Monday, April 2, 2012

Wedding cake shape?

Someone reading the blog yesterday wrote to ask about the Menorcan sheep huts we visited on Saturday.  

"I've always wondered why they had the terraces on the outside that give it a wedding cake kind of look. Then looking at your photo it occurred to me that this may simply be a pragmatic way of building without the need for scaffolding. You build your wall with a platform at the top, then from that platform you build your next section and so forth."

The fact is no one really knows.

That explanation is probably as good a reason as any for the wedding cake shape, as well as the fact that to build an inner vault of that large a dimension, there would need to be a lot of extra stone used if it didn't step in as you built it, and just having sloping sides around the structure would not offer as much weight as a counter-balance for the corbelled stones used in constructing such a vault.

Another question is Why are these barracas so tall?


  1. Maybe they were built so tall as they were housing people
    (not sheep) during Franco's political power in the early thirties when poverty and black market prices forced entire towns of the poorist to move to the industrial outskirts and built barracas (shanties/huts) from whatever means they could find. Entire villages had moved at this time which may explain why there are so many, even though they were forced to live without any running water. Human nature does have an inert survival instinct.


  2. Your thoughts on this perhaps John? You had mentioned your curiousity twice....