Seo restoration

Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Aragón.
Special mention / Diploma in the category Conservation in the year 1999.

Dating of the building: 1121.

Applicant: Royal Academy of Nobles and Fine Arts of San Luis.

Reason for the award :

For the efforts in the restoration of the Seo of Zaragoza, developed between 1975 and 1998, and the recovery of the monument as a living symbol of the history of the city.

For almost twenty years the Seo of Zaragoza remained closed to the faithful and the public. Since 1998 one of the principal monuments in Zaragoza has once again shone with all its light.

The Seo or Cathedral is one of the principal monuments of Zaragoza. The construction started in 1121 is a compendium of peninsular artistic styles from the 12th to the 20th century. It was built in Romanesque style over the aljama mosque after the conquest of the city by Alfonso I in 1118. Romanesque remains of the first building, such as the outer part of the main altar, coexist with Mudejar, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. A great variety of vaults stands out, reflecting the different construction periods, although those with star-shaped ribs predominate.

Lack of resources and initiative for improvement brought the temple to a state of neglect. The restoration work was carried out in four phases between 1975 and 1998, with the temple closed for almost twenty years. The restoration was comprehensive, affecting the exterior first, and the interior as of 1993. The reopening, in 1998, was inaugurated by the King and Queen of Spain. In 2001, the Seo de Zaragoza was included in the declaration of World Heritage that UNESCO granted to Aragonese Mudejar.

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