Military Architecture in Minorca

Fortifications San Felipe, Minorca

Defences for the Island of Minorca already appear in its earliest history.

It ought not to seem strange because Minorca is at the extreme north east of the Balearics pointing towards the Mediterranean coasts, the shores of Eastern Europe and Sardinia. When navigation in the Mediterranean was able to risk leaving the coasts and to cross the sea, ships could take advantage of a route along the Balearics. Without doubt, following the Balearic shore lines would shorten the maritime passages used by the people of the western Mediterranean for commerce with the Phoenicians, North Africans and Greeks etc.

Our islands were inhabited by people who used stones to construct their houses and megalithic monuments. They left, on our island, the first examples of military architecture which are still preserved. The "talaiots", forms of robust towers of large stones, were the centres of defence for those people who lived in Minorca three thousand years before Christ. The talaiot at the time seems to have been the house of the chief of the tribe, and below and around lived his subordinates. For defence, the tribes would hurl stones at their attackers from the heights of the towers. These people who used the slings were well known by the Punic and Roman armies.

Sometime later than the talaiots gigantic town walls appeared on the island such as at "Son Carlá", which are the best preserved. The primitive talaiotic tribes at their most advanced stage of social development, grouped together to form a large population. This was undoubtedly for many reasons but it enabled them to employ large numbers of workers to transport and lift the monoliths used for the walls.

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Author: Mr. Fornals

Article and Image Source: http://patrimoniommm2.wordpress.com

Keywords: Minorca, Fortifications, Military Architecture, History


Mr Fornal

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