Award ceremony for the historical landscape of El Sénia’s Ancient Olive Trees, Spain

The exemplary conservation of the Historical Landscape of El Sénia’s Ancient Olive Trees, winner of an EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award 2014, was celebrated on the morning of 27 November in La Jana and Ulldecona, Spain. The ceremony, which was jointly organised by the Taula del Senia Commonwealth and Europa Nostra, gathered dozens of heritage and cultural professionals, volunteers and supporters, and representatives from local, regional and national authorities.

The programme featured an official ceremony at the City Hall of Ulldecona and guided tours to the Olive Tree Museums in La Jana and Ulldecona. These two museums, which house the highest concentration of millenary olive trees worldwide, perfectly showcase the way in which the preservation work has enhanced the value of these authentic living monuments.

Group photograph taken during the visit to the Olive Tree Museum of Mas Pou in La Jana. Photo: Courtesy of Taula del Senia Commonwealth

Group photograph taken during the visit to the Olive Tree Museum of Mas Pou in La Jana. Photo: Courtesy of Taula del Senia Commonwealth


“This Award recognises the importance of these olive trees as well as the joint effort to preserve and enhance this unique cultural landscape made by the owners and individuals from other economic sectors, together with local, regional and national authorities. This becomes all the more relevant if we bear in mind that this conservation project has been carried out over a multiregional territory, comprising three state governments, namely Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia,” stated Álvaro Santa Cruz, Vice-president of Europa Nostra, who represented the organisation at the event.

The President of Europa Nostra, Maestro Plácido Domingo, in a special message published in the newest book on the ancient olive trees of the Senia territory, which was distributed during the ceremony, congratulated the entire team on their well-deserved award. “As a Spaniard, I feel particularly proud that such a creative project related to the safeguard of a unique cultural landscape has been awarded one of our prestigious European Heritage Awards. May your example and your dedication inspire other similar projects throughout Spain and the entire Europe.”

During the visit to the Olive Tree Museum of Mas Pou in La Jana, the local Mayor, Joaquín Lladser, the President of the Alboredes Cooperative and owner of the olive trees, Guillermo Vea, the Senia Taula Commonwealth Manager, Maria Teresa Adell, the President of Hispania Nostra, Araceli Pereda, and the Valencian Province’s Regional Secretary of Culture, Julia Climent, also addressed the audience. A group photograph was taken in front of the Olivo de las Parejas which received the AEMO Award (Spanish Association of Municipalities of Olivo) for Best Monumental Olive Tree in Spain in 2014.

The Mayor of Ulldecona, Núria Balagué, the President of the Senia Taula Association, Joan Martin, the owner of the olive trees of the Arion Museum, Lluís Porta, the delegate from the Catalonian Government in the Ebro Region, Xavier Pallarès, and the representatives from Europa Nostra and Hispania Nostra spoke at the oficial ceremony held at the City Hall of Ulldecona. The presidents of cooperatives that are currently producing certified millenary olive oil in the Senia territory also attended the event.

The participants then visited the Olive Tree Museum of Arion in Ulldecona, where the commemorative plaque was unveiled. A group photograph was made in front of the largest monumental olive tree in Catalonia: the Farga of Arion, which was declared “Monumental Olive Tree” in 1997 by the Generalitat of Catalonia.

The event was organised by the Taula del Senia Commonwealth together with Europa Nostra and in collaboration with Hispania Nostra, Europa Nostra’s country representation in Spain.

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