This beautiful and distinguished example of Visigoth architecture was built on the banks of the Esla River between the 12th and 13th centuries. Later, in 1930, it was moved to its actual location to keep it from being submerged under water during the construction of the Ricobayo Reservoir.
It was built by using the scheme of a Greek Cross inscribed in a basilica plan with a double aisled nave. Today, this is an interesting example of a fusion between two floor plans. The materials used were well-squared sandstone ashlars adjusted between one another with great precision. It is easy to see the quality of the construction.
On the west side, the aisles are separated in the middle by beautiful Visigoth horseshoe arches, a typology which is repeated throughout the building. The spectacular decoration on the friezes and capitals is typical of Visigoth architecture. Among the reliefs, the capital featuring “Maestro de Nave” is important to mention because of its intricate images of stems, leaves, grape vines, masks, quadrupeds, and birds. Also worthy of mentioning are the reliefs on the transept which depict scenes of the Sacrifice of Isaac, Daniel in the Lion’s Den and some of the Apostles.
In the church of San Pedro de la Nave of El Campillo, the Plan has carried out various studies for the restoration project. Specifically, this church is the subject of the monitoring of ambient and structural parameters that will yield all necessary information for the project, in order that technicians can apply the most appropriate solutions to the problems previously identified. On the other hand, technicians have carried out a 3D laser survey of the building.
The intervention proposed by the Atlantic Romanesque team around San Pedro de la Nave Church goes far beyond the simple restoration and it is focused on the implementation of a new management plan, oriented towards the improvement and organisation of visitors, as well as enhancing the Church’s image.
With this end in view, a visitors centre integrated in the area was conceived in order to coordinate the building’s conditions of access, as well as a display area where historical pieces and elements hoarded by the church may be exhibited.
The building’s structures were in good condition; nevertheless they presented some localized humidity hotspots due to the state of the building’s roof. As to prevent and correct these pathologies, the church’s roof was restored and a new ventilation system was built-in, allowing the air to go in through the shed, and at the same time, due to the pressure difference it may go out generating a continuous air flow, which allows an accurate ventilation and therefore the roof’s and building’s conservation is improved. For the same purpose, avoiding humidity, the pavement was eliminated and the church was drained in the perimeter.
In the same way, San Pedro de la Nave Church was monitored using the MHS (Monitoring Heritage System), developed by Santa María la Real Foundation, therefore controlling, in this particular case, the environmental parameters, by means of installing, among others, hygrometers and light meters, which have been registering the building’s humidity and light conditions. Data collected not only allowed drawing up the intervention’s project, but also ensured its accurate conservation and maintenance.
Another central theme underlying the action taken at San Pedro de la Nave Church is related to the improvement of the building’s lighting conditions, since it lacked electric installation and only had natural light coming in from the arrowslits and was consequently insufficient in relation to tourist potential and the interest arisen by the building.
A lighting system was designed and installed in order to adapt the light’s intensity and power to the use that the building has at each moment. Moreover, it focuses the visitors’ view, making it easier to understand the building. Thirteen 90 watts luminaires were designed and installed in order to minimize energy consumption.
Concealed electrical installation facilitates a minimal visual impact, hence following the criteria of the Atlantic Romanesque Plan, promoted by the Castilla y León Regional Government, the Iberdrola Foundation, the Portuguese Secretariat of State for Culture and Santa María la Real Foundation.