Photo of the Day: Lines on the Earth Canvas

Total Croatia News

The Croatian coastline is littered with dry stone walls, structures built without mortar to hold the stones in place. The technique is centuries old – and so are most of the walls. Dividing parcels of land on the Stari Grad Plain, one of Croatia’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were built as early as the 4th century BC.

Many of the walls in Dalmatia, where the land is filled with rocks and rubble, were built out of agricultural necessity. Farmers painstakingly picked rocks out of the soil to clear space to grow olive trees and grapevines. They then used the rocks to construct walls around geometric plots, creating, in some cases, a grid that stretched for kilometres.

The appearance of dry walls often depends on skill level. It isn’t an easy task to fit stones together so effectively that the walls stand for centuries without falling. It’s like a rustic game of Tetris that requires a lot more muscle.

Form also follows function. On Pag, dry walls weren’t created for agricultural purposes so much as to divide territory and corral sheep. And because the bura – a cold north wind – blows relentlessly over Pag during the winter, the stones aren’t simply stacked, but instead follow a layered construction that effectively blocks the wind and gives the sheep a place to huddle and keep warm.

The dry stone technique was also used to build shelters that resemble small stone houses. The most elaborate of these are the cylindrical structures topped with skilfully constructed conical roofs specific to Istria, called kazun.

For the original text from LikeCroatia, click here.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment