The demolition of Tetuán’s Neomudéjar heritage

Author: Leah Pattem

Today, the demolition of this beautiful neomudéjar building in Tetuán will resume and, by the end of the week, the iconic 1925 workers’ housing block will be gone forever, despite fierce resistance from the neighbourhood. Barrio association Grupo de Protección del Patrimonio de Tetuán (Tetuán Heritage Protection Group) have been fighting for years for this building – and over a hundred others in the neighbourhood – to be listed. Sadly, the bulldozers got here first.

The land had been sold to developers, who plan to build a block of multiple-occupancy flats. Although who knows when – it’s entirely possible the land will be left undeveloped for years to come for speculation purposes. When it is developed, however, will the flats be affordable for residents of one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city? Or, is this just the next phase of gentrification for an area dangerously close to the country’s most powerful financial district.

On almost every street in Tetuán, there are empty plots where Neomudejar houses once stood. After a 10-year post-crisis lull in construction work, Tetuán is once again in the process of reconstruction – and neighbours fear that many more Neomudejar houses in their barrio will be destroyed. They’re staunch believers that preserving what is left brings historical value to the neighbourhood, one of the first features of community that the capital-driven property industry destroys.

But there are still over 100 of Tetuán’s neomudéjar buildings remaining – you can explore them using this map.

Location: Where Calle Genciana meets Calle Miosotis.


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