Tag Archives: Stonework

Arco de Santa María – Burgos by neobit

El Arco de Santa María es uno de los monumentos más emblemáticos de la ciudad de Burgos, comunidad autónoma de Castilla y León, España. Una de las antiguas doce puertas de acceso a la ciudad en la Edad Media, comunica el puente de Santa María, sobre el río Arlanzón, con la plaza del Rey San Fernando, donde se yergue la catedral.
Construido inicialmente en el siglo XIV-XV, en el siglo siguiente, concretamente entre 1536 y 1553, fue remodelado totalmente por Juan de Vallejo y Francisco de Colonia, dando lugar a la entrada realizada con la típica piedra caliza blanca burgalesa,en esta ocasión proveniente de las canteras de Hontoria de la Cantera que puede contemplarse en la actualidad. Una puerta más simple debió de existir con anterioridad, ya que el Poema del Mio Cid la cita como el punto de entrada y salida de la ciudad empleado por el Cid cuando le reclamaban sus correrías guerreras. El Arco estuvo ocupado por el Consistorio burgalés hasta la construcción de la nueva Casa Consistorial (obra de Fernando González de Lara) en el siglo XVIII. Entre los años 1878 y 1955 fue sede del Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Burgos y en 1943 fue declarado Monumento Histórico-Artístico Nacional.
La puerta fue concebida a manera de gran arco triunfal, con organización de retablo labrado en piedra y con un remate almenado a modo de castillete, lo que hace del conjunto un monumento arquitectónico bastante singular. En las seis hornacinas principales, dispuestas en dos cuerpos y tres calles, se encuentran personajes importantes de la historia de la ciudad y de Castilla: los Jueces de Castilla (Nuño Rasura y Laín Calvo); los condes Diego Rodríguez Porcelos, fundador de la ciudad, y Fernán González, primer conde independiente de Castilla; el Cid; y el emperador Carlos I, a quien dedicó la ciudad el Arco para congraciarse con él tras las revueltas comuneras.
Sobre ellos, con bultos de menor tamaño, se sitúan dos maceros municipales en los extremos de una balconada abalaustrada y el ángel custodio de Burgos sosteniendo una reproducción de la ciudad. Por encima se encuentran cuatro gárgolas que sirven de desagües. Presidiendo todo se encuentra la Virgen Santa María, patrona de Burgos como defensora de la ciudad.
El autor de las estatuas es el escultor Ochoa de Arteaga. El paramento está tachonado de aspilleras, lo flanquean dos torres cilíndricas y lo rematan cuatro escaraguaitas o garitas decorativas.
El arco está cubierto con una bóveda de crucería, accediéndose a esta bóveda por un arco de medio punto, en cuyo intradós hay restos de pinturas alegóricas del siglo XVII, en la fachada principal, y por otro trespuntado en la fachada posterior. La fachada posterior, sencilla, data del siglo XIV; en ella hay una galería de piedra bajo el tejado, sostenida por ménsulas de madera.

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Setenil de las Bodegas – Calle Cuevas del Sol by neobit

Setenil de las Bodegas is a town in the province of Cádiz, Spain, famous for its dwellings built into rock overhangs above the Rio Trejo. According to the 2005 census, the city has a population of 3,016 inhabitants.
This small town (pueblo) is located 157 kilometres (98 mi) northeast of Cadiz. It has a distinctive setting along a narrow river gorge. The town extends along the course of the Rio Trejo with some houses being built into the rock walls of the gorge itself, created by enlarging natural caves or overhangs and adding an external wall.
Modern Setenil evolved from a fortified Moorish town that occupied a bluff overlooking a sharp bend in the Rio Trejo northwest of Ronda. The castle dates from at least the Almohad period in the 12th century. However, the site was certainly occupied during the Roman invasion of the region in the 1st century AD. Setenil was once believed to be the successor of the Roman town of Laccipo, but it was subsequently proved that Laccipo became the town of Casares in Malaga.
Given the evidence of other nearby cave-dwelling societies, such as those at the Cueva de la Pileta west of Ronda, where habitation has been tracked back more than 25,000 years, it is possible that Setenil was occupied much much earlier. Most evidence of this would have been erased by continuous habitation.
Tradition holds that the town’s Castilian name came from the Roman Latin phrase septem nihil (‘seven times nothing’). This is said to refer to the Moorish town’s resistance to Christian assault, allegedly being captured only after seven sieges. This took place in the final years of the Christian Reconquest. Besieged unsuccessfully in 1407, Setenil finally fell in 1484 when Christian forces expelled the Moorish occupants. Using gunpowder artillery, the Christians took fifteen days to capture the castle whose ruins dominate the town today.
Due to the strategic importance of Setenil, the victory was celebrated widely in Castile and was the source of several legends in local folklore. Isabella I of Castile is said to have aborted during the siege with the ermita of San Sebastian being built as a tribute to the dead child, who was named Sebastian. However, there appears to be no historical basis to this story.
The full name of Setenil de las Bodegas dates from the 15th century, when new Christian settlers, in addition to maintaining the Arab olive and almond groves, introduced vineyards. The first two crops still flourish in the district but the once flourishing wineries—bodegas— were wiped out by the phylloxera insect infestation of the 1860s, which effectively destroyed most European vine stocks.
Over the intervening centuries, Setenil also gained a reputation for its meat products, particularly chorizo sausage and cerdo (pork) from pigs bred in the surrounding hills. As well as meat, it has a reputation for producing fine pasteles (pastries), and its bars and restaurants are among the best in the region. Its outlying farms also provide Ronda and other local towns with much of their fruit and vegetables.

