Ateneos de Andalucia Associations Almodovar del Río Córdoba

SOS: The Tower of Gibalbin also collapses

08/04/2019

A few weeks ago the news of the collapse of the Torre de Melgarejo, just outside of Jerez de la Frontera, was echoed in the media. Although the building is far from the urban nucleus, its proximity to the communication routes makes it visible and, therefore, object of patrimonial follow-up thanks to the neighbors and inter- ested.
However, other fortunes run those buildings that, while being equally Assets of Cultural Interest, are hidden between mountains and hillsides, as it happens to the Tower or Castle of Gibalbín. In spite of having the denomination of BIC, maximum protection in patrimony at national level, its follow-up becomes complicated and the access, when being private property, becomes almost impossible for the curious ones and investigators.

As it had been denounced for years, through lectures, informal talks and meetings, the Tower of Gibalbín was in ruins, with an olive tree on the summit whose roots opened in two the last remains of the southern canvas. We recently heard that the crack has opened enough for part of the canvas to come down. Although it is complicated to estimate the exact moment, by contacts and references everything seems to indicate that happened around the past Christmas.

There are many researchers who have passed through here and there are many people in the neighborhood whose anecdotes are linked to this local emblem. Although research can wait, conservation is urgent. From the Historical-Archaeological Project in the environment of El Cuervo de Sevilla, organized by the Arbonaida Athenaeum, we put ourselves from the first notification received in contact with the Archaeological Museum of Jerez de la Frontera, which indicated the need to put the facts in the knowledge of the Territorial Delegation of Culture of Cádiz. After establishing contact, describing the situation and sending the photos that attested it, they indicated their ignorance, but at the same time their involvement, sending the necessary technical team to estimate the opportune and urgent measures in conservation matters.

The countdown has started a long time ago, and once it comes to an end, we will not be able to talk about Torre or Castillo again. When the last stone falls we will repent and remember everything we could have done and did not do. Luckily, we are in that moment where we can still do a lot, but are we willing to do it?

The same could be said about the imposing remains of the Roman city submerged among the vegetation and that have not yet received any public research work. How long will we have to wait to access our heritage and expose the potential of a mountain range that has been dormant for centuries?
All this could have been avoided, and possibly many have gone before the ruined ruins without considering whether they should be solved. With this press release we want, on the one hand, to denounce the state in which the Gibalbín Tower is located, although it should be called the Ruins of Gibalbín; and on the other hand to encourage that, since the patrimony belongs to all and, therefore, its conservation is public responsibility, we are all also the ones who must denounce if the owners do not face their responsibilities, either due to lack of will or for lack of knowledge.
The lost, at risk and the unexplored patrimony continue to have as much value as the one found in our nearest square, but it needs a voice, that of all, so that it can demand its rights.