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Energy savings from the project lead to a drop in consumption of over 74% compared to the previous equipment

The church of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular shows off its new decorative lighting

  • Gracias a la colaboración entre la Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Patrimonio Cultural del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte e Iberdrola
  • Para la renovación de la instalación se han empleado luminarias de tecnología LED, tanto en el retablo como en las bóvedas
  • El templo ha sido dotado de un sistema lumínico controlado por ordenador o teléfono móvil que gestiona los focos de forma individual y que permite la variación y proyección por escenas

This evening, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport’s Director General for Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage, Luis Lafuente Batanero, and the chairman of Fundación Iberdrola España, Manuel Marín, will be officially switching on the new ornamental lighting in the church of the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular, in Rascafría (Madrid). Also taking part in the event will be the prior of the monastery, Miguel Muñoz, and the president of the Association of Friends of El Paular, Antonio Más Guindal.

The renovation project was made possible by a cooperation agreement between Fundación Iberdrola España and the Directorate General of Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage signed in March 2016. Its goal was to draw up and execute a decorative lighting project for the church that was in keeping with the needs and importance of its cultural assets.

The work, which started at the beginning of 2017, makes use of the most advanced LED technology, paying close attention to the installation’s sustainability and energy savings, which will reduce consumption by 74% compared to the previous equipment. Also, from an environmental point of view, this greater energy efficiency reduces CO2 emissions by 2.1 tonnes annually.


The altarpiece: a scene-by-scene lighting system

The new system helps to highlight the most valuable piece in the monumental complex: the magnificent multicoloured alabaster altarpiece, created for the monastery by artists from the school of Juan Guás at the end of the 15th century.

The new lighting, which has 28 spotlights and is completely adjustable, includes the latest LED technology with light sources giving high colour-reproduction performance and very low consumption.

It therefore allows the altarpiece to be shown to visitors in a much more didactic manner, by following a scene-by-scene sequence that will undoubtedly lead to greater understanding of the iconographic meaning of this exceptional work, and give a sense of the innumerable details making up each of its figures.

To make this dynamic illumination of the different scenes on the altarpiece possible, it was necessary to implement a control system incorporating a programmable touch-screen with editing via buttons to adjust the visual effect of the different areas of the church and altarpiece, together with software that allows it to be programmed from a computer or mobile telephone using a custom-made app.


About the Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular

The monastery of Santa María de El Paular, which is located in the municipality of Rascafría on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama facing Madrid, is a former Carthusian Monastery and was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest with the category of Monument in 1876.

It is a state-owned monumental complex assigned to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, which has worked on its conservation and restoration.

With this in mind, over the last 20 years, the Cultural Heritage Institute of Spain, which comes under the Directorate General for Fine Arts and Cultural Heritage, has carried out a number of actions on much of the monastery’s heritage, both contents and buildings, from the main altarpiece to the roofs of the complex, the choir stalls and the stone front of the site.


Iberdrola's support for culture

Iberdrola undertakes projects at artistic monuments and unique buildings to install or improve the interior and/or exterior lighting in order to help enhance the appreciation of historical and artistic heritage and improve the energy efficiency of these systems.

One example of this type of action is Iluminando el Prado/Lighting the Prado, the comprehensive lighting project for the Museo del Prado that uses LED technology, sponsored by Fundación Iberdrola España. This is a pioneering initiative in Spain and a reference point for the whole of Europe.

The Salamanca Festival of Light and Avant-Garde is another example of the company’s commitment to innovative initiatives. Since last year, this city in Castile has been welcoming renowned artists, young talents and specialist companies that use light as a raw material in their works.