ACTIONS FOR THE ENHANCEMENT OF HERITAGE. THE CASE OF THE TOWN WALLS OF MORELLA (CASTELLÓN, SPAIN)
Keywords: City Walls, Conservation, Defence Heritage, Medieval Architecture, Morella (Spain), Public Visit
Abstract. Morella is an archetypical medieval town that is home to many heritage buildings, protected by fortified walls and crowned by an imposing castle. Located in a mountainous area, this town is one of only four examples in the Valencian Region (Spain) that retain the entire defence perimeter. This defence heritage has been decisive not only in shaping the urban layout of the town, but also in the local lifestyle and traditions of the place: living inside the walls means being protected from the weather, but also inhabiting a limited environment and having social and cultural connotations. The process of enhancing the value of heritage buildings involves studying, analysing and understanding the elements they are made up of with the aim of proposing new uses based on their significance, their characteristics, the environment and social needs. To address this objective, the present work has carried out an architectural analysis of each of the towers and gates of the town walls, which has made it possible to study their characteristics and detect the potential for the interpretation of the heritage buildings in each section. The result is the ‘Walls Walking Tour’, a proposal for a public visit that divides the walled perimeter of Morella into five thematic areas that each offers different types of routes, activities and relationships with the environment. In short, this initiative contributes to the enhancement and cultural diffusion of Morella's defence heritage, and brings buildings and their history closer both to the local population and to visitors.