views and routes in the Buffer Zone Special Plans. Furthermore it stresses the need to accelerate Special Protection Plans to ensure that the attributes of OUV can be taken into account in the planning process.

The report makes only one mention of Torre Pelli-Cajasol and refers to “its irreversible nature”. What is not made clear is the status of the project nor how the analysis of the urban landscape and the Special Protection Plans will relate to the Tower and to other similar proposals.

In October 2010, the World Heritage Centre received information from local NGOs on the on-going construction works of the Torre Pelli. The World Heritage Centre also continues to receive complaints from a local NGO, as part of its mailing campaign against the construction of the tower.

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

At the time of drafting this report, the advisory mission requested by the State Party had not been undertaken; therefore no information is available on the status of the Torre Pelli-Cajasol project nor of any specific measures to mitigate its adverse impact on Outstanding Universal Value.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies recommend that the World Heritage Committee express its concern at the potential adverse impact of this project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and at the way this project appears to run quite counter to the detailed work being undertaken to characterise and protect the urban landscape of the property and its setting.

Decision Adopted: 35 COM 7B.110

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add.2,

2. Recalling Decision 34 COM 7B.100, adopted at its 34th session (Brasilia, 2010),

3. Notes that an ICOMOS advisory mission was invited by the State Party;

4. Expresses its concern at the potential adverse impact of the Torre Pelli-Cajasol project on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Reiterates its request to the State Party to halt the construction works and reconsider the current high-rise project in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Requests the State Party to inform as soon as possible the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS about any new developments related to the Torre Pelli-Cajasol project and any other development projects that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including a progress report on the Torre Pelli-Cajasol project, for review by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.