Las murallas en las comunidades de villa y tierra de la Diócesis de Segovia en los siglos XI a XIIItécnica y sistemas constructivos de la arquitectura defensiva medieval

  1. Sainz Esteban, Alicia
Supervised by:
  1. Félix Jové Sandoval Director
  2. Pascual Martínez Sopena Co-director

Defence university: Universidad de Valladolid

Fecha de defensa: 08 June 2017

  1. Humberto Varum Chair
  2. Alfonso Basterra Otero Secretary
  3. Pablo Rodríguez Navarro Committee member
  1. Architectural Constructions, Land Engineering and Mechanics of Continuous Media and Theory of Structures

Type: Thesis


Abstract The phenomenon of the “Comunidades de Villa y Tierra” took place from the XIth to the XIIIth centuries, in the territory of Extremadura, in the south of the Leon and Castile kingdoms, which extends from the river Douro to the river Tagus. Its principal objective was to colonize this border area between Christians and Muslims to guarantee a territorial and political control thereof. This means of repopulation was organized in regions that had one principal town and an assigned territory where small villages existed. In this context, a new, little seen social organization arose in the medieval world; one in which the people had greater liberty and could participate in the city government through assemblies. One of the characteristics of these towns that were the seats of local power was that they had a protective wall surrounding the town. In many cases, this wall occupied extensive areas of land. This study relates the constructive techniques of the walls of six towns in the area that was under the control of the Diocese of Segovia, which includes Coca, Cuéllar, Fuentidueña, Maderuelo, Pedraza y Sepúlveda. Many of these towns have remains of defensive architecture, and a comparison between constructive techniques is possible. The analyses of the remains depend on their condition, in some cases they are abandoned, in other cases a restoration or a reconstruction has been carried out. The objective of this work is to analyze the construction system that was used in these walls, and to compare with each other. The study of remains, has revealed that the formwork technique of stone cemented with lime is present in all the cases studied. It consists of large rectangular blocks, locked together as if they were bricks, of about 260cm-290cm long and 105cm-130cm high, and a depth corresponding to the thickness of the wall, of about 200cm. These great blocks are made with a mould, a wooden formwork, constructed with several rows of shuttering boards separated by the desired thickness of the wall. One of the short sides of the formwork is closed off by the previously constructed block, and the opposite side is closed off using boards or a stone wall. When the formwork is being constructed at height and it is not possible to support it from the ground, it is supported by timbers placed transversally across the thickness of the wall, in the base of the formwork. They project from the formwork to support the vertical timbers which in turn support the shuttering boards. The vertical timbers could be tied at the top with rope. This mould is then filled with a mixture of stones, earth and lime which is inserted as if it were concrete. When it is set, the mould is removed and the next block is then constructed. The marks left by the formwork are visible in the walls studied. The horizontal limit marks of the blocks are generally more visible than the vertical ones. A great irregularity can be observed in many cases in the execution of the wall. A direct conclusion of these research is the use of formwork technique in all the cases. Other conclusions have been found comparing the parameters of this technique identified in each wall, such as kind of stone, dimensions of blocks or putlog hole type.