The Sierra Nevada serpentinites: the serpentinites most used in Spanish heritage buildings
Rafael Navarro, Dolores Pereira, Carlos Rodríguez-Navarro, Eduardo Sebastián-Pardo, 2015. "The Sierra Nevada serpentinites: the serpentinites most used in Spanish heritage buildings", Global Heritage Stone: Towards International Recognition of Building and Ornamental Stones, D. Pereira, B. R. Marker, S. Kramar, B. J. Cooper, B. E. Schouenborg
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Serpentinites from Sierra Nevada (Granada, south of Spain) have traditionally been used as ornamental elements in historical buildings, both indoors and outdoors. The cathedral, the Palace of Charles V, the Royal Chancellery in Granada and some others are good examples of their use. Outside Granada, the serpentinites are seen at the monastery of El Escorial, The Royal Palace and the convent of Las Salesas Reales, all of them part of Madrid’s architectural heritage, although there are much more examples to be found across the country. There are two quarries located in Sierra Nevada that supplied all the material to make the different elements in the above buildings. In this work, we report a thorough characterization of the main characteristics of the serpentinites from Sierra Nevada in order to propose this stone as a possible candidate as a ‘Global Heritage Stone Resource’. This work is important for duly recognizing a natural stone that has been profusely used in the past in the construction of a magnificent heritage of important cities, and historical quarries should be protected so that they can provide original material if required to do so in the future.