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Setenil de las Bodegas by neobit

Setenil de las Bodegas is a town in the province of Cádiz, Spain, famous for its dwellings built into rock overhangs above the Rio Trejo. According to the 2005 census, the city has a population of 3,016 inhabitants.
This small town (pueblo) is located 157 kilometres (98 mi) northeast of Cadiz. It has a distinctive setting along a narrow river gorge. The town extends along the course of the Rio Trejo with some houses being built into the rock walls of the gorge itself, created by enlarging natural caves or overhangs and adding an external wall.
Modern Setenil evolved from a fortified Moorish town that occupied a bluff overlooking a sharp bend in the Rio Trejo northwest of Ronda. The castle dates from at least the Almohad period in the 12th century. However, the site was certainly occupied during the Roman invasion of the region in the 1st century AD. Setenil was once believed to be the successor of the Roman town of Laccipo, but it was subsequently proved that Laccipo became the town of Casares in Malaga.
Given the evidence of other nearby cave-dwelling societies, such as those at the Cueva de la Pileta west of Ronda, where habitation has been tracked back more than 25,000 years, it is possible that Setenil was occupied much much earlier. Most evidence of this would have been erased by continuous habitation.
Tradition holds that the town’s Castilian name came from the Roman Latin phrase septem nihil (‘seven times nothing’). This is said to refer to the Moorish town’s resistance to Christian assault, allegedly being captured only after seven sieges. This took place in the final years of the Christian Reconquest. Besieged unsuccessfully in 1407, Setenil finally fell in 1484 when Christian forces expelled the Moorish occupants. Using gunpowder artillery, the Christians took fifteen days to capture the castle whose ruins dominate the town today.
Due to the strategic importance of Setenil, the victory was celebrated widely in Castile and was the source of several legends in local folklore. Isabella I of Castile is said to have aborted during the siege with the ermita of San Sebastian being built as a tribute to the dead child, who was named Sebastian. However, there appears to be no historical basis to this story.
The full name of Setenil de las Bodegas dates from the 15th century, when new Christian settlers, in addition to maintaining the Arab olive and almond groves, introduced vineyards. The first two crops still flourish in the district but the once flourishing wineries—bodegas— were wiped out by the phylloxera insect infestation of the 1860s, which effectively destroyed most European vine stocks.
Over the intervening centuries, Setenil also gained a reputation for its meat products, particularly chorizo sausage and cerdo (pork) from pigs bred in the surrounding hills. As well as meat, it has a reputation for producing fine pasteles (pastries), and its bars and restaurants are among the best in the region. Its outlying farms also provide Ronda and other local towns with much of their fruit and vegetables.

