Rehabilitation of 16th Century Building. La Purísima Chapel in El Romeral

Rehabilitation of 16th Century Building. La Purísima Chapel in El Romeral

A little gem full of History

Works completed in the rehabilitation of La Purísima Chapel, from the XVI century, refurbished by OOIIO Architecture Studio.

After several months of construction and another few months of design project and processing of reports, plans and documents with the Administration, Historical Heritage, Neighborhood Organizations, The Church … etc. concludes all the works for the rehabilitation of a small Chapel, located on the outskirts of El Romeral, a town in the province of Toledo, Spain, that has several chapels distributed in its urban core.

El Romeral is located to the north of La Mancha region, part of that vast territory that today is called “the empty Spain”. Hundreds of towns and regions that are seeing how they gradually lose population, in favor of the capitals and main urban centers.

Many times these towns refuse to make a reality this fatal destination and the neighbors themselves organize to create life in their villages, recovering employment, promoting tourism or preventing their architectural heritage from being lost.

This is how a determined group of residents of El Romeral insisted on the rehabilitation of the Chapel of La Purísima, which was in ruins, with half roof destroyed, abandoned interior and with its centenary walls increasingly cracked and broken.

El Romeral is situated in an old important crossroads at the time of the Transhumance, in the cattle route of the Cordel de La Mancha, which links the Real Soriana Path, with the Segoviana Path. The small temple completes the collection of Chapels that were built for that reason in all the exits of the town to receive the prayer and ask for the protection of travelers and shepherds who walked all those roads.

There were 7 chapels in the past, of which only 5 remain today. The neighbors organized themselves through campaigns of micro patronage, subsidies and collection of donations for not to lose another Hermitage.

OOIIO Architecture studio was responsible for the important task involved in the management and development of the technical project for the Chapel´s rehabilitation and the legal procedures necessary for the refurbishment of a 16th-century building listed as a Historic Monument for the town.

A very interesting and enriching process, in which archaeologists and professional restaurateurs have participated as well as companies specialized in the recovery of buildings of this type, which has led us to discover many surprises that we did not imagine at the beginning. The seemingly humble walls of the Chapel hid several frescoes, polychrome niches, 16th-century scrolls, carved stones … learning that in the 18th century the building was enlarged, discovering the foundations of the original hermitage, an entrance porch, stone columns reused…

A wonder for lovers of vernacular architecture, history and traditions like us!

Link to other rehabilitation projects designed by OOIIO Architecture.

  • Status: Built.
  • Project Year: 2018-2019.
  • Location: El Romeral, Spain.
  • Area: 49 m2.
  • Design: OOIIO Architecture.
  • Team: Joaquín Millán Villamuelas, Jesús Reyes García, Loïc Jeannin.
  • Facilities: OOIIO Architecture.
  • Civil Engineer: Benito González Núñez
  • Safety & Health: Benito González Núñez
  • Client: Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de El Romeral.
  • Builder: A.C.J. Restauraciones s.l.
Rehabilitation of 16th Century Building. La Purísima Chapel in El Romeral