1.         Old City of Salamanca (Spain) (C 381rev)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

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/381/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

March 2002: ICOMOS mission 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Urban development pressure;

b) Lack of comprehensive management plan.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/381/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

In accordance with the World Heritage Committee’s requests (30 COM 7B.92; 31 COM 7B.119), the State Party organized a training and information seminar on management of Spanish World Heritage cities, which took place from 27-28 September 2007 in Aranjuez, Spain. The results of the seminar can be found at: http://www.aranjuezcultural.es/actividades/. Given that the seminar did not take place in Salamanca, it did not allow the expert group to focus on the urban interventions in the property. The case of Salamanca was however presented and discussed at the seminar.

Following these discussions, the World Heritage Centre received on 24 October 2007 the documentation on the revised project of the Huerto de las Adoratrices. In agreement with the developer Caja de Duero the project was redesigned by a new architects team of Alvaro Siza Vieira (Portugal) and Juan-Miguel Hernandez Leon (Spain), and the surface use, height as well as building volumes were reduced. The authorities further informed that permission for construction is pending and should be given as soon as possible.

ICOMOS noted that the design was not fully described or worked out in the documents so that it is not possible to understand if some of the earlier and current ICOMOS recommendations have been addressed. It further noted that, while the revised project is an improvement in terms of visual impacts on its historic surroundings, there continue to be contradictions and ambiguity in the design proposals made when comparing it to the recommendations of the 2002 mission. Compared to the first project reviewed by the mission in 2002, the new project foresees a reduction of the building height to allow for visual prominence of the surrounding historical buildings. The proposed building takes up the traditional patio structure encircling the building plot and leaving open garden space. The auditorium building itself will be located within a part of the patio space. The roof levels shall be set back from the street, and the material chosen is traditional Salamanca sandstone. The project team ensured that the ground water level would not be negatively impacted by the proposed building structure.

Despite the recommendations of the 2002 mission, the existing walls of the ‘Huerto’ are still planned to be integrated into the street façade of the building. Like in the first project, a significant number of existing buildings – namely the current building of the Adoratrices and the connecting buildings to neighbouring plots – are planned to be taken down to make room for (1) the new main building, and (2) for the refurbishment of an adjacent pedestrian street that shall allow accessibility to all sides of the future auditorium building and to the apsidal of the church Santa Maria de los Caballeros.

The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS consider that more attention should be paid to ensure that necessary changes respect the adequate functional and aesthetic perspectives and contribute to define the identity and unity of the area, given that the area adjacent to the Adoratrices project shows a very indented hence fragile boundary. It further needs to be underlined that the recommendations of the 2002 mission report and the decisions of the World Heritage Committee at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions have not been fully met.

It is therefore recommended that the Adoratrices project be suspended to allow for a World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission to evaluate the state of conservation of the property. The objective of the mission should be to work out jointly with local authorities what kind of design changes and management planning changes would allow the State Party to meet the World Heritage Committee’s request and expectations.

Further to the project of the Huerto de las Adoratrices, several ongoing rehabilitation and construction projects in the core and buffer zones were brought to the World Heritage Centre’s attention by local NGOs as being problematic.

ICOMOS considers that the new Urban Law does not constitute the kind of integrated management plan involving all stakeholders and focusing on preservation of outstanding universal value that has been requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 30th and 31st sessions.

Such a management plan would ensure that those projects and amendments to the approved urban development plan (PGOU) are in line with the long-term conservation objectives agreed in the “Convenio” between the Regional Government of Castilla y Leon and the City of Salamanca signed in 2007.

The State Party further transmitted a map of the city of Salamanca intended to clarify the boundaries of the core and the buffer zones. However, this document was returned to the State Party for further clarification. 

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


Decision Adopted: 32 COM 7B.109

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 30 COM 7B.92 and 31 COM 7B.119, adopted at its 30th (Vilnius, 2006) and its 31st (Christchurch, 2007) sessions respectively,

3. Notes the results of the seminar on management of Spanish World Heritage cities (27-28 September 2007, Aranjuez, Spain);

4. Expresses its concern about the lack of progress with the integrated management plan for the property;

5. Also noting the changes made to the" Huerto de las Adoratrices project", requests the State Party

a) to suspend the project until the results of an expert mission are available;

b) to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity and authenticity, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

c) to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to evaluate the overall state of conservation of the property, the Huerto de las Adoratrices project and the management requirements and boundary clarification of the property, in discussion with the local authorities;

6. Recalling Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, also requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre about any major restoration or construction projects or significant changes to the approved urban development plan (PGOU) and conservation documents, which may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

7. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2009, a progress report on the implementation of the Convenio between Regional Government of Castilla y Leon and the City of Salamanca, and on the preparation of the integrated management plan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.