3D documentation for the conservation of historical heritage: the Castle of Priego de Córdoba (Spain)

Diego Francisco García-Molina, Ramón González-Merino, Jesús Rodero-Pérez, Bartolomé Carrasco-Hurtado


One of the main objectives of heritage management policies is to promote measures aimed at the maintenance, restoration and enhancement of cultural and archaeological assets. To guarantee this, the responsible institutions must promote actions for the dissemination and transference of cultural heritage, as well as promoting actions with the greatest possible rigour, developing scientific and technical studies that support and improve intervention methods. Recent technological advances in fields such as photogrammetry, digital terrestrial scanning and 3D modelling have made a significant contribution to the digital preservation and dissemination of architectural heritage.

European administrations, in their desire of regional development, as well as the central or local governments have notably boosted the recovery of their rich and diverse heritage. A particular case is Priego de Cordoba’s Castle, a stronghold which was one of the most important monumental icons of the Andalusian period.

Currently, this site is the main target of many architectural interventions and a model due to the implementation of last generation techniques in digital preservation. The local archaeological department promotes a large number of interventions and archaeological excavations. This has made a priority to get a qualitative geometrical 3D documentation, and therefore a constantly updated the point cloud (xyzRGB).

This paper is focussed on presenting the results of the digital preservation process through 2D planimetry obtained from photogrammetric technics, 3D models, and geospatial data. These techniques are a previous step to large architectonical intervention planned in Priego de Cordoba’s Castle, in particular, the identified structures as Wall 1 and Tower 1.

Two out of the three studied structures can be found in Wall 1. They correspond to a cobblestone pavement located in the rampart of the Wall 1, which is a post-medieval period; a double-stepped semi-underground path, excavated in the infill of the wall. The third structure studied in this paper consists of a well, which drills vertically the infill of the wall of the Tower 1. This feature is interpreted in the last research as a vertical well to place the weights of the clock sited in this tower until the 19th century.

This work combines two techniques of geometric documentation to obtain a more complete point cloud. The terrestrial laser scanning, and the photogrammetry due to the higher colour performance, along with the completion of the point cloud obtained with the laser scanner. Along with this study, we will analyse the features which will better define the best technique to fit the documentation of the different structures. Their geometric characteristics, the incidence of sunlight or the accessibility will condition the use and choice of the technique.

We have stated that there is software nowadays which makes it easier to access and consult the information through new computing hardware. Besides, we have highlighted the importance of knowledge and synergy from the different stakeholders implied (city council, technological centre and private companies). The final goal consists of making the society aware of the capital importance of digital preservation as well as dissemination of science.


cultural heritage; architectural restoration; digital conservation; terrestrial laser scanner (TLS); photogrammetry

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Applied Sciences  vol: 11  issue: 8  first page: 3422  year: 2021  
doi: 10.3390/app11083422

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