Cloisters in the Tudela Cathedral

In January 2012 a team from Factum Arte traveled to Navarra to verify the deteriorating state of the fifty capitals of the cloister in the Cathedral of Tudela, one of the most important romanesque architectural complex in Europe. Due to its kind of stone and to the restorations done in the XX century, the capitals are falling apart at alarming speed.


In June of the same year, a team of four people went back to Tudela to scan two of the rapidly deteriorating capitals. Since then we have been processing and analysing the data. A comparative study with historical photographs and recent documentation reveals the gravity of the current position. Something has to be done – and it has to be done fast. The first thing is to document the decay before it gets any worse. Routing tests are now underway to show the resolution of the data that Factum Arte recorded using the Nub 3D White light scanner. The project is being supported by Factum Foundation.

The following animation shows the deterioration of the limestone cloister titled El capitel de la virgen. The colours show the different types of decay that is occurring.

Red: Cracks.
Yellow: Missing material that has fallen off.
Purple: Pitting. Degradation made up of blind holes, numerous and grouped together. These holes have a cylindric shape with a diameter of a few milimetres.
Light turquoise: Erosion. Fallen material due to the contraction/expansion of water throughout the different seasons of the year.
Grey: Gauze patches that prevent more material falling off.
Blue (dark/light): Pulverisation. Fallen material in the shape of dust.
Dark turquoise: Patina. Change in the colour of the stone due to superficial sediments.

This diagram shows the parts of El capitel de la virgen that have fallen off in white and cracks in red.


The recording of the capital is totally non contact. It has been scanned with NUB 3D Triple system to record the relief at a resolution of 240 microns.

The 3D scan of the Capitel del músico.

Detail of the 3D scan capital

Preparation of the plaster cast

Routing Process

One face of the capitol containing The Assumption of the Virgin being routed in 3 dimensions

Navarra TV video regarding the project of Factum Arte to preserve the romanesque cloister in Tudela

Final reproduction of El capitel de la virgen at Factum Arte warehouse