Spain in the Pacific

The fortifications that were erected by the Spanish Crown in its overseas territories is the largest collection of defence constructions

ever to be built by one organizing authority.

Faced with the threat of other foreign powers, pirates, privateers and buccaneers, the Spanish Crown decided upon a dual defence system. One of these was mobile and comprised "the Fleet": this provided dynamic defence, with fixed periods of vigilance and a single patrol circuit. The other was fixed and comprised static defence by means of fortification of the principle ports, which in turn became fortified cities.

Besides fortifications, these ports had a series of characteristics in common: the bays which protected them, the hydraulic engineering which was developed within them, and the existence of specific support infrastructure such as shipyards and warehouses.

Renaissance techniques and designs were assimilated by the engineers working under the Spanish Crown, adapting these to each individual case. Fortifications were brought in line with the requirements of each different region, and practical experience took precedence over any theoretical approach. The number, dimensions and extension of the fortifications built in the New World eventually created a type of defence known as the Spanish buttressed fortification.

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Article and Image Source: http://www.armada15001900.net/

Keywords: Spain, Pacific, Philippines, Manila, Fortifications, Military Architecture




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