Practical And Sustainable Ways To Save Old Buildings From Decay

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In the modern world of commercialism the only real way to save ancient buildings from decay is to make them profitable. Then they will pay for their own restoration and preservation. You could do this by opening the buildings to the public or you could follow Spain’s excellent example of the Paradores and turn wonderful old castles, fortresses, convents and palaces into hotels. People love to stay at historic hotels and the profits from transforming these old buildings into luxury accommodation will ensure that key ancient buildings are preserved and will continue to pay for themselves for many years to come.

The Spanish Paradores

Parador de Carmona

Back at the beginning of the 20th century the Spanish government were looking into projects designed to boost tourism. An idea was developed to use some of the beautiful old buildings that were falling into disrepair and turn them into stunning luxury hotels (Paradores). This project was enthusiastically supported by King Alfonso XIII and was entrusted to Marqués de la Vega Inclán. By creating a new infrastructure of luxury hotels across Spain in beautiful ancient buildings the Spanish government aimed not only to save these buildings and make them profitable for the modern era, but also hoped to boost Spain’s international image and encourage new visitors to the country.

Parador de Gredos

The first Parador was born in the beautiful Gredos Mountains in a former royal hunting lodge. This was the Parador de Gredos and provided a luxurious, historic place for visitors to stay when they were exploring the stunning surrounding landscape. Parador de Gredos proved very successful and the ‘Board of Paradores and Inns of Spain’ was set up in order to perfect the original idea and ensure that momentum of the project continued. The board set about choosing new potential historic sites and soon there were Paradores all across the many diverse regions of Spain.

History and Luxury

Parador de Carmona courtyard

The Paradores project was a great success during the 20th century and continues to thrive on into the next millennium. New modern Paradores have been built to encourage visitors into areas of cultural and natural beauty and these modern buildings are designed to combine traditional Spanish architectural style with all the comforts of top 4 and 5 star hotels.

Parador de Chinchón

Many significant historic buildings have been restored to a high quality and given a new lease of life as popular luxury hotels including Duke’s residences, palaces and grand gothic castles that date back as far as the 8th century. Parador de Carmona is a stunning example and offers guests the chance to stay in a magical 14th century Arabian fortress. This wonderful hotel combines all the opulence of the Moorish settlers with modern 4 star luxury features. This makes the perfect base to explore the historic town of Carmona, Andalusia and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Another top Parador is the Parador de Chinchón, located in a wonderful 17th century Augustinian monastery. This residence combines the peaceful, spiritual surroundings of an authentic monastery with the luxuries of modern life and is a lovely place to stay if you want to relax and unwind, away from the hectic pace of modern life.

All images courtesy of

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