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Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

Spain
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Housing
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

High-rise development in the vicinity of the property.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2010**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

On 28 January 2010, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property. This addressed the requests of the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) to undertake a comprehensive impact assessment of the proposed development of the Torre Cajasol on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage property and its setting, to draft a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee, and to define a buffer zone.

The Committee also requested the State Party to halt any construction works on this project until such a comprehensive impact assessment had been completed and reviewed by ICOMOS. This has not been done.

a) The project of "Torre Cajasol"

The proposed 39 storey tower (36 above ground) is on the western bank of the Guadalquivir river approximately 600 meters from the boundaries of the Alcazar, which together with the Cathedral and Archivo de Indias, make up the property on the eastern side of the river. It is part of the development of an area known as "Puerto Triana" which extends to 66,500 square meters. The height of the tower is approximately twice the height of the Giralda.

The State Party reports that a national Expert Committee was formed to study the impact of the tower on the World Heritage property. The report of this committee is included in the State Party report.

This Expert Committee saw its roles considering the impact of the tower on the surrounding landscape. Although at the time of inscription only three buildings were inscribed, the outstanding urban complex that reflects the power and influence of Seville in the colonization of America also includes a number of other buildings such as the Torre de Oro, that make up a complex around the river, and this was acknowledged in the 2006 State Party Periodic Report that recommended extending the nominated area towards the river to include the “Torre de Oro” looking over the port of Seville.

The Expert Committee considered that although the proposed tower cannot be said to impact visually on the three components of the property it nevertheless has a potential negative impact on the transitional territory demanding dialogue with the historic city. They recommended that a buffer zone should be drawn up encompassing all the key elements of the historic urban landscape that were associated with colonization. They also recommended that, as a matter of urgency, Special Plans should be drawn up for the three component sites under the General Urban Planning Scheme, 2006.

The Expert Committee also summarized the planning issues and consents. The Tower has permission which was granted before Andalusia’s Regional Historical Heritage Act entered into force in 2007. Building work has already started with preparations for sinking foundations and garages in the basement.

b) Buffer Zone

The State Party Report includes a proposal for a buffer zone within an area of 205 ha that is linked through historical, heritage and visual reasons with the three components of the property and also includes parts of the river that has shaped the development of the city and parts of the opposite banks. The buffer zone is an area within which the Giralda tower will stand out as a vertical landmark. It is contained within the Conjunto Historico de Sevilla, 1990, which has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest. The proposed buffer zone does not extend to cover the site of the Torre Casajol.

c) Las Atarazanas

The State Party, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines provides basic information about proposals forLas Atarazanas a significant warehouse complex in Gothic-Mudejar style. Its construction dates from the thirteenth century and it has undergone various transformations over the years. In 1993, the ensemble was restored to accommodate cultural activities. There is now a proposed new restoration project put forward by the Caixa Foundation to incorporate the building into a vast cultural complex.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that the impact assessment carried out in relation to the impact of the proposed Torre Casajol on the setting of the World Heritage property correctly identifies the adverse impact the building will have on the relationship between the three components that make up the World Heritage property and their urban context and thus on the Outstanding Universal Value and on the integrity of their setting. They consider that as set out in the 2006 State Party Periodic Report the three components should be linked to others to give them a firmer context. To understand fully the attributes of the property there is a need to understand the way they were linked to the development of the city and particularly with the river. The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that it is of the utmost importance that the area that the State Party has now identified as a buffer zone should be protected but that given the configuration of the city tall towers beyond the immediate setting could still have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the ensemble. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
34 COM 7B.100
Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (Spain) (C 383 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.123, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the conclusions of the Expert Committee set up to assess the impact of the proposed Torre Cajasol on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, and that this tower will have a potential adverse impact on the 'transitional' area of the historic city;

4. Regrets that the State Party did not halt the construction works on this project and takes note that the State Party has started preliminary works on this project;

5. Requests the State Party to reconsider the current project in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by June 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken in order to avoid any possible adverse impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

34 COM 8B.61
Cultural Properties - Examination of minor boundary modifications - Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville (Spain)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8B and WHC-10/34.COM/INF.8B1.Add,

2. Approves the buffer zone for the Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain.

3. Notes that the City Council has agreed to complete the remaining catalogues for the sectors within the buffer zone and urges the State Party to ensure that these are in place as soon as possible;

4. Also notes that development outside the buffer zone in the wider setting will be subject to impact assessments on the inscribed property under the 2007 Historical Heritage Act and also urges the State Party to ensure that these are applied rigorously.

34 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8E, WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add.2 for the following World Heritage properties: 

  • Algeria: Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad; M'Zab Valley; Djémila; Tipasa; Tassili n'Ajjer; Timgad; Kasbah of Algiers;
  • Austria: Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg; Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn; Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape;
  • Bulgaria: Boyana Church; Madara Rider; Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak; Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo; Rila Monastery; Ancient City of Nessebar; Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari;
  • Côte d'Ivoire: Comoé National Park;
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Okapi Wildlife Reserve;
  • Denmark: Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church; Roskilde Cathedral;
  • Ethiopia: SimienNational Park;
  • Israel: Masada; Old City of Acre; White City of Tel-Aviv - the Modern Movement; Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev; Biblical Tels - Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba;
  • Jordan: Petra; Quseir Amra; Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a);
  • Lebanon: Anjar; Byblos; Baalbek; Tyre; Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz-el-Rab);
  • Malawi: Lake Malawi National Park;
  • Mauritania: Banc d'Arguin National Park; Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata;
  • Morocco: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou; Historic City of Meknes; Archaeological Site of Volubilis; Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador); Medina of Fez; Medina of Marrakesh; Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin); Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida);
  • Niger: Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves; W National Park of Niger;
  • Oman: Bahla Fort;
  • Portugal: Laurisilva of Madeira;
  • Senegal: Island of Gorée; Niokolo-Koba National Park;
  • Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll; Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve;
  • South Africa: Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs.
  • Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville ;
  • Sudan: Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region;
  • Syrian Arab Republic: Ancient City of Bosra; Ancient City of Aleppo; Crac des Chevaliers and Qal'at Salah El-Din; City of Damascus; Site of Palmyra;
  • Tunisia: Archaeological Site of Carthage; Amphitheatre of El Jem; Ichkeul National Park; Medina of Sousse; Kairouan; Medina of Tunis; Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis; Dougga / Thugga;
  • Uganda: Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi;
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Saltaire; Dorset and East Devon Coast; Derwent Valley Mills; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City; Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.
  • United Republic of Tanzania: Selous Game Reserve; Kilimanjaro National Park;
  • Yemen: Historic Town of Zabid;

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America.
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7B.100

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.123, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the views of the Expert Committee set up to assess the impact of the proposed Torre Cajasol on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and that this tower will have a negative impact on the ‘transitional’ area of the historic city;

4. Regrets that the State Party did not halt the construction works on this project as requested by the Committee until the impact assessment has been completed and reviewed by ICOMOS;

5. Urges the State Party to consider all possible measures to halt the Torre Casajol project in the light of the adverse impacts the building will have on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

6. Notes the submission of a minor modification to the World Heritage Committee for the approval of the proposed buffer zone which will be reviewed by ICOMOS;

7. Encourages the State Party to submit a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value;

8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken to halt the project of the Torre Cajasol and to implement the requests set out above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Report year: 2010
Spain
Date of Inscription: 1987
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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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