The Watch

Iglesia Parroquial San Pedro Apóstol

Buenache de Alarcón, Cuenca, Spain

2014 World Monuments Watch

The Parish Church of San Pedro Apóstol is surrounded by rolling hills and trickling streams in the town of Buenache de Alarcón. Built in the thirteenth century, the church has evolved over time with additions in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Its design was influenced by a variety of styles including Gothic, Moorish, Romanesque, and Renaissance, and it is characterized by a coffered ceiling, a barrel vaulted roof, original stonework, mullioned windows, and wrought-iron gates. It is the parish church for the village of Buenache, an area rich in cultural heritage and traditions. The church is the religious hub of the community and a significant monument in the region.

Although the community is strongly attached to the building, lack of resources limits their capacity to properly care for the church. The structure is in poor condition after centuries of deferred maintenance and municipal neglect. Previous interventions and the disproportionately large bell tower have disturbed the distribution of the weight of the roof, which has compromised the structural integrity of the church. The roof is at risk of collapse, and cracks have formed in the arches and masonry walls. Due to its fragile state, the church has been closed to the public. Places of worship are important centerpieces in small town life, and their preservation is crucial to preventing the loss of cultural traditions and maintaining a sense of social identity. The Parish Church of San Pedro Apóstol was included on the 2014 World Monuments Watch in order to encourage cooperation between authorities and the community to ensure its long-term survival.

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