Berrocal de Trujillo
Situated on the high road between Lisbon and Madrid, the historic walled town of Trujillo rose to prominence as a Moorish settlement in the early Middle Ages, though it was first settled by the Romans in 206 BC. The town was built on a large granite batholith and contains Roman era vestiges as well as fine examples of Romanesque, baroque, and Renaissance architecture. Just outside the rampart to the west is the historic berrocal of Trujillo, a 36-square-kilometer landscape characterized by granite outcroppings that have emerged through millions of years of surface erosion. The berrocal is an integral element of the historic town and its view-shed, one that underscores the ancient history of Trujillo and the relationship between the fortified settlement and the wilderness beyond.
A recent plan to expand a solar farm into the berrocal threatens to impact the integrity of that landscape. Solar power is an important form of alternative energy, necessary for the reduction of fossil fuel emissions. These benefits also come at a price, as solar farm construction consumes land and can engender sprawl, thereby impacting cultural heritage and quality of life. Climate change and the need to manage natural and cultural resources compel a dialogue about these potential conflicts between sustainability and heritage concerns, one that will hopefully build the foundation for negotiating a shared agenda.
Since the Watch
In collaboration with World Monuments Fund, the Fundación Xavier de Salas obtained the support of the Regional Government of Extremadura for a Landscape Study of the Berrocal. The Fundación Xavier de Salas and WMF coordinated a public workshop to raise awareness of the threats affecting this historic landscape. Participants in the Berrocal Landscape Study included professionals in the field, members of Hispania Nostra, local and regional authorities, and the people of Trujillo. The results of the study were presented at the Hispania Nostra International Meeting of Associations in June 2015. Speakers discussed examples of best practices and methodologies for the preservation of cultural landscapes, as well as WMF’s support of community associations in the protection of cultural heritage in Spain and Latin America.
To coincide with these events, a digital photography competition was held for Trujillo school students, focused on the “Historic Landscapes of Trujillo.” The awards were announced during the Hispania Nostra symposium, and the winning entries will be displayed at the Museo La Coria in the summer.
Watch Day 2012
A community picnic was held for Watch Day in Trujillo, Spain. The mayor of Trujillo, representatives from neighborhood associations, and members of the community gathered to eat traditional food, attend a presentation about the landscape, and participate in a walk to enjoy the area’s beautiful scenery.