2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 206-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FREIRE-LISTA Jr., David Martín and FORT Sr., Rafael, Campus de Excelencia Internacional (CEI), Campus Moncloa UCM-UPM and CSIC, Avenida Conplutense, s/n, Madrid, 28041, Spain, d.freire@igeo.ucm-csic.es

Place names often provide examples of the importance that a heritage stone has had with the foundation of cities and throughout its subsequent history. The heritage of a town is related to its geological environment, which provides its construction materials.

The historic quarry of San Pedro leucogranite in northwest Spain is considered here. This stone is also proposed as a Global Heritage Stone Resource. Its petrological characteristics, utilization throughout history and its heritage value are evaluated.

The Romans used this stone, however there was an initial boom in the use of San Pedro leucogranite for Galician Romanesque sculptures during the Middle Ages. Notable among other monuments such as the twelfth century Romanesque churches of Santa María del Campo and Santiago and it has also been used to build the pedestal of Hercules´ Tower, this is a majestic lighthouse in A Coruña city, it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2009. San Pedro leucogranite is part of the pavement of the main tourist streets of A Coruña city (Calle Real and Cantones, to name some of the most popular). Betanzos is a historical village about 25 km from A Coruña, its historical center was declared historic-artistic site in 1970. The Betanzos historical center also provides major utilization of this stone in sculptures and ashlars of San Francisco and Santa María de Azogue churches, among others.

Color, rarity, appearance, quality and durability are the primary characteristics that have led to San Pedro leucogranite being used for sculpting. These characteristics and historical quarrying should be assessed with respect to its heritage significance and strategic location near the city of A Coruña.

Global Heritage Stone Resource nomination will contribute to the preservation and enhancement of its historic quarries that are essential for conservation work and restoration of heritage assets built with the San Pedro leucogranite in this region.