The first students in the 2020 Challenge Program reach Territorio Mudéjar

The first students in the Challenge Program, which is funded by the DPZ and organized by the University of Zaragoza, are now at Territorio Mudéjar, learning and implementing applied cultural heritage management models. This is the third edition of this initiative, which enables university students to do internships in towns in the province of Zaragoza in order to encourage young people with good ideas come to – and stay – in rural settings.

“By showing students how we work with the heritage in these towns, we pave the way for them to choose how they want to focus their careers in the future, and we hope that this future is closely related to our region,” explains Victoria Trasobares, director of Territorio Mudéjar.

The group of Art History students participating in the Challenge Program –María Foradada, María Domínguez, Elena López and Sarai Salvo- have been living in Tobed, the town where the entity’s offices are located, since early August, learning about the working system there. They are joined by Eugenia Gallego, María Irazabal and Derry Holgado, working remotely.

The program’s first phase consists in an introduction to the entity and its working methods, familiarizing the students with the networking system and the partners involved: city councils, culture officials and individuals in charge of cultural and heritage dissemination programs, combining classroom learning with fieldwork. In addition, the students are being trained in the cultural heritage management project methodology by professionals in diverse disciplines such as project design and assessment, awareness of the applied management models implemented in our region, and in the fields of project dissemination management and communication.

The Challenge Program – now in its third edition – is aligned with Territorio Mudéjar’s strategic aim of fostering for-credit and training internships and professionalizing job profiles linked to heritage in order to boost employment in rural settings, attract professionals and develop projects that entail conservation of our heritage and investments in our towns as a distinguishing feature.

How is Territorio Mudéjar unique? It is a part of the rural setting, working with a network of 34 municipalities and numerous cross-disciplinary professionals, bolstered by the international renown afforded through the declaration of three monuments pertaining to the member towns as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Additionally, it is committed to professionalism, scientific rigor, innovation and sustainability, while also ensuring that the inhabitants of the towns are inextricably involved in the projects.

2019 Fieldwork: Mudejar civil architecture, a study on new uses with a regional impact

The project entitled Mudejar civil architecture, a study on new uses is a cross-disciplinary initiative in which a data input process has been developed for two main purposes. On the one hand, in order to obtain up-to-date, technologically advanced material on civil architecture with Mudejar elements within Territorio Mudéjar. On the other, to set up phase 0 of a monument management project aimed at putting these buildings to use, thus contributing to their sustainability, their role in society and their inclusion in village life.

This research falls within one of Territorio Mudéjar’s lines of action, which is to design new uses for heritage spaces: technical tours, teaching specific subjects, internships or other types of local activities.

The research is designed as an analytical study based on the management of Mudejar heritage in order to create a realistic action plan that will become a driving force for the cultural development of the local inhabitants and an integrating feature. Therefore, the starting point for the study was to consider the current conditions of the cultural assets themselves and their subsequent development, outlining action plans for each of the cases analyzed. Specifically, the heritage of Daroca, Ateca, Illueca, Borja and Saviñán was assessed.

The study implemented a method for recreating monuments in 3D using photogrammetry: images were taken with cameras and volumes were filmed with the help of drones. In addition, the action plans proposed were designed according to Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas to develop the idea and Porter’s Five Forces Model for the competitive strategy.

Another reference taken into account in the project are the objectives sought in the European “Heritage Houses for Europe. Exchange and Innovate” project, which is based on measuring the positive impact of preserving family-owned heritage houses in Europe, analyzing innovative replicable business models, creating tools to support managers in the sustainable preservation of family-owned heritage houses, raising awareness on the family-owned heritage house sector and issuing recommendations to EU institutions for unleashing the sectors’ potential.

LINE OF RESEARCH: (3) Management of cultural heritage.

THE AUTHORS:

  • Ricardo Monreal Lafuente, art historian.
  • Alba Finol, art historian.
  • Daniel Finol, IT expert.

2019 Fieldwork: Vernacular architecture in Mudejar towns: traditional techniques as a trade for the future in rural areas

The project entitled Traditional vernacular architecture, traditional construction techniques as a trade for the future in rural areas explains how monumental Mudejar architecture uses some of the same materials and techniques as vernacular architecture in many towns. However, over the course of the 20th century industrial development has prompted an abrupt transformation and destruction of vernacular buildings and a gradual decline in traditional construction techniques. In light of this situation, the importance of understanding and appreciating traditional local architecture and its materials has been addressed with a view to ensuring that they are protected, by creating an inventory and conducting a general examination of materials, techniques, types of architecture and current use.

According to this research project, when building users have an understanding of traditional local architecture this will hinder them from replacing it with new buildings and will encourage them to turn to activities aimed at preserving these buildings. Furthermore, awareness of this architecture beyond the limits of the town increases the local inhabitants’ appreciation for it and helps boost the towns’ economy, enabling them to offer cultural experiences that move beyond mere tours of the most important monuments.

The project objectives include raising appreciation for traditional architecture within the area of influence of Aragonese Mudejar art by bolstering the perception of native construction techniques as reliable, sustainable systems and of the buildings made using these techniques as valuable cultural heritage that must be preserved and protected, disseminating and spotlighting the work of local construction-related artisans to promote the endurance of these trades and foster the use of traditional construction techniques in interventions on vernacular heritage, and encouraging the preservation, restoration and compatible renovation of traditional architecture in these settings, to promote the development of sustainable, culturally-friendly tourism.

