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Restoration


bullet Chronology of the idea to restore the Mint

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LATEST PHOTOS - new -
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Restoration of the Segovia Mint
(Project start up Februrary 14, 2007)



Progress as of December 2007.


Progress as of December 2009.

 
Aspect of the Mint complex before start up of the restoration.
 

BUILDING Building surface area  m2 Usable surface  m2
A+B 1.838 1.178
C 2.089 1.254
D 688 418
E 565 461
TOTAL 5.180 3.311

 

Aspects of the Segovia Mint complex before the start of the restoration project.

On April 16, 1998, the municipal, regional and national governments signed a three-way agreement for the restoration of the Segovia Mint, which at that time had an appearance similar to that in the aerial photo seen above.  Shortly thereafter, the Office of Housing, Architecture and Urbanization of the Ministry of Development, held a contest for ideas which attracted proposals from 27 different teams of architects.  The contract for the development of this study, the "Basic Project", was awarded to Gerencia y Proyectos, S.L., a group of architects coordinated by Eduardo de la Torre Alejano, in Madrid, on June 2, 1999.  This base study was finished and turned in during November of 1999.

On June 19, 2002 the contract for the development of the "Definitive Project" was awarded to the same team of architects, which turned in the corresponding study during February of 2004.  This project -the final architectural plans which are being carried out today in the Mint reconstruction project- was based on the "Pilot Museum Project" which was developed by Dr. Glenn Murray who was awarded the contract for this purpose by Segovia City Hall.  Murray substantiated the usages for each of the buildings on those promoted by the Friends of the Mint Association since 1993.  The pilot project for the future museum received the unanimous approval of the Scientific Committee of the Royal Segovia Mint Foundation, whose technical director is Murray.
 
  The restoration project, which encompases only the structural reconstruction and refurbishing of the buildings and grounds, was contracted to the UTE (temporary union) company of Volconsa-Velasco, which had a period of 25 months to complete the project.  Construction work began on February 14, 2007, date now known as "Mint Day" in Segovia.  The finished project was scheduled to be completed on March 14, 2009, but various problems have arisen which are delaying the completion: mainly the unexpectedly poor condition of the foundations of the Cultural building ("C") on the upper patio level, and the still as yet to be carried out project to dredge the Eresma river at the point where it passes the mint and immediately downriver, a problem which has caused serious flooding of the construction project.

 
View of the Segovia Mint restoration project from satellite in the summer of 2007, courtesy of Google Maps.

VIEWS OF THE MINT COMPLEX UNDER RECONSTRUCTION 

 


BUILDING  A   (Coining workshops and workers living quarters)
Museum workshops and exposition displays

The primary structure at the Mint, called the "herreriano" building (after the architect who designed it in 1583, Juan de Herrera), is where the coining and smithy departments were historically located on the lower level, and the living quarters for the workers on the upper floor.  The first part of the restoration of this building was the elimination of a modern structure which was added in 1955 when the Mint was being used as a flour mill.


 

The extreme northeast corner of the "herreriano" building was in a very poor state of conservation prior to the start of the project and thus it had to be completely disassembled piece by piece.  This aspect was very complicated however the results were excellent, as can be seen in the above photos.  In this part of the building, where there was historically an old forge and smithy station, the future museum will will have located the gift shop and a beautiful spiral staircase which will connect the ground floor with the upper level and the attic.

 


 

The interior of the "herreriano" building was filled with nearly 2 meters of earth and stones to avoid flooding during the years the building was used as a flour mill (1878-1968).  Upon removing this fill, the holes in the wall where the axles of the waterwheels entered the building were discovered.  These holes are numbered in the photos above: 1 - 3 where for the axles which drove the waterwheels of the mint's smithy, and 4 - 8 for those which drove the laminating mills.  We can also see in the above photos the finished aspect which the museum interiors will have: the ground floor for the functioning workshop areas, and upper level for the museum displays.


BUILDING  B   (Guard house)
Museum entrance and ticket desk

The old guard house of the Mint, of poor construction quality and in bad condition, had an upper floor added in 1915 which blocked the view of the Alcazar castle from much of the upper patio level.  This addition, built when the Mint was being used as a flour mill, was removed and the original one story construction was was restored.  This is where the museum entrance, ticket desk and coat check rooms will be located, with restrooms in a basement level.  The passage way from the entrance hall to the museum exposition rooms on the upper level of the "herreriano" building we be via the zone directly above the two jail cells on the ground floor level at the end of the lower patio.  The seriously leaning walls in the area around the jail cells  have been corrected.


BUILDING  C   (Treasury, foundry and other offices)
Cultural building

Bordering Coin Street is the upper patio level building which historically housed the treasury, foundry, and other offices such as the assay and weighing rooms, the Mint's archive, etc.  In the future, this building will house rooms with different cultural activities such as the Museum's library, multi-purpose study hall and center for investigations, rooms for temporary expositions, etc.  The foundations of this building were in very poor condition and the unforseen work which had to be done -including excavations beneath the street for consolidating the base- has made this the area where the greatest delays have been in the restoration project.  In these photos, the foundry, with its twin chimneys temporarily removed, remains beneath a white and blue plastic sheet.


BUILDING  D   (Romanic palace, carpentry shop)
Residence hall and museum offices

The oldest building of the entire complex is the old palace of the confraternity of the Santiago Church, which dates from romanic times (13th century).  It was purchaced by order of Philip IV in 1628 and incorporated into the Mint to be used as the carpentry workshop by the wheelmaster whose job was to keep the wooden waterwheels functioning properly.  This structure has been restored as a small residence with 6 bed rooms, each with private bath, to be used for museum activities, such as lodging for invited guests.  Adjacent to the palace was the 19th century treasurer's living quarters, which has been reconstructed as the museum's offices.


BUILDING  E   (Workshops for striking gold and silver coins)
Restaurant

Directly adjacent to Coin Bridge, which crosses the Eresma river, we find the old paper mill which belonged to Antonio de San Millan.  This building dates from the mid 15th century and was part of the original structures which Philip II bought in 1583 as the location to build his new mint.  Paper continued to be produced by waterwheels in this building up until the reconversion of the building in 1592 when it was equipped with machinery to produce gold and silver coins, and from then on it was called the Ingenio Chico, or small mill.  During the period which the Mint building was used as a flour mill (1878-1968) the lower level of this building was filled with nearly two meters of earth and stone in order to avert flooding.  This fill has been removed in the reconstruction project and the building has been adapted to serve as the museum's restaurant, with two beautiful terraces, one on the inside of the complex with views of the waterwheels, and the other on the outside with views of the nearby Eresma River.  It's worth noting that the Mint always had a Tavern which is where the employees ate their meals, and in the future visitors to the museum as well as the general public, will be able to do the same here.


ZONE  F   (The Mint's romantic garden)
Romantic garden

The Mint always had a romantic garden as part of the facilities used by the kings during their visits to the factory.  One of the main features of the garden is a fishing pavillion with a balcony which overlooks the river; one of King Philip II's favorite places from which to fish for trout.  The pavillion also has a shaded canopy with a small fountain at its entrance from the other side.  This privileged green area of 1,564 m2 has been restored as the Mint museum's garden, respecting its past.