The two volumes of the Romanesque Style in Ourense, edited and published by the Santa María la Real Foundation for Historic Heritage, update the studies conducted so far and become part of a much larger collection, the ‘Encyclopaedia of the Romanesque Style in the Iberian Peninsula’, which the Foundation has been working on for more than two decades and that, with this publication, reaches a total of 48 volumes; a project that, together with the Romanesque Digital portal, is serving to contribute to the international dissemination of the Romanesque Style of the Iberian Peninsula.
"Fourteen years ago, when we presented the first volumes of the Encyclopaedia of the Romanesque Style in Castilla and León, we never imagined that we were laying the first stone of a building that over time would take on an increasingly definite form: the Encyclopaedia of the Romanesque Style in the Iberian Peninsula", explained ‘Peridis’ to friends, fans and researchers who have gathered today in the Noble Hall of the Liceo in Ourense to attend the presentation of these volumes, which together with to those previously published regarding Pontevedra and La Coruña, continue to increase the number of volumes of this encyclopaedia.
In his speech, ‘Peridis’ has been accompanied by the Regional Minister of Culture, Education and University Planning of the Xunta, Román Rodríguez González; The director of the Business Area of Caixa Bank in Ourense, Fernando Garza; and the Delegate of Red Eléctrica de España in Galicia, Carlos González Patiño, in representation of some of the institutions that have made this editorial project possible.
The Regional Minister of Culture highlighted the magnitude of this work that allows the Romanesque art that extends throughout Galicia, which defines and characterizes this autonomous community, to be brought closer to society. In addition, the Minister valued the capability of this type of research work to raise awareness, increasing the pride and recognition of all regarding the great collective value of our heritage. Finally, the Minister alluded to the universal value of the Romanesque Style in Galicia, recalling the excellence represented by Master Mateo, whose work is on exhibit as of this Monday, as a monographic exhibition, in the Prado Museum.
In fact, the publication of the volumes of Ourense has been possible thanks to the involvement of the Obra Social ‘la Caixa’, Red Eléctrica de España, the Xunta of Galicia, ACS Foundation, Ramón Areces Foundation and the Ministries of Culture, Public Works and Employment. Similarly, it also had the collaboration of other institutions like the Diocese of Ourense or the one of Astorga or the Universidade Da Coruña Foundation. Among those present were also the Bishop of the Diocese, Leonardo Lemos; the vice president of the Council of Ourense, Rosendo Luis Fernández Fernández or the president of the Advisory Council to the Government, José Manuel Romay Beccaría.
The representative of ‘la Caixa’ in Ourense, Fernando Garza, stressed in his speech his satisfaction for being able to offer the citizens of the province such a rich and exhaustive piece of work on one of the main signs of identity of the province, as is its heritage of Medieval origin.
‘Encyclopaedia of the Romanesque Style in Galicia’
In this case, the Santa María la Real Foundation for Historic Heritage has had the collaboration of José Carlos Valle Pérez, from the Pontevedra Museum, and José Ramón Soraluce Blond, from the University of La Coruña, in order to supervise and coordinate the team who has worked on this project, both in the case of historical studies, and in the planimetric surveys.
Both have led a team composed of historians and architects, who, after several years of field work in the province, along with research and preliminary studies, have managed to document a total of 180 works of Romanesque architecture and art that can be found spread over 166 towns and villages.
In all cases, the reader will be able to find information about the location of the piece of art or the monument, its history and evolution. Additionally, photographs of the most outstanding elements and the planimetry of each monument are always included, hence allowing a better understanding and analysis. In addition to the cataloguing of monuments, ordered alphabetically and by localities, the volumes of Ourense, of which 1500 copies have been published, include three previous studies that allow us to delve into aspects such as the characteristics of the province in the Middle Ages, the Romanesque architecture or sculpture.
The volumes of Ourense, together with to those previously published regarding La Coruña (2) and Pontevedra (2), are the latest addition to the study of the Romanesque Style in Galicia; a study that is expected to be completed in 2017 with the publication of the volumes corresponding to Lugo.
Encyclopaedia of Romanesque Style in the Iberian Peninsula
These newly published volumes, as well as those to come, will become part of the Encyclopaedia of Romanesque Style in the Iberian Peninsula; one of the most ambitious editorial projects of the Santa María la Real Foundation for Historical Heritage and one of the greatest documentation efforts regarding the cultural heritage of our country.
This editorial work, directed by ‘Peridis’, aims to provide to the scientific community, as well as to the general public, a complete vision of Romanesque art and, through it, of an entire period, its people and its history. This vast project is based on its exhaustiveness, its methodical approach, the balance achieved between the scientific aspect and that which is accessible, its graphical richness and the great care put into its editing and publishing; aspects that made it worthy of the Europa Nostra Diploma to the best editorial work in 2003 and that have taken the encyclopaedia collection to the main international bookstores and libraries.
With this last addition, the Encyclopaedia of the Romanesque Style in the Iberian Peninsula now has 48 volumes. The published volumes correspond to Castilla and León (17), Asturias (2 Romanesque and 2 Pre-Romanesque), Cantabria (3), Navarra (3), Madrid (1), La Rioja (2), Guadalajara (2), Cuenca (1), Zaragoza (2), Basque Country (3), Pontevedra (2), La Coruña (2), Barcelona (3), Tarragona (1) and Ourense (2).
An enormous piece of work that, as ‘Peridis’ pointed out, would not have been possible without the involvement of more than a thousand researchers “historians, archaeologists, architects, drafters, photographers, students of architecture, documentalists, cartographers, translators, editors …”. ‘Peridis’ expressed his thanks to all of them for their effort, as well as "to the many people and institutions that have participated and still participate in the project, to whom we owe so much", he highlighted.