Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Communications at congresses:
Biodeterioration Analysis of the Lions Fountain at the Alhambra Palace, Granada (Spain)
Research Areas
  • Microbiology
The study of the biodeterioration of the ornamental fountains, specially if they are kept in service and are considered as a part of the cultural heritage of a country, is one of the most interesting challenges that specialist can find. This work has been carried out along with many other technical specialists in the Lions Fountain, at the Alhambra Palace in Granada (Spain), as a initiative of the Patronato de la Alhambra y el Generalife with the advice of the Instituto de Patrimonio Histórico Español (Ministerio de Cultura) and the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico constituted as technical commission. This fountain consists of a 12-sided basin that rests upon the rumps of 12 lions arranged in a circle. It is estimated to have been built in white Macael marble (composition: 0.08 SiO2, 0.14 Fe2O3, 0.89 MgO, 0.01 Al3O3, 0.01 NaO2, 54.80 CaO, 43.55 CO2) between the 14th and 15th centuries, though a certain controversy surrounds its chronology. The water circulates through iron pipes and leaves the fountain through several metal spouts located in the lions¿ mouths. The study have been conducted in two phases, in the first one were analysed the biodeterioration of the lion number four (obtaining a great number of algae and bryophytes), the biofouling of the fountain basin and the water supply system. In the second phase analysis, the foot, basin and the eleven remaining lions were tested to obtain quantitative and qualitative dates about the microbiological colonization. The samples were analysed using direct count in plates (aerobic mesophilic microorganisms, mosses, algae, cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, Pseudomonas), and were identified the algal biofilms present in the lions and the basin of the fountain, mosses and vascular plants. In view of the results obtained and the deterioration experienced in recent decades, it is suggested that immediate steps be taken for its prevention and control, with a treatment of the lions, the basin and the foot of the fountain, placing special emphasis on the water contamination that supply the water of the fountain.
14th International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Symposium (IBBS-14)
S. Alessio Siculo, Messina, Italy
Start Date
End Date
From page
To page
IBBS-14 Abstracts Book
  • Participante: Irene Arroyo (Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español, Madrid)
  • Autor: Mª Isabel Sarró Moreno (UPM)
  • Participante: Carmen del Estal (Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español, Madrid)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Inv. en Bioingeniería y Materiales (BIO-MAT)
  • Departamento: Ingeniería y Ciencia de los Materiales
S2i 2020 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
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