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Ronda by neobit

Ronda is a city in the Spanish province of Málaga. It is located about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the city of Málaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia. Its population is approximately 35,000 inhabitants.Around the city are remains of prehistoric settlements dating to the Neolithic Age, including the rock paintings of Cueva de la Pileta. Ronda was however first settled by the early Celts, who, in the 6th century BC, called it Arunda. Later Phoenician settlers established themselves nearby to found Acinipo, known locally as Ronda la Vieja, Arunda or Old Ronda. The current Ronda is however of Roman origins, having been founded as a fortified post in the Second Punic War, by Scipio Africanus. Ronda received the title of city at the time of Julius Caesar.
In the 5th century AD Ronda was conquered by the Suebi, led by Rechila, being reconquered in the following century by the Eastern Roman Empire, under whose rule Acinipo was abandoned. Later the Visigoth king Leovigild captured the city. Ronda was part of the Visigoth realm until 713, when it fell to the Arabs, who named it Hisn Ar-Rundah (“Castle of Rundah”) and made it the capital of the Takurunna province.
It was the hometown of the polymath Abbas Ibn Firnas (810–887), an inventor, engineer, alleged aviator, physician, Muslim poet, and Andalusian musician.
After the disintegration of the caliphate of Córdoba, Ronda became the capital of a small kingdom ruled by the Berber Banu Ifran, the taifa of Ronda. During this period Ronda received most of its Islamic architectural heritage. In 1065 Ronda was conquered by the taifa of Seville led by Abbad II al-Mu’tadid. Both the poet Salih ben Sharif al-Rundi (1204–1285) and the Sufi scholar Ibn Abbad al-Rundi (1333–1390) were born in Ronda.
The Islamic domination of Ronda ended in 1485, when it was conquered by the Marquis of Cádiz after a brief siege. Subsequently, most of the city’s old edifices were renewed or adapted to Christian roles, while numerous others were built in newly created quarters such as Mercadillo and San Francisco. The Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda was founded in the town in 1572, with military finalities.
The Spanish Inquisitions affected the Muslims living in Spain greatly. Shortly after 1492, when the last outpost of Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula, Granada, was conquered, the Spanish decreed that all Muslims and Jews must either vacate the peninsula without their belongings or convert to Christianity. Many people overtly converted to keep their possessions, while secretly practising their religion. Muslims who converted only overtly were called Moriscos. Moriscos were required to wear upon their caps and turbans a blue crescent. Traveling without a permit meant a death sentence. This systematic suppression forced the Muslims to seek refuge in mountainous regions of southern Andalusia; Ronda was one such refuge.
On May 25, 1566 Philip II decreed the use of the Arabic language (written or spoken) illegal, doors to homes to remain open on Fridays to verify that no Muslim Friday prayers were conducted, and heavy taxation on Moriscos trades. This led to several rebellions, one of them in Ronda under the leadership of Al-Fihrey. Al-Fihrey’s defeated the Spanish army sent to suppress them under the leadership of Alfonso de Aguilar. The massacre of the Spaniards prompted Phillip II to order the expulsion of all Moriscos in Ronda.
In the early 19th century, the Napoleonic invasion and the subsequent Peninsular War caused much suffering in Ronda, whose inhabitants were reduced from 15,600 to 5,000 in three years. Ronda’s area became the base first of guerrilla warriors, then of numerous bandits, whose deeds inspired artists such as Washington Irving, Prosper Mérimée and Gustave Doré. In the 19th century the economy of Ronda was mainly based on agricultural activities. In 1918 the city was the seat of the Assembly of Ronda, in which the Andalusian flag, coat of arms and anthem were designed.
Ronda’s Romero family—from Francisco, born in 1698, to his son Juan, to his famous grandson Pedro, who died in 1839—played a principal role in the development of modern Spanish bullfighting. In a family responsible for such innovations as the use of the cape, or muleta, and a sword especially designed for the kill, Pedro in particular transformed bullfighting into “an art and a skill in its own right, and not simply … a clownishly macho preamble to the bull’s slaughter.”
Ronda was heavily affected by the Spanish Civil War, after which much of the population emigrated elsewhere. The famous scene in Chapter 10 of Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, describing the 1936 execution of Fascist sympathisers in a (fictional) village who are thrown off a cliff, is considered to be modeled on actual events at the time in Ronda.

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Puente Nuevo – Ronda by neobit

The Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) is the newest and largest of three bridges that span the 120-metre (390 ft)-deep chasm that carries the Guadalevín River and divides the city of Ronda, in southern Spain. The architect was José Martin de Aldehuela, who died in Málaga in 1802. The chief builder was Juan Antonio Díaz Machuca.
The bridge was started in 1751 and took 42 years to build. Fifty workers were killed during its construction. There is a chamber above the central arch that was used for a variety of purposes, including as a prison. During the 1936-1939 civil war both sides allegedly used the prison as a torture chamber for captured opponents, killing some by throwing them from the windows to the rocks at the bottom of the El Tajo gorge. The chamber is entered through a square building that was once the guard-house. It now contains an exhibition describing the bridge’s history and construction.
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El puente Nuevo es el monumento más emblemático de la ciudad malagueña de Ronda y fue construido entre 1759 y 1793. Une las zonas histórica y moderna de la ciudad salvando el Tajo de Ronda, una garganta de más de 100 metros de profundidad excavada por el río Guadalevín.
De sillería de piedra, el puente presenta un arco central de medio punto apoyado en otro más pequeño por el que transcurre el río. En la parte superior, se encuentran las dependencias del puente que, en otros tiempos, fueron utilizadas como prisión, a cuyos lados se abren otros dos arcos, también de medio punto, que sostienen la estructura que soporta la calle.
Su construcción comenzó en 1759 para sustituir al anterior puente que se había derrumbado en 1740. En su realización intervinieron diversos maestros, aunque el más destacado fue José Martín de Aldehuela, que finalizó la obra.

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