Thursday, February 9, 2017

More Week: More Notable Walls


The Walls of Diyarbakir, Turkey:

The ancient city walls of Diyarbakir in Turkey date back to Roman days. Today, the walls are largely intact, form a ring around the old city that is over 5km (3miles) in circumference, are over 10 metres (about 33 feet) high and are 3-5 meters (about 10-16 feet) thick. The walls were first built in 297AD by Romans under the order of Constantius II. Over the next 1500 years the walls were expanded and fortified using volcanic rock from the surrounding region. This black basalt lent the name “Black Fortress,” which is what many military leaders called the city. The black exterior of the walls is only surface deep and the walls hide a complex network of tunnels, barracks and storage rooms.

There are four main gates and 82 watch towers on the walls. Although mainly built by the Romans, the walls were reconstructed by the Ottomans when they took over the city in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Having destroyed the walls with the use of cannons, a new type of weaponry at the time, they therefore had to rebuild them afterwards.

The walls have been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List.



The Sacsayhuamán Walls, Peru:

Most people are familiar with the wonders of the Peruvian mountain citadel of Machu Picchu. Equally amazing is the walled complex known as Sacsayhuamán near the old Peruvian city of Cusco. Believed to be a form of fortification, the walls are also believed to be the teeth of a figurative jaguar when seen from above. As at Machu Picchu, the stones have many angles and sides, are massive, yet interlock so precisely that not even a sheet of government toilet paper could be placed between them. One of those stones is nearly 10 metres (29 feet high) and weighs more than 360 tons, which has been compared to the equivalent of 500 passenger cars. That stone is not even at the base of the wall and has been transported from a quarry 16 kilometres (10 Miles) away. As with all Inca stonework, there is still mystery surrounding how they were constructed.



Hadrian’s Wall:

Anyone who has seen the Clive Owen film King Arthur (good movie, worth watching) will be familiar with Hadrian’s Wall. Serving much the same function as the wall in Game of Thrones, it marked the northern limit of the Roman Empire in Brittania. North of the wall were the Picts, the Woads and the White Walkers. The wall was begun in 122 AD in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Its location was as follows:

The wall had turrets, forts, ditches and garrisons of infantry and cavalry. 

Although much of the stone used to build the wall has been taken over the centuries to use in anothewr works, a large portion of the wall remains today and is able to be followed on foot. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987


Hadrian's Wall near Birdoswald Fort, with a man spraying weed-killer to reduce biological weathering to the stones.

Tommaso’s Wall:

Constructed by the great wall builder Tommaso of Colos, imo one of the best wall builders to have ever lived, this wall of ex-railway sleepers is not only a functional retaining wall but also a thing of beauty.


It is also in my back garden.

Grazie per il muro, Tommaso.

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