The Consello de la Xunta de Galicia has given the green light to the declaration of the cultural landscape of the Ribeira Sacra as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC), a previous and necessary step for this territory to be eligible for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The file was opened at the end of December 2017 and its processing was carried out within a total period of one year, thus streamlining the management as much as possible.
In addition to the favourable reports from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Galician Culture Council, 23 of the 29 pleadings received were incorporated in a process to improve and complete the file in significant aspects related to toponymy or fluvial heritage. Several elements of the defensive architecture were also included, such as the castle of A Peroxa and a singular milestone of the intangible heritage such as the Folión de Carros chantadino.
With this declaration of BIC the recognition of the maximum cultural value is obtained for an extension of about 180 square kilometers with the development of a specific protection regime.
The cultural landscape of the Ribeira Sacra covers part of the territory of a total of 22 town councils. of the provinces of Lugo and Ourense (Carballedo, Castro Caldelas, Chantada, Esgos,
Montederramo, Nogueira de Ramuín, Pantón, Parada de Sil, Paradela, Monforte de Lemos, A Peroxa, A Pobra do Brollón, A Pobra de Trives, Portomarín, Quiroga, Ribas de Sil, San Xoán de Río, O Saviñao, Sober, Taboada, A Teixeira and Xunqueira de Espadanedo) in two different zones: the BIC and the buffer zone, and also includes a series of of individual assets.
Landscape-related assets included in the declaration are divided into three categories. First, there are those who already enjoy maximum protection. These are a total of 70 items of cultural interest, including buildings (58), furniture (3) and heritage events. immaterial (9). Secondly, there is a total of 512 immovable property catalogued in the area of of the cultural landscape of the Ribeira Sacra. This is within the zone BIC and amortecemento of the good that is declared by this decree. And, thirdly, they include a total of 634 real estate of sacred character catalogued in the whole of the territory of the Ribeira Sacra. That is to say, the churches, chapels, hermitages, etc., existing in the set of 22 town councils. represented from the boundary of the buffer zone to the boundary of the town hall.
The decree establishes a system of general protection of the assets that make up the cultural landscape. and another specific to the cultural landscape. In the section relating to goods, this responds to the already existing general legal regime, and incorporates as regulations the instruction of minor works which streamlines conservation and maintenance interventions. It also regulates the buffer zone, specifying that actions of a territorial nature require authorization. With regard to the specific regime of the cultural landscape, authorisation will be required for major actions such as new constructions, infrastructures and facilities, the reconstructions of demolished buildings, modification of the traditional structure in large of land or the construction of new gazebos and jetties. It is necessary underline that normal agricultural activity and most of the maintenance actions and rehabilitation will not require authorisation.
Description and cultural values
The decree also contains the description of the general values of the cultural landscape according to the result of the studies and of the review carried out during the public information of the
file. Issues such as the value of the Ribeira Sacra as a cultural landscape are analysed. the physical characteristics of the natural space or the historical occupation of the natural space.
territory. Toponymy is studied and the transmission of knowledge about places, the parish as a unit of structure of the territory and specific aspects such as the socalcos, the cavadas, the traditional house, the cellars and sequeiros or the fluvial patrimony.