The Inventory of Fortified Military Architecture in Spain
Dating of the building: 1998 - 2008.
Applicant: Spanish Association of Friends of Castles.
Reason for the award :
For being an excellent example of appreciation of the Spanish military heritage not only relevant to Spain, but also of great importance for European cultural heritage.
The first president of the AEAC was the promoter of the first Decree for the protection of castles in 1949. It is said that Franco decided to approve it when passing, during a hunt, near a fortress used as a quarry.
Until the 20th century, the cataloging or inventory of castles was not addressed in Spain. On the contrary, they were often demolished and looted. It was after the confiscation of Mendizábal (1836) that the National Historical Heritage began to be valued but the first provincial commissions on historical monuments were only interested in religious heritage. After the creation in 1900 of the Ministry of Public Education and Fine Arts the first attempts to write a Fundamental Catalogue began. It was not until 1949 that a Decree for the protection of Spanish castles was promulgated, by which all of them were under the protection of the State, and town councils were held responsible for any damages that might occur. The 1985 Spanish Historical Heritage law expanded the range of protection by elevating castles to the category Assets of Cultural Interest. The birth of the AEAC was linked to the promulgation of the 1949 Decree, since its predecessor, Juan de Contreras y López, Marqués de Lozoya, was the first president of the association.
The first inventory was partially published in 1968 under the title Summarized Inventory of Monuments of Military Architecture. It was thirty years later, in 1998 when the AEAC began what was to be the most complete and systematic inventory of defensive architecture in Spain carried out to date. It consists of more than 8,500 records prepared by specialists, and provides, with the highest scientific rigor, basic information on the fortifications. The objective is, among others, to involve society in the protection and conservation of castles based on free access to the monumental inventory.