Destruction of Visigoth church in Badajoz by excavator

by Deborah Cater
Destruction of Visigoth church in Badajoz. Photo: TWITTER / TOURBADAJOZ
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BADAJOZ – SEPRONA, the Guardia Civil nature protection service investigates the almost complete destruction of Visigoth church Iglesia Santa María de Brovales in Badajoz. The church dates back to the Visigothic era and was of great cultural-historical value.

Presumably, the owner of the land on which the church stands had in something else in mind for the land. He tore down the building with an excavator. The destruction of cultural heritage without permission is not allowed, even if it is on private land.

Only the entrance gate with tower is still standing

Seprona is working with experts from the Extremadura region’s cultural heritage protection service to make an inventory of the damage. This is certainly large, because only the western entrance gate and part of the tower that rested on it are still standing.

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“There are many remarkable things that happen in this area, but we haven’t seen anything as shocking as this for a long time,” says archaeologist Víctor Gibello Bravo involved in the study. Built on an important archaeological site from Roman times, an archaeological investigation was due of church and site. Presumably these are relics from the Visigothic era (from the year 270 AD).

Destroyed beyond repair

Estimates place the Iglesia Santa María de Brovales as a functioning church until the nineteenth century. The building was later a country house, according to Gibello Bravo. The archaeologist calls the destruction “excessive and absurd” and believes the landowner should be properly punished for it. The excavator irreparably destroyed the head of the church, the entire nave, the sacristy and all surrounding structures.

The church was protected by the Law on the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Extremadura region. In addition, the church was in the Catalogue of Real Estate of Historical-Artistic Value of the municipality of Jerez de los Cabelleros, under the category “element of priority interest”. Various organisations committed to the preservation of cultural-historical heritage have now filed charges against the land owner.

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