Olite will carry out the restoration of its medieval galleries in phases

Two years have passed since the Municipality of Olite had to close the medieval galleries of the city. The significant humidity problems that the space was suffering from were causing significant deterioration and in the face of this situation, when the person who welcomed the public to the galleries retired, it was decided to close them until the works restoration can be undertaken. A task that now turns out to be deeper than initially thought, since in-depth studies carried out in the galleries themselves have detected that the need for intervention is greater.

The mayor explained Maite Garbayo (Let’s Regroup), who explained the council’s intention to have tackled the takeover of the galleries in its entirety with a project that was to be carried out this year for which a budget item of 100,000 euros. “However, when we entered the flour, we realized that the real state of the galleries was more worrying than we thought at the start. For this reason, an in-depth study was carried out which highlighted the need for greater intervention,” he said. It was then that the council decided that it would have to be done in phases.

The first part of this work is relatively simple and it will be executed this same month of October since it must be finished by November. The tender period for the work, the cost of which amounts to 77,229 euros, ends on Monday 3 October. In this first performance, Garbayo said, they will perform debris clearing and stone wall recovery tasks. These, as Garbayo explained, have been filled with cement and a more absorbent material will be put in its place. The office where visitors were received will also be removed and the floor will also be fixed.

Of greater scope will be the actions planned in a second phase which could even be extended to a third. Until then, the origin of the leaks caused by high humidity levels that the galleries register, which would lead to an action in Plaza Carlos III, in the underground part of which the galleries are located. “It is already more complicated because to try to detect the exact points of leaks, it would be necessary to act in the square itself, which will surely require lifting a part. We are talking about more complex actions which, for this reason, should still be carried out in two different phases but this should be seen later,” he said.

Once the first phase is completed, the mayor expresses his wish, if possible, to reopen the medieval galleries to the public, in their entirety or at least partially. A decision which, however, can only be taken once the work has been completed and to see what state the galleries are in at that time. The town hall of Olitense also plans to inform Príncipe de Viana of the works to be undertaken with the aim, if possible, of establishing a formula of collaboration that would allow the town hall to obtain some form of financing for these works, which, in its entirety, is estimated by the mayor which could exceed 300,000 euros.

Garbayo did not dare to specify possible deadlines for completing the restoration in its entirety since, as expected, the work will take time. “The important thing is that we have already started the first phase”, he concluded. The work on this tourist attraction in Olite joins those already carried out on the Chapitel tower and the hermitage of Santa Brígida, all actions aimed at enhancing the historical and cultural heritage of a town that complete the tourist attraction which alone supposes the castle.


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