The residents of the town of Yecla de Yeltes have learned firsthand what the interventions will be in the chapel of the Virgen del Castillo, and the steps that the Atlantic Romanesque Plan team plans to take. Two project technicians, the historian Victor Alvarez, and the architect Daniel Basulto, were in charge of explaining to the pastor and the other participants at the briefing held in the parish church of San Sebastian, that the intervention is divided into three parts .
First, the architectural intervention, consisting mainly of fixing the roof, will replace the existing windows with a translucent plate, "This will allow the passage of light, but will maintain consistency with the rest of the tiled roof, "explained Daniel Basulto. The architect also reported that the woodwork will be renewed in order to ensure the building´s hygrothermal conditions and to facilitate ventilation.
Monitoring and new lighting:
However, perhaps, the highlight will be the application of new technologies to preserve the building. The chapel will be included in the Heritage Monitoring System, MHS, developed by the Santa María la Real Foundation, which controls certain environmental parameters both in and around the building in order to ensure preventive conservation. This section of new technologies will also proceed to renew the lighting system. "It will be the first Atlantic Romanesque temple that has autonomous lighting,” commented Basulto. “This means that the system will be powered by photovoltaic panels installed on the outside of the temple, without connection to the grid." This aspect will ensure the building's energy efficiency and provide significant savings to the parish.
The new lighting will also be adapted to the characteristics of the shrine and perform two essential functions: to facilitate religious ceremonies and highlight some outstanding architectural and artistic elements. The work will be completed with the design of an altarpiece, on the outside of the church, that will serve to improve the conditions during the celebration of the traditional procession of the Virgen del Castillo.
Finally, the residents of Yecla learned through the words of historian Victor Alvarez, that the intervention in its chapel is part of a much larger project, the Atlantic Romanesque Plan which is an example of a public-private transnational collaboration plan for the conservation of cultural heritage. Specifically, the Plan includes action in more than two dozen Romanesque churches in the Spanish provinces of Zamora and Salamanca and the Portuguese regions of Porto, Vila Real and Bragança.