International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State. * Uploaded: 06/2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of Spain

Spain has a rich and varied cultural historical legacy, with 48 assets declared as World Heritage Sites, being the third country in the world, only behind Italy (54) and China (53). The inclusion of this number of sites in the World Heritage List highlights our wealth of assets and the firm commitment from administrations and citizens to their preservation. From the remote times of Atapuerca to the originality of Catalan modernism, the biodiversity of Ibiza or the poetry of the Alhambra, the world heritage recognition allows us to take a tour around our territory’s history, highlighting the most outstanding elements that have been produced. The thought and procedure of each historical moment are reflected in the archaeological remains, in the monuments, in our historic centres or in the landscape that the works of the human being have been modelled over time. This legacy of the past allows us to understand the decisive lines that have shaped our culture, with all its influences and roots. To preserve it, it is necessary to establish appropriate strategies that facilitate the management of this heritage through economic and environmental sustainability and citizen participation.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

The assets belonging to the Spanish Cultural Heritage are regulated in different legal levels. The Law 16/1985 of June 25 on Historical Heritage is a general regulation with a national scope and distinguishes general regime and some special regimes according to the characteristics of the objects to be protected. In addition, each autonomous community has since 1990 developed its own legislation for the protection of cultural heritage.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

The art and cultural assets of Spain are well represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List including cultural sites, such as temples, castles, landscapes, natural sites as well as oral traditions, performing arts, festivals and rituals, food ways, craft-making skills and different forms of traditional knowledge. The diversity of declared sites is due to the different historical stages of the country, with cathedral buildings of the Romanesque and Gothic period of great relevance and population centres exceptionally preserved. These reflect the cultural diversity that has characterized our country over the centuries, with a great oriental influence through the Mediterranean, North African and Muslim peoples, but also European, linking to the artistic and cultural trends of each moment. Spain has also played a pivotal role as the country that discovered the Americas, transmitting its culture to the rest of the world. In recent years, the recognition of the Natural Sites and the Intangible Cultural Heritage has increased notably.

Adhesion to ICCROM

Spain is a Member State of ICCROM since 19/04/1958


Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1969-1971: Gabriel Alomar
  • 1973-1975: Alberto García Gil
  • 1975-1977: Antonio Almagro Gorbea
  • 1977-1979: Fernando Sueca Goitia
  • 1979-1990: Antonio Almagro Gorbea
  • 1990-1992: Alfonso Muñoz Cosme
  • 1992-2005: José María Losada
  • 2006-2013: Marián Del Egido
  • 2014-2017: María Nieves Valentín
  • 2020-2023: Ana Laborde Marqueze

ICCROM Staff since 1959: 1

Involvement of Spanish Nationals

Activities in/with Spain since 2002

Activities details

Activities details

  • 2002 - 6 Mission(s)
  • 2003 - 3 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2004 - 5 Mission(s)
  • 2005 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2006 - 4 Mission(s)
  • 2007 - 5 Mission(s)
  • 2008 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2009 - 3 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2010 - 4 Mission(s)
  • 2011 - 6 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2012 - 1 Course(s), 3 Mission(s)
  • 2013 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2014 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2015 - 2 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2017 - 2 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2018 - 2 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2019 - 5 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2021 - 1 Course(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2022 - 3 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2023 - 5 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2024 - 5 Mission(s)

External links