Valencian castles have been studied from very different approaches, and to greater or lesser degrees. This has allowed scholars to better understand their history and morphology, the materials used in their construction and their pathologies, as well as other aspects related to the people who occupied them at different times in history. Furthermore, multiple interventions have been carried out in order to improve their condition and recover them for cultural, social and tourist uses. Nevertheless, there has been a lack of analysis of how fortifications are managed. This research focuses on cultural heritage management, and especially how castles are managed, in the province of Alicante (Spain). To do this, a qualitative research methodology and semi-structured interviews with specialists have been employed. This project shows the results of research applied to 42 fortifications, owned by several municipalities of the province of Alicante.
From the Foreword by Milagros Flores Román, President - International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage-ICOFORT
‘I have great pleasure in presenting this work by Dr Juan Antonio Mira Rico, a colleague who has distinguished himself for his outstanding work in the field of management of fortified cultural heritage and management [of castles]. In particular, this work has attracted my attention for the exhaustive research in the data collection which has been carried out to support its proposal of analysis based on qualitative research on the management of Municipal Castles in the Province of Alicante, all with the objective of discovering how the municipalities of Alicante are managing the castles in their ownership. In addition the objective is to find out to what extent [the municipalities] contribute either to the conservation or deterioration of the history which surrounds many of them as symbols of their identity…I believe that the greatest merit of this publication is to make a significant leap in the identification of those fortifications in the province of Alicante in which [the municipality] has done effective work in managing the fortified cultural heritage and, on the other hand, it gives us a clear vision of those fortified cultural assets which have not yet been given due attention to their value. Its great contribution is to highlight the good practices being carried out currently and at the same time to outline a possible future work plan to be carried out. I trust that this book will be of great use in the field of cultural management in general and will make a great contribution to the conservation, and management of fortified cultural heritage.’
Juan Antonio Mira Rico holds a PhD in History and is a specialist in cultural heritage management and museography. He is currently head of the Castalla Municipal Service for Cultural Heritage. He is a member of ICOMOS, ICAHM, ICIP and ICOFORT, and scientific co-director of the Castalla Castle Heritage Site Social Regeneration Project.
‘This publication stimulates discussion on the management of the province’s medieval defensive cultural heritage while allowing better understanding of its problems.’ Guillermo García-Contreras Ruiz, Medieval Archaeology, Volume 63.1, 2019
‘These data have great value for specialists in the field of the castles of Valencia in Spain and based on these data comparative analysis can be made with other countries’ castles.’ Dr Dolores Pineda Campos, Instituto de Antropología de la Universidad Veracruzana