The buildings of the Barrio de las Letras retain their original baseboards

The buildings of the Barrio de las Letras retain their original baseboards


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Nine out of ten facades in Madrid's Barrio de las Letras retain their original baseboards, a figure that confirms the tendency of the historic centers of cities to preserve and now show their original appearance, according to an investigation directed by the Institute of Geosciences (IGEO), a mixed center of the CSIC and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) .

“In recent years, gentrification, municipal ordinances and the fashion for displaying original materials have led to historical stones and bricks coming to light,” explains David Martín Freire-Lista, IGEO researcher and lead author of this published work. in Geoheritage magazine.

Increasingly commercial premises recover their stones of traditional construction. The granite baseboards and brick walls that have been hidden for so many decades, come to light in art galleries, restaurants and even nightclubs.

“They are a symbol of the capital and a claim for tourism. Their recovery gives the buildings added value and, in many cases, the traditional facades are part of the success of the premises ”, adds Freire-Lista.

Return to the traditional stone in the Barrio de las Letras

Granite has been the most used material in Madrid baseboards. This gray stone came from the Sierra de Guadarrama and was traditionally called berroqueña stone or purple stone because of its similarity to the color of the bulls of the same name.

This study focuses on one of the most charming neighborhoods in Madrid, through which emblematic streets such as Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Moratín, Huertas and Jesús run. Specific, 93% of the buildings retain their original baseboards. Of this percentage, 89% maintain in some part Berroqueña stone blocks, although in 17.8% they are completely covered.

The busiest and busiest streets have the highest percentage of skirting boards lined with non-traditional materials, which normally do not conform to the characteristics of the granites from the Sierra Madrileña.

"This is due to the frequent change of use of the premises and consequent reforms of their facades, in addition to the ignorance on the part of owners and landlords of the importance of the historical stones", indicates the IGEO researcher.

At European Year of Cultural Heritage and for cities to continue enjoying their splendid historic centers, defends Freire-Lista, it is necessary to use the same construction materials originally used.

Via Sinc Agency

After studying History at the University and after many previous tests, Red Historia was born, a project that emerged as a means of dissemination where you can find the most important news about archeology, history and humanities, as well as articles of interest, curiosities and much more. In short, a meeting point for everyone where they can share information and continue learning.


Video: Madrids neighbourhoods: Las Letras


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