To this end, the authors have identified and studied the main construction techniques present in the traditional architecture of the Mudejar villages of southern Zaragoza, locating the construction-related artisans working in this area and documenting their work; they have identified and studied the dynamics of intervention on traditional architecture prompted by tourism and have written guidelines for compatible intervention on traditional architecture in the area of influence of the Aragonese Mudejar.

The research work was done in Aniñón, Ateca, Belmonte de Gracián, Cervera de la Cañada, Cosuenda, Daroca, Longares, Maluenda, Romanos, Saviñán, Terrer, Tobed, Torralba de Ribota and Villafeliche.

LINE OF RESEARCH: (1) New Perspectives on Mudejar Art.

THE AUTHOR: Javier Gómez Patrocinio is an architect with a Master’s Degree in Architectural Heritage Preservation and a PhD in Building, Urban Planning and Landscape from the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

Territorio Mudéjar presents its model at the MOMAr Interreg Europe meeting in Corsica

At this event, we exchanged good practices in managing sustainable rural heritage with a focus on people

Territorio Mudéjar traveled to the French island of Corsica to take part in a meeting of the MOMAr Interreg Europe project*, an initiative led by the Provincial Government of Zaragoza for the purpose of designing new rural heritage management models that foster sustainable development and adapt to the specific features of each region.

There, we exchanged good practices on a highly interesting topic: “Without people, there are no resources: local management exchanges observing efficiency, sustainability and demographic fragility”. This idea is in Territorio Mudéjar’s genes, since we work as a network around heritage resources in the Mudejar field, always closely linked to the towns and their inhabitants. We are convinced that heritage is alive and evolving because it is part of a context that is lived in, urban, and in the midst of people.

Some of the inspirational examples of heritage management that we learned about include the Route of the Romanesque in Germany, the monumental churches and farms in Groningen (the Netherlands), the efforts to preserve traditional Romanian embroidery on blouses in Mehedinti county and, of course, two projects from Aragon: the sustainable networked management of Territorio Mudéjar and promotion of the ancient village of Belchite (Provincial Government of Zaragoza).

Territorio Mudéjar discussed the management of cultural heritage as a possible strategy for the future. We believe that places in which historical, cultural and natural heritage resources are managed in a conscientious and intelligent manner are resilient, distinctive and identity-based. Places for investment, development and future.

Our efforts are based on these foundations, and this is how we have explained it at the meeting, in addition to discussing how our unified, collaborative network for heritage management works, and talking about all aspects of the Mudejar (architecture, urban design, landscape, popular culture and more) and about the projects we are implementing.

Together, we strive to design new strategies for rural heritage management that foster sustainable development and adapt to the unique identity of each region.

Our hosts gave us a first-hand view of how they work at the Corsican Movable Heritage Conservation and Restoration Center (CCRPMC) located at Fort Charlet in the town of #Calvi, which is in charge of safeguarding the knowledge, preservation and promotion of this heritage. There, we discovered their resources and magnificent artistic and religious heritage.

We also traveled to the city of Corte to learn about the project for the transformation of its citadel, built in the 15th century, and its watchtower, which presides over the entire city. In addition, we also visited the temporary exhibitions at the Museum of Corsica.

*MOMAr is the acronym for the project name: Models of Management for Singular Rural Heritage.

More information: https://www.interregeurope.eu/momar/

Territorio Mudéjar participates in the first meeting of the European MOMAr project

The aim of this project, which involves regions from five other countries and which will continue until January 2023, is to design new models for managing unique rural heritage.

In conjunction with other entities devoted to heritage management and rural development, Territorio Mudéjar took part in the first meeting with local agents from the province of Zaragoza in the European Interreg MOMAr project –Models of Management for Singular Rural Heritage-, an initiative led by the Provincial Government of Zaragoza for the purpose of designing new rural heritage management models that foster sustainable development and adapt to the specific features of each region.

The MOMAr project has a budget of EUR 1.2 million, and involves five other regional governments from five different European countries. It was approved last year, began in September with an initial meeting in Zaragoza of the six participating administrations, and will continue until January 2023.

The ultimate goal is to create a working document that outlines an action plan for the province of Zaragoza entailing all the stakeholders involved in heritage management and dissemination.

More information: https://www.interregeurope.eu/momar/

Video: https://www.facebook.com/315247192523931/videos/577438746140624/

The managers of World Heritage in Spain strive to make their sites more accessible to everyone

It was a pleasure to exchange experiences with more than one hundred professionals at the Meeting of Spanish World Heritage Managers held this week in Cordoba, sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports in collaboration with the Cordoba city council. Following this year’s motto, ‘World Heritage accessible to everyone’, Territorio Mudéjar is constructing forward-looking strategies to make our heritage places for learning, innovation and accessibility to everyone.

The modernity of our project and its vision of development from the local to the global came as a surprise; the reason for this is none other than the definition of “Mudejar” itself: while we find it in most of the medieval art forms in our towns, it displays its full glory in architecture, in which the lofty, cultured lines never become completely separated from the daily life in our villages, so that the separation from ethnography is blurred. In sum, it is a region that exudes intellectualism of all kinds, which has been preserved thanks to the inhabitants here.

We returned home with renewed enthusiasm, motivation and good management practices, and hope that, as an entity, we contributed a touch of youthfulness; we thank everyone for their generosity. See you soon!

More information at:  http://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/actualidad/2019/11/191106-gestores-patrimonio.html