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When we forget about cultural and historical heritage

logo-mecnaPerhaps one of the problems in Spain regarding cultural, artistic and historical heritage is its profusion. But… is it possible or positive to say that a country has too much history? Probably not.

The problem is how to manage all these things we have. How should it be restored? When and what? In Spain we have bridges, castles, walls… in danger of disappearing for ever. Why? Because there is not enough time, or money, or no way to do so…

On the other hand, you have beautiful places to enjoy, they seem as if they were made for a wonderful film… or tale; in fact, they are part of the tale of Spain’s History. Check out the web Spain is Culture …

But when a ruin, some interesting place has made it until today, the government gives aid in order to take care of that place but … nobody knows it?

Todos ante la entradaJPG

Well, I can’t say “nobody”, but almost when talking about the “Despoblado de Rada”, the uninhabited place of Rada; a fortress just on the top of a cliff. The ruins are very well explained in a brochure that you are provided when buying the ticket, (2 euros, only 2 euros and only one if you are more than ten people). You can also enjoy the view of a beautiful landscape. You can imagine what life was like for people during the old times, there on the top. This visit is easy when you have nice weather. During our excursion we discussed how to better promote and communicate heritage, because culture doesn’t always imply expensive. Sometimes it seems like it doesn’t exist.

Close to this place, there is the charming hermitage of the Virgen del Soto. An example of popular and rural Baroque Art. This is not the most important example of this type art, but it is certainly intriguing and has great effect of theatricality.

Vista de la Cúpula de la Virgen del Soto JPG

Scenes from the Old an New Testament are represented on the top, with a beautiful dome. The sculpture of the Virgin Mary is very interesting. But what really attracted everybody’s attention was the representation of allegories such as Envy: a lady with snakes for hair, meaning that an envious person has terrible thoughts that harm all their relationships. The allegories of Peace and Devotion were also represented in contrast with vice.

Exterior de la virgen del soto

Around this hermitage there is a nice park to enjoy especially in spring .

Visit Spain, join us , and… have a nice day!

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Heritage and oversight

  logo-mecnaSorrounding the city of Pamplona (Navarra, Spain), there is a superb landscape, it is easy to arrive just for a walk during the morning or afternoon, places for relaxing, doing physical exercise , take photos and learn about art and heritage as well.

This is what we did some days ago, with a beautiful temperature even for being the middle of November.

With students and young professionals from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Iran, and the cities of Burgos and Pamplona, we visited the small and cute rural churches of San Vicente of Larumbe, St Esteban of Eusa, and St Mary of Gazólaz. All of them have in common that they have an atrium. And more, are classified as “BIC” “Bien de interés cultural” the highest protection for heritage in Spain

Grupo en el pórtico de San Esteban, interior

Cultural Look through the Romanesque or Gotic ( in the case of St Vicente) windows at the landscape give a magic sensation, as if you are in the right location for a film, or as if you are transported to another time.

The visit to the three churches was focused not only on the history of Art but also on a reflection about restoration and about some difficulties we have in countries such as Spain, with a huge range of artistic heritage.

Is it possible to restore everything? How can we know when and why it is necessary? And what about after their restoration? What kind of actions, in terms of marketing or education program should be put into practice in order to not forget these places?

Fachada norte-depués de las obras

We appreciated the beauty of the atrium of St Vicente just restored, in a great contrast with the interior of the church damage on its walls because of humidity.

El pórtico y fachada sur-después de las obras

The quaint, magical, and touching interior of San Esteban… or the interesting designs and representations at St Mary of Gazólaz.The inversion in restoration –We also visited some weeks ago the medieval bridge of Aoiz, another village of Navarra) is very welcoming, but then if nothing more is done, it is a waste of time and money and the oversight is one of the most dangerous elements for historical patrimony

Puerta entreabierta vista desde el coro (1)

So it was a day full of activities: Alvaro who travelled from Burgos took nice pictures, all of us enjoyed the places, the landscape and even we came across a little donkey! An animal not very easy to find at nowadays.

Alvaro y el burro

In the end, with the team from Burgos we went to El Gaucho   with the most delicious pintxos in Pamplona. Cuisine is also an important part of cultural heritage!!!!

Los pinchos del Gaucho