Northern Spain is littered with Romanesque Art and Architecture. A huge restoration project recently recieved the prestigious Europa Nostra Medal 2013
Románico Norte - or Romanesque North – is the name of a huge and impressive project in Northern Spain. From 2005 to 2012 a plan was laid to institute a complete restoration of 54 churches in the diocese of Palencia and Burgos, in the old Merindad Aguilar de Campo district. The geographical area covered by the Plan focuses on the North Eastern part of the Northwest province of Palencia and Burgos, where the Southern slope of the Cantabrian Mountains meet the Castilian plateau. The vast territory with its distinct topography has posed a major challenge for the whole team trying to implement the objectives of the plan for the development of the “Romanesque North”.
The work has – as can be ascertained from the website – been carried out in collaboration with a number of partners, who have provided state of the art solutions. Apart from local councils the work has been funded by La Consejería de Cultura y Turismo de la Junta de Castilla y León , la Fundación Siglo para las Artes de Castilla y León and la Fundación Santa María la Real-Centro de Estudios del Románico . Partner has also been the Dioceses of Palencia and Burgos.
The aim has been to further sustainable economic growth, through taking care of and developing the nature, history and heritage, which is embedded in the landscape. Accordingly the work is still in progress since not only the churches but also the surrounding landscape is being analysed, described and restored.
Iglesia de San Juan Bautista
This has for instance been the case in the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista in Matamorisca, where the church is decorated with a series of very well preserved murals, which have been painstakingly restores. However, in order to provide lightening for the celebration of mass and other religious services, the church had installed a really terrifying lightening system – with ripe possibilities for fires. Further the old lightening hampered the visitor, who wanted to study the murals in detail. Apart from restoring the church, the work carried out by Románico Norte consisted in installing a state of the art lightening, where 95% of the fuses etc. were hidden and at the same time providing a better experience both for the local villagers and the cultural tourists.
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