Inaugurated by the chairman of the Regional Government of Galicia, the chairman of Iberdrola, the archbishop of Santiago, the presiding dean of the church and the canon of the Cathedral Foundation
Iberdrola revitalises Santiago Cathedral with new interior lighting in a Compostela Jubilee Year
- In his speech, Ignacio Galán highlighted Santiago as the nerve centre of artistic and cultural movements since the early Middle Ages. “We are carrying out this action in the most universal of Galicia’s monuments with the same enthusiasm and commitment with which we are committed to this land, which is ours, promoting the energy transition, industrial development and job creation”.
- The work carried out by the company includes the installation of 700 light fittings — which improve energy efficiency by 61 % and prevent the emission of 6.7 tCO2/year — and 36 exclusively designed lamps, inspired by ancient votive lamps
- Iberdrola has been committed to Galicia for decades: it is the leading renewable energy company in the region — it operates more than 2,000 MW of green power — and has made this community an industrial benchmark for offshore wind power, with the participation of local suppliers in the projects it carries out around the world.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has unveiled its interior lighting today, following the culmination of a project carried out by Iberdrola over the last two years — through its Foundation in Spain — along with the Cathedral Chapter, with the aim of revitalising the church in a Compostela Jubilee Year and providing it with lighting that respects both the history and the current reality of the monument.
The inauguration ceremony for the new lighting, held this afternoon, was attended by the president of the Regional Government of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán; the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Julián Barrio Barrio; the presiding dean of the Cathedral, José Fernández Lago; and the canon of the Cathedral Foundation, Daniel C. Lorenzo Santos, among other officials.
In his speech, Ignacio Galán noted that it is “a true honour for Iberdrola to have contributed, once again, to the conservation of this church, which we have performed with the same emotion as that felt so many thousands of devotees when they arrive in Santiago, the destination for all the major Christian pilgrimage routes and the nerve centre of so many artistic and cultural movements since the early Middle Ages”. He added that “we are carrying out this action in the most universal of Galicia’s monuments, with the same enthusiasm and the same commitment with which we are committed to this land, which is ours, promoting the energy transition, industrial development and the generation of sustainable and quality employment”.
The interior lighting project in Santiago is part of Iberdrola’s Illumination Programme and adds to other collaborations undertaken in Santiago Cathedral since 2004 by the company, including the lighting of the Holy Door, the total renovation of the lighting in 2015, together with the electrical control and installations in the Main Chapel and the Sepulchre of the Apostle.
Combining the history and the current reality of the temple
The interior lighting work in Santiago Cathedral has included the installation of 700 light fittings, with a total power of 15.8 kW, which allow for renewed lighting of different elements in the church, such as the naves, the transept, the ambulatory, the triforium and the Pórtico de la Gloria. Through this action, energy efficiency has been improved by 61 % compared to the previous light fittings, which will prevent the emission of 6.7 tonnes CO2 into the atmosphere per year.
Among other elements, the project has exclusively designed 36 new lamps inspired by the Cathedral’s old votive lamps which, suspended in the central nave and transepts, bring back the lighting of the time when the church was lit by candles. Equipped with the latest lighting technology, they have 12 LED emitters each and are powered directly from the cables that anchor them to the ceiling and keep them suspended.
The installation of the new lamps, which together with other lighting components are managed by a control system, helps to create a different ambience depending on the time of the visit: without worship, with ordinary worship or solemn worship.
After several years of studies by experts and in coordination with the other restoration work being carried out on the Cathedral, the natural light in the basilica during the day has been evaluated to design an artificial light scheme that is superimposed as a different visual layer, avoiding the classic lighting of the vaults.
The light in the Cathedral has traditionally been expressed on two different planes. On the one hand, the artificial light, on a plane more or less close to the ground for reasons of available technology and maintenance, with warm colour temperatures and deployed through solutions such as candles, candlesticks, votive lamps, etc. While, on the other hand, natural light has been the protagonist in the higher sections. An abundant light with cool colour temperatures.
The current project is based on this duality to generate an attractive visual experience for visitors and worshippers. The sequence of suspended lamps contrast with the natural light provided by the rose windows and the dome allowing for a narrative that respects both the history and the current reality of the church.
Energy transition, industrial development and sustainable, quality employment
Iberdrola has been operating in Galicia for decades; a region where it has consolidated its position as the leading renewable energy company -with the management of more than 2,000 MW of green energy-, and where it continues to promote the energy transition and, with it, industrial development and the generation of sustainable and quality employment.
The socio-economic impact of its activity in the region exceeds 400 million euros per year between investments, purchases, salaries and tax contributions.
The company’s commitment to future technologies has also made Galicia an industrial benchmark in offshore wind power, with the participation of local suppliers in the projects it is developing around the world. This is the case for the Wikinger offshore wind farm, which Iberdrola operates in the German Baltic Sea, as its foundations were manufactured in Fene/Navantia. More recently, it has also been the case for the contracts for Saint Brieuc, which will contribute to the construction of this offshore wind farm in Brittany, France; and agreements to manufacture components for future offshore wind farms.
Enhancing the value of Spain’s historical and artistic heritage
Through its Foundation in Spain, a significant number of Iberdrola's activities are dedicated to promoting the social value of culture and enhancing the country’s artistic wealth.
Since 2011, and with an investment of 12.6 million euros, it has implemented two main lines of work: its Restorations Programme, to conserve pictorial and artistic heritage; and its Illumination Programme, focused on the care, conservation and enhancement of historical and artistic wealth.
The main objective of the Lighting Programme is to intervene in unique buildings to install or improve their interior and/or exterior lighting systems in order to enhance their historical-artistic heritage.
Since 2011, the actions carried out in this area have improved the lighting to more than 40 monuments across Spain, including the historic Roman Bridge of Alcántara, in Cáceres; the façade of the Congress of Deputies, in Madrid; the Cathedral of Ávila, and the interior of the New Cathedral of Salamanca. Another unique initiative is the Illuminating the Prado programme, a comprehensive lighting project for the Prado Museum using LED technology that is a pioneer and a benchmark in Europe.