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San Martín de Castañeda information point opened

San Martín de Castañeda information point opened

The Director of Iberdrola Spain Foundation and the General Director of Heritage at the Regional Government of Castile and León inaugurated today the new information point.

Throughout the visit they were accompanied by José Manuel Prieto, Mayor of Galende in Zamora, Jesús Castillo, Technical Director of the Conservation Area for Heritage at Santa Maria la Real Foundation and Carmen Recio, Responsible for Art and Culture-Biodiversity at Iberdrola Spain Foundation.

Next works, centred on the roof, are to be developed by the Atlantic Romanesque in the church, they announced.


The new information point of the Atlantic Romanesque in San Martin de Castañeda was opened in the old Park House, an adjacent place. The works have restored and upgraded one of the few sites of medieval origin which are still preserved at the monastery.

It is intended to work as a visitor reception centre, where the history of the building and the different works carried out within the Atlantic Romanesque Plan can be explained through videos and images of some of the most representative works. The information point of Galende joins those already opened in San Pedro de la Nave, Ciudad Rodrigo and San Martin de Tours in Salamanca, in order to make the public aware of the Plan.


New technologies

The site enhances the importance of new technologies for the conservation of heritage. It should not be forgotten that San Martin de Castañeda church is inside the Monitoring Heritage System (MHS), developed by Santa Maria la Real Foundation. The condition of the church is controlled by several sensors installed all over the building and the works carried out so far have been more accurately planned. Information given by these devices has allowed the refurbishment of the old sacristy, turned into a chapel in order to enable religious services. 


Roof renovation works

Monitoring demonstrated, subsequently, that the works employed in this specific area of the chancel, effectively reduced problems affecting the building, such as humidity. The project for the nave roofs was drafted after the evaluation of its adequacy and having all data on the table. According to information given today, works will start within the next days and are subjected to 6 months execution time.

The new roof will have dual ventilation system enabling the regulation of temperature of the installation itself and the church in general.  “The slate roof will lie on wooden battens facilitating air flow” - Jesús Castillo stated – “Furthermore, light drillings will be performed on the surface of the vault enabling the air to flow all through the church, thus reducing humidity problems”. The effectiveness of this action will be evaluated by the sensors installed in the building. An investment of around 400,000 Euros is foreseen for these works, which will be ended next December.


Next works: San Martín de Tours

Works at the church of San Martin de Castañeda will not be the only to be executed in the next months within the Atlantic Romanesque Plan. Procedures for another monitored church are foreseen, this time they will be carried out in San Martin de Tours in Salamanca. Sensors have enabled information reporting movements of the building. In fact, there has been a structural problem since its construction in Romanesque times, which has become more serious over the centuries.

The church is involved in an urban area which allowed it not to turn into ruins but at the same time it has gradually worsen structural damage. Monitoring data report that, at the present, weight and walls are unbalanced and safety limits have been even over taken. Urgent action is therefore needed.

Works of genuine surgical exercise are expected”, Jesús Castilo assured, explaining that works will involve lifting the existing roof, restored during the 90s, relocating it and distributing more efficiently its weight on the Romanesque walls, and thus transferring and centering the weights and loads avoiding damage to the structure of the building. A new investment of about 140,000 Euros is expected for the next works in San Martin, Salamanca.

Likewise, several informative and cultural actions intended to promote the recovered places will be carried out over the next months by the Atlantic Romanesque Plan.


Atlantic Romanesque: an initiative of transboundary cooperation

Works at both churches, San Martin de Castañeda and San Martin de Tours, are part of the Atlantic Romanesque Plan. It is a transboundary cooperation initiative for the preservation of Cultural Heritage, involving restoration and development projects in about twenty churches located in Zamora and Salamanca, Spain and the Portuguese regions of Oporto, Vila Real and Bragança. Over this term of office more than 1.1 million Euros were invested in the regions of Zamora and Salamanca.

The plan is an example of public-private institutional cooperation, promoted by the Regional Government of Castile and León, Iberdrola Spain Foundation and the Ministry of Culture from Portugal. Works in Spain were allocated to Santa Maria la Real Foundation for Historical Heritage and were developed in collaboration with the dioceses of each territory.

San Martín de Castañeda information point opened
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Junta de Castilla y LeónFundación Iberdrola EspañaGoverno de PortugalFundación Santa María la Real del patrimonio históricoDiócesis de SalamancaDiócesis de ZamoraDiócesis  de AstorgaDiócesis de Ciudad Rodrigo