CENTENARY OF THE EPISCOPAL PALACE OF ASTORGA
On the 25th of May of 2013, the Pope’s Nuncio in Spain, Renzo Fratini, will inaugurate the events organized on the occasion of the centenary of the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, work of Antonio Gaudí and one of only three monuments that the Catalan architect designed outside of Cataluña.
Although exact details of the events for which Renzo Fratini will be present are yet to be unveiled, according to sources from the Dioceses of Astorga, it is anticipated that he will hold a mass that same day in the Cathedral.
In relation to the number of days that the Nuncio will visit the Catalan capital, these same sources confirmed that only his presence on the 25th is known with certainty, and that the following day Renzo Fratini will go to Ponferrada to meet the Dioceses.
The attendance of the Nuncio, who will be the main protagonist and greatest influence during the Centenary of the Episcopal Palace, is thanks to the personal invitation extended to him by the city’s bishop, Camilo Lorenzo, following a visit to Madrid.
For this celebration, a commission has been set up consisting of the Bishopric of Astorga, the City Council, the University of León and the Chamber of Commerce, amongst others.
On the other hand, from the Dioceses of Astorga, it was clarified that the budget for this event is still not known, and therefore the programme of events involved in the centenary has not yet been made available.
THE GÜELL PARK IN DANGER
Mass tourism is damaging the Güell Park. Thousands of people enter here daily without any form of control.
The increased volume of visits is due to the Tourist Bus service, the principal means of transport by which tourists are transferred to this part of the city. Visitors continually disembark from the bus, and then move like a procession up the street that grants access to the park and they freely enter the grounds.
Then, the majority of them wander aimlessly about; some impatiently wait their turn to climb upon the lizard that greets them or take a photo in the main square’s viewing point. The most impudent even improvise football matches between the magnificent columns, using them as goalposts.
At the end of the tour, they buy the typical souvenir in one of the neighbourhood’s specialist shops with which to remember Gaudi’s work and then they return to the Tourist Bus stop.
What a sad sight for one of the largest architectural works in Southern Europe, declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1994.