Asset of Cultural Interest (Spain)


October 28, 2021

A Property of Cultural Interest (also known by its acronym BIC) is a legal figure for the protection of Spanish historical heritage, both movable and immovable. The Spanish Historical Heritage Law defines that: "within the Spanish Historical Heritage, and in order to grant greater protection and guardianship, the category of Assets of Cultural Interest acquires a singular value, which extends to movable and immovable property. of those Assets that, in a more obvious way, require such protection. Such a category also implies unique measures that the Law establishes according to the nature of the assets on which it falls ". [1]


The legal declaration called Asset of Cultural Interest is a protection figure regulated by Law 16/1985, of June 25, of the Spanish Historical Heritage. [1] In accordance with the distribution of powers established by the Spanish Constitution, the declaration of Assets of cultural interest correspond to the State only when they are assets assigned to public services managed by the State Administration or that are part of the National Trust, or located in Ceuta or Melilla. In all other cases, the competence rests with the Autonomous Community. [2] Autonomous legislation on cultural heritage uses in some autonomous communities, they do not always use the term asset of cultural interest, or they reserve that term for the most relevant purposes, adding other terms for the rest of the assets. In the section of this article Autonomous regulations, the terminology used in the different Communities is explained.

Legal definition

As provided by the Law itself, a BIC is any property and movable object of artistic, historical, paleontological, archaeological, ethnographic, scientific or technical interest that has been declared as such by the competent administration. Documentary and bibliographic heritage, archaeological sites and areas, as well as natural sites, gardens and parks, that have artistic, historical or anthropological value, can also be declared as BIC.


The Law provides the following categories for the declaration of an Asset of Cultural Interest:

Real estate

They are considered real estate:

Historical monument

They are those real estate that constitute architectural or engineering achievements, or works of colossal sculpture, provided they have historical, artistic, scientific or social interest.

Historical garden

It is the delimited space, product of the management by man of natural elements, sometimes complemented with factory structures, and estimated of interest based on its origin or historical past, or its aesthetic, sensorial or botanical values.

Historical set

It is the grouping of properties that form a unit of settlement, continuous or dispersed, conditioned by a physical structure representative of the evolution of a human community as a testimony of its culture or constituting a value for use and enjoyment for the community. Likewise, a Historical Complex is any individualized nucleus of properties comprised in a higher population unit that meets the same characteristics and can be clearly delimited.

Historic site

A historical site is the place or natural setting, linked to events or memories of the past, popular traditions, cultural or nature creations, and works of man, which have historical, ethnological, paleontological or anthropological value.

Archaeological zone

It is the place or natural place where there are movable or immovable property that can be studied with archaeological methodology, whether or not they have been extracted and whether they are found on the surface, in the subsoil or under Spanish waters. Lug

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