Romanesque Cultural Enclave
Romanesque Cultural Enclave in the North of Castile-Leon and the South of Cantabria is part of the Tentative list of Spain in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Romanesque Cultural Enclave comprises three bulwark fortifications in the Spanish-Portuguese border area to the west of Salamanca. The fortresses were built between the end of the 16th century and the end of the 18th century. The proposal includes the fortified town of Ciudad Rodrigo, the Fort de la Concepcion, and the extended medieval defences at San Felices de los Gallegos.
Map of Romanesque Cultural EnclaveLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
In July 2020 I visited two locations, close to the border with Portugal, out of the three that make up this peculiar tentative WHS, namely Fort de la Conception in Aldea del Obispo and Ciudad Rodrigo.
The title of this WHS would suggest an emphasis on the Romanesque elements which is precisely what you'll get when visiting Ciudad Rodrigo, which is also one of the Pueblos Mas Bonitos de España. From research over the internet, this is San Felices de los Gallegos' main tourist offer too (the third location of this tWHS).
However, the Fort de la Conception in Aldea del Obispo, is definitely the weakest link of this nomination as it would make more sense to have it included on the transnational tWHS of the Bulwarked Frontier Fortifications (indeed, it is included together with San Felices de los Gallegos and others on that nomination too!). Fort de la Conception is a star fortress built in the Vaubanesque style which lies opposite the Portuguese castle fortress of Almeida (more on this in a separate review). Unlike the fortifications in Almeida, the derelict ones in Aldea del Obispo were sold privately and renovated into a luxury hotel which opened in 2012. It reminded me of part of the fortifications in Terceira in the Azores which have been converted into a pousada of Angra do Heroismo.
That said, should Aldea del Obispo be excluded from this tWHS nomination, ideally with an updated and more concise name such as for example Atlantic Romanesque Cultural Enclave, I think Ciudad Rodrigo (and possibly San Felices de los Gallegos) have enough potential to be inscribed. The Atlantic Romanesque highlight of Ciudad Rodrigo is definitely the Cathedral (don't miss the Puerto del Perdón which is 'hidden' inside), but also Plaza Mayor, the Casa de la Marquesa de Cartago and the Casa del Marqués de Cerralbo. The whole pueblo is very pretty and in a way it reminded me of the already inscribed Caceres. It is also on one of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and is worth visiting even if it this tWHS never gets inscribed.
This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I have been the last year and it is a unique experience. It combines a fantastic natural landscape with spiritual buildings.
You can visit with a low cost flight from London (or Brussels, Düsseldorf, etc) to Valladolid airport (Villanubla). There, the best way to visit the zone is hiring a car (there are a lot of small villages to see).
Includes former TWHS Ciudad Rodrigo - Historic Ensemble (1995)
1998 Added to Tentative List
The site has 3 locations