A lifeline for Seville’s heritage

A lifeline for Seville’s heritage
A lifeline for Seville’s heritage

A way that has been revealed as fundamental to recover the immense heritage of Seville. In recent years it has become common for the City Council to resort to the call for the 2% Cultural State to restore important jewels of its ownership. The Islamic wall of the Macarena or the Tower of Don Fadrique are the latest examples. It was the mayor Juan Espadas who first opted to bet on these grants granted by the historic Ministry of Public Works, now renamed the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, and which have been increased from 1% to 1.5%, until reaching the current 2%. Thanks to these subsidies, which consist of reserving that percentage for heritage of the total amount of investment in public works, the State covers between 40% and 50% of the costs of the intervention in the cultural asset. With good judgment, the team of the popular José Luis Sanz has opted to continue with this strategy that has yielded such good results until now. Four projects have been submitted to receive grants from the current call for proposals: the Rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement of the Sala de Profundis and the northern wings of the cloister of the former convent of Santa Clara; the restoration of the façade of the Apeadero del Real Alcázar; the adaptation of the Royal Pavilion in Plaza de América in the María Luisa Park as a future Aníbal González museum; and the recovery of the Islamic wall in its section of the Torre de la Plata.

The Sala de Profundis of the convent of Santa Clara

The cloister of the convent of Santa Clara.
/ D. S.

One of the enclaves that has benefited most from state aid to recover its heritage is the former convent of Santa Clara. The restoration of the Torre de Don Fadrique, a watchtower with a fascinating history that is located in the gardens, was recently completed. The Urban Planning Department plans to restore the rest of the monastery and, for one of the projects, the 2% Cultural aid has been requested.

Last October, the project for the Rehabilitation, restoration and enhancement of the Sala de Profundis and the northern wings of the cloister was submitted for tender. The works contemplated amount to 2,708,475.25 euros, while the aid requested is 1,218,813.86 euros. The work, which will be carried out in the old Sala de Profundis and in the northern wings of the cloister, constitutes a phase of extraordinary importance since, on the one hand, it will allow visitors to learn about the founding origin of the convent on the remains of the Mudejar palace of the Infante Don Fadrique and its evolution since its creation in the second half of the 13th century and, on the other, it will contribute to completing the interventions already carried out previously in the complex.

The facade of the Royal Alcazar’s station

The facade of the Royal Alcazar’s station.
/ Juan Carlos Muñoz

The City Council, in this case through the board of trustees of the Real Alcázar, has also contributed 2% to restore the façade of the Apeadero of the palace complex. Located in the Patio de Banderas, it is the place where tourists come out and where authorities and personalities are received when a public or private event is held.

The restoration of the façade of the Apeadero is one of the projects that the Real Alcázar plans to carry out in 2024. This is included in its budget. The request to the Government of Spain to obtain aid from the 2% Cultural programme was materialised in October. The total amount of the intervention proposal is 276,779.84 euros and the requested subsidy is 50%. The façade stands out in the Patio de Banderas complex for its monumental stone doorway, with very fine moulding, which is the main object of the intervention. The upper finish, with the royal coat of arms of Philip V, made of tiles, is an eighteenth-century addition.

The Apeadero is a reconstruction of the old stables carried out by the architect Vermondo Resta, who carried out an original adaptation of the Christian basilica scheme to a clearly palatine function. It is a space divided into three naves, the central one, twice as wide as the side ones, with a wooden lintelled ceiling supported by thirty-two paired columns. Above this space he also built a large hall-armoury which was considered one of the main rooms of the palace and which is now used as a large exhibition hall.

The Aníbal González Museum in the Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion, located in the Plaza de América in María Luisa Park.
/ Juan Carlos Muñoz

Last December, the Provincial Heritage Commission of the Junta de Andalucía gave the green light to the final execution project drawn up by the Urban Planning Department for the rehabilitation of the Royal Pavilion in Plaza de América and its adaptation to the Aníbal González Exhibition and Architectural Studies Centre. The project, as reported by the City Council at the time, includes the architectural, functional, content and museum proposal that the building is intended to encompass, for which the Museum Plan and the Museographic Project have been taken into account, which must establish both the contents of the future museum and the way of displaying them.

The intention is for the building itself – the work of Aníbal González – to be the main articulating piece of the museum. In this way, through the building itself, the aim is to tell the historical context in which the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was designed, and to study the figure of the architect himself, the way he understood architecture and all the architectural work he generated.

The project is based on the restoration of the building as it was spatially conceived by Aníbal González, based on which a distribution of surfaces has been established so that they can accommodate a permanent exhibition, other temporary exhibitions and even educational, training and cultural activities. The restoration is not considered in isolation, but rather an intervention on its immediate surroundings is proposed, highlighting the relationship of the building with the María Luisa Park itself.

The entire operation has been valued economically at 3.3 million euros, corresponding to the material execution budget. Within the framework of the 2% Program aid, the Urban Planning and Environment Department has requested co-financing for this action.

The Islamic wall

A section of the Islamic wall of Seville with the Torre de la Plata at its end.
/ Jose Angel Garcia

Finally, the City Council has proposed to continue with the restoration of the Islamic wall of Seville with the help of the State. The section chosen in this case is that of the Torre de la Plata. The project includes the elimination of the surface parking on December 31 to generate a large space for citizens and will build a new building. This historic enclave of Seville will be a large interpretation center of the walled enclosure of Seville. The initiative is part of the Tourism Plan for Large Cities of the Junta de Andalucía, and has a total investment of 2,200,000 euros, with its completion scheduled for the end of 2026. For the recovery of the wall, the 2% Cultural has been used.

17 performances in the province of Seville

The interior of the Tower of Don Fadrique.
/ Antonio Pizarro

In addition to the Macarena wall and the Don Fadrique Tower, the roofs of the Church of the Annunciation, an excellent Renaissance temple owned by the University of Seville, have recently been restored in Seville. The main objective of the work promoted by the US has been to stop the entry of water into the temple and the restoration of elements of high heritage value located on the roofs. The final cost of the work has reached 942,423 euros. The work was submitted to the 1.5% Cultural financing program at the end of 2019. The Government has contributed almost 560,000 euros.

The covers of the Annunciation.
/ Juan Carlos Muñoz

In 2009, in the city of Seville, the Provincial Council obtained state aid to restore the church of San Luis de los Franceses and the Domestic Chapel of the Former Jesuit Novitiate. The works cost 2,789,472 euros, 50% of which was financed by the Government.

The castle of Alcalá de Guadaíra.
/ D. S.

In the province as a whole, 17 projects have been carried out with the aid of the State: the Carlos III bridge in Alcalá de Guadaíra; the northern front of the western citadels of the Alcalá de Guadaíra Castle; the Arquillo de la Pescadería in Aznalcázar; the old church of Santa Ana in Carmona; the Alcázar de Arriba in Carmona; the Roman road and the bridge of the five eyes in Carmona; the keep of the Constantina Castle; the main courtyard of the palace of the Marquises of Peñaflor in Écija; the monumental entrance and the adjacent spaces of the palace of the Marquises of Peñaflor in Écija; the citadel-palace on the hill of San Cristóbal in Estepa; the Roman thermal complex in Herrera; the remains of the wall of the Lebrija castle; the wall of the Lora del Río castle; the Molino del Salvador or Latera, in Mairena del Alcor; the Bonsor house museum, in Mairena del Alcor; the Almohad viewpoint, in Marchena; and the southern enclosure of Italica, in Santiponce.

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