Restoration of the Carlos III Theatre in el Escorial
Dating of the building: 1770.
Applicant: Mariano Bayón Álvarez.
Reason for the award :
The award, a gold medal, highlights the activity of restorers as an example of conservation of a historical-artistic monument.
The first Europa Nostra medal awarded in Spain values the restoration of the only court theatre that survives in our country.
The Real Coliseo Carlos III, as it was known at first, is the only one of the three court theatres preserved in Spain. Regrettably, both that of La Granja and that of Aranjuez were demolished a long time ago. These theatres, for the exclusive use of the monarch and his court, were very frequent in the Old Regime. Charles III commissioned its construction to Jaime Marquet, a French architect who built it between 1770 and 1773. In the following decade, Juan de Villanueva introduced some complementary reforms before it was used as a barracks for French troops during the War of Independence.
During the 20th century, the theatre functioned as a silent cinema till its gradual abandonment. In a neglected state, it was one step away from being demolished and only a press campaign and its sale to the Colosseum Development and Reconstruction Society, founded for that purpose, secured its salvation. The restoration works, begun in 1973, managed to return the Real Coliseo Carlos III to its original use and elegance.