Solsona restores 17th century inscriptions in historic building attic

Perfectly preserved engravings feature dates, names and other symbols

17th century engravings on the attic walls of Cal Metge Solé in Solsona (courtesy of the Solsona Town Council)
17th century engravings on the attic walls of Cal Metge Solé in Solsona (courtesy of the Solsona Town Council) / Angus Clelland

Angus Clelland | Barcelona

February 17, 2022 04:35 PM

The Solsona town council have recently restored 18 square meters of graffiti and inscriptions found in the attic of a building of historic significance in the town’s old center.

According to the municipal government, although they would need an expert’s opinion to interpret the exact meaning, some of the engravings relate to harvest traditions.

The inscriptions, found in a building in central Catalonia, consist of parallel lines, many of which are accompanied by a cross signifying the number ten.

There is also much Gothic lettering, representing names, crosses, arrows and other drawings.

What is easier to interpret, however, are the many dates etched into the wall, ranging from 1635 to 1690.

The incisions have been made into plaster and are between one millimeter and one centimeter thick, however other words written with charcoal and chalk can be found.

The project’s restaurateur, Violant Bonet, says “this graffiti had never been restored, it has only been reinforced with chalk in some of the broken areas”. As a result, this collection is “an exceptional testimony conserved ‘in situ’ since the 17th century without having been previously interfered with”. She also highlights the “concentration of inscriptions and the scale, which are noteworthy”, as well as “the great mastery of some inscriptions and numbers''.

The process of cleaning the wall was a laborious one, due to the process itself, carried out manually, and the difficulty of preserving every single incision.

The main purpose of this plan was to nail down the support that the graffiti and incisions would receive, so as to avoid the loss of such sites that could render the local cultural heritage extinct.

The budget for the project was €14,520, and took place in Cal Metge Solé, a building dating back to the 15th century.