June 19, 2021

Cercadilla, a heritage destroyed for the construction of an AVE station


View of part of the remains of the Cercadilla site with the AVE Station in the background

View of part of the remains of the Cercadilla site with the AVE Station in the background
Francisco Gonzalez

In the 3rd century AD Cercadillto It was him biggest palace of Roman empire, built by the emperor and general Maximian Herculean. Today, 30 years after part of the destruction of the imposing site as a result of the construction of the AVE Station, the feeling of great loss remains open to many. This is how he feels and manifests it Strong Way, archaeologist coordinated in Cordoba by the Network of Cultural Spaces of Andalusia, belonging to the Regional Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage. First thing in the morning he prepares to do a guided tour of the monumental complex with a group of people from Cordoba who have been interested in this place somewhat blurred among the abundant heritage of the city. The first thing that stands out is that, although put in value, the set of remains is poorly maintained. “Right now needs urgent cleaning and a contract for the maintenance of vegetation and cleaning of garbage. With that, it would be perfect. ”

The archaeologist Camino Fuertes takes a guided tour of the Cercadilla site. Francisco Gonzalez


The fields of the deposit belong to Cordoba City Council. Its management, between 1991 and 2015, was in the hands of the Junta de Andalucía, at which time the Ministry of Culture decided to return this work to the consistory. The archaeologist explains that “at that time the city council did not have the resources, the Cercadilla site came upon it and since then it has always tried to keep it in good condition but in recent months it has coincided that, just on its anniversary, it did not even have a maintenance contract”.

A part of the Cercadilla monumental complex Francisco Gonzalez


The value of the remains of the great imperial palace have occupied numerous articles in both local and national press, “there are almost 900 articles written,” says Camino who adds that “there are many for an archaeological site.” But there is still much to do, “Cercadilla is not dead,” he assures. In the list of tasks, remember that the first thing to do is clean it daily, “just like the Jardines de los Patos are, they are super beautiful, well, it has to be Cercadillas”. There is Master Plan that the City Council has to undertake. “In a building that is highly exposed, it is essential to carry out a conservation and from there you can do everything but with professionals of recognized prestige for the site ”. It is a space with a series of conditioning factors which make it very difficult to understand, which is also why, the archaeologist intuits, “it has reached the citizenship worse.” An example of what he says is seen when he talks about the palace dimension. Expressed in hectares, 80,000, it is difficult to imagine but when Camino translates the measure into soccer fields, eight, attendees make a mental image of the magnitude of the site and then yes, they show their amazement and admiration. “It is not an amphitheater, nor the largest, it is an imperial palace and now, how do you count what it is? that is difficult to understand why it’s strange watch this type of construction in Córdoba but it has been explained and people understand it ”. Now, Camino highlights, “it only remains to accept that it is one of the most extraordinary things that this city has. Córdoba is going to live with the site and it has to no trauma like the one that was had with part of his spoliation”.

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