The Astronaut of Salamanca Cathedral :
I am on the planet Hatzes, it is a small planet with two oceans, one blue and the other green, which orbits at about 0.5 AU from the star Epsilon Eridani. The civilization I found here radically associates the very old with the latest technology. The most recent inventions of the Hatzianos are integrated into the meticulously historical-artistic landscape of their cities in a discreet way, without losing their character. Its cities are simultaneously secular and technological.
The terrestrial example that immediately comes to mind is the astronaut cathedral of Salamanca. During the restoration of the Porta de Ramos in the New Cathedral of Salamanca, carried out in 1992, contemporary and modern motifs were integrated, including a sculpted figure of an astronaut. The inclusion of this motif is due to the tradition of ancient restorers and cathedral builders, which consisted of using a contemporary motif, concealed among older motifs, in order to sign their works. The person responsible for the restoration, Jerónimo Garcia, chose an astronaut as a symbol of the 20th century.
The silhouette of the city of Salamanca itself was completely restored a few years later, in 2002, the year it was the European Capital of Culture. The modern buildings built in the center of the city were all covered with thin slabs whose coloring is similar to the original stone used in the construction of the Cathedral and other historic buildings. Salamanca has once again become the Golden City – a long-lost secular qualification for Salamanca, which was due to the golden color the city acquired when the stones of its buildings were bathed in sunlight.
Unfortunately, in Portugal, a lot of what is old, what is heritage, is still spoiled, and at the same time, what is modern is despised. It would be unthinkable for the overwhelming majority of our heritage managers to include modern elements when rebuilding or restoring the numerous degraded buildings in our country. There is a general alienation from science and technology and great difficulty in dealing with subjects such as mathematics, chemistry or physics. We risk leaving an ephemeral and uninteresting cultural legacy for future generations and for those who visit us, the opposite of this Hatzes that I contemplate.