Guadalupe, 16 and 17 September 2021

In 1993 UNESCO declared the Royal Monastery of Guadalupe a World Heritage Site confirming the exceptional and universal value of a cultural and natural site that must be protected for the benefit of Humanity. This monastery illustrates four centuries of religious architecture in Spain, while it is linked to two events of great historical significance: the end of the Reconquest by the Catholic Monarchs and the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America.

Last 2 August 2020, the “Holy Year of Guadalupe 2021” began with the opening of the “Puertas del Perdón” (Gates of Forgiveness). On 30 December, Law 11/2020 on the General State Budget for the year 2021 was approved (Official State Gazette nº 341 of Thursday, 31 December 2020) and in the seventy-second additional provision: Tax benefits applicable to the celebration of the “Holy Year of Guadalupe 2021”, which is considered an event of exceptional public interest, for the purposes of Article 27 of Law 49/2002 of 23 December, on the tax regime of non-profit entities and on tax incentives for patronage.

The agreement for the creation of the Inter-administrative Commission of the event of exceptional public interest “Holy Year of Guadalupe 2021” is composed of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Finance, the Regional Government of Extremadura, the Provincial Council of Cáceres, the City Council of Guadalupe, the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Franciscan Community, and was published in the Offical State Gazette nº 165 of 12 July 2021.

In order to establish a permanent observatory on the conservation, management and dissemination of the heritage of World Heritage Sites, the Guadaloupean World Heritage Sessions arise from the need to establish a dialogue between the administration, research and civil society on the role of each of them in all aspects related to World Heritage Sites, sharing specific experiences, raising common issues and establishing channels of communication and reflection.

With this general will, the Guadaloupean World Heritage Sessions are thus added to the initiatives that have been carried out in other regions with this same outlook, as is the case of the sessions “World Heritage Cities of Spain: Safe Tourism”, organised in Toledo in 2018; the Forum “European World Heritage Cities in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities”, held in Cuenca the same year or those entitled “Use and Management of the Historic Urban Landscape in World Heritage Cities” held in San Cristóbal de La Laguna in 2019, to mention a few recent examples. All of them were organised by their respective municipalities and the Group World Heritage Cities of Spain.