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Giovanni Battista Antonelli: Theory, Model and Reality..

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Abstract

The international conference "Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and military technology of fortified landscapes" is organized in order to compare the results and the updates about the several researches made by experts of various nationalities, about the theme of cultural routes and fortified landscapes. The scientific knowledge, the analysis, the documentation and the architectural survey of the heritage in all its meanings, are essential instruments for the understanding and the improvement of any information and sign that history and culture has produced in each places or in a specific geographic area. These signs are in any case the result of the transposition of cultural models, of building technologies and offensive and/or defensive strategies, that have been tested, consolidated and exported for a long time, and that have determined the image of whole territories. The implementation of the knowledge, the specific studies and the documentation programs, also constitute the main basis for the exercise of critical and interpretative activities, in order to training and to develop a particular settlement, city or area. Besides, they are also useful for the expectation of the necessary specific planning for the conservation and the improvement, that are aimed at promoting the conscious development of human activities in that places. This international conference aims at comparing the experiences made in this scientific area, that have allowed the development of operational methods for researches useful for the correct understanding of both the architectures and the historical and archaeological complexes. Furthermore, it also aims at taking into consideration the cultural and environmental contexts of the contemporary history, giving essential advices for a critical reading and a proper evaluation about the conservation actions for this important heritage.
The international conference “Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and military technology
of fortied landscapes” is organized in order to compare the results and the updates about the several researches
made by experts of various nationalities, about the theme of cultural routes and fortied landscapes. The
scientic knowledge, the analysis, the documentation and the architectural survey of the heritage in all its
meanings, are essential instruments for the understanding and the improvement of any information and sign
that history and culture has produced in each places or in a specic geographic area. These signs are in any
case the result of the transposition of cultural models, of building technologies and offensive and/or defensive
strategies, that have been tested, consolidated and exported for a long time, and that have determined the
image of whole territories. The implementation of the knowledge, the specic studies and the documentation
programs, also constitute the main basis for the exercise of critical and interpretative activities, in order to
training and to develop a particular settlement, city or area. Besides, they are also useful for the expectation
of the necessary specic planning for the conservation and the improvement, that are aimed at promoting the
conscious development of human activities in that places. This international conference aims at comparing
the experiences made in this scientic area, that have allowed the development of operational methods for
researches useful for the correct understanding of both the architectures and the historical and archaeological
complexes. Furthermore, it also aims at taking into consideration the cultural and environmental contexts of
the contemporary history, giving essential advices for a critical reading and a proper evaluation about the
conservation actions for this important heritage.
Between east and west
transposition of cultural systems
and military technology of
fortified landscapes
Between east and west
edited By
sandro parrinello
stefano Bertocci
giovanni pancani
€ 14,00
edited by
Sandro Parrinello
Stefano bertocci
Giovanni Pancani
between eaSt and weSt
tranSPoSition of cultural SyStemS
and military technoloGy of
fortified landScaPeS
The editors would like to thank all those who contributed with their work to the international congress
and given their authorisation for publication. The editors and the organizers cannot be held responsible
for either the contents or opinions expressed in these works. In addition, the authors hereby declare that
the contents of this communication are original ones, or when appropriate, they have the corresponding
authorisation to include, use or adapt long quotations or tables and illustrations from other works.
This is a double blind peer review publication evaluated by experts in the eld of fortied landscapes and
fortresses. The sources and information found within that particular work has been veried by the referee
committee. The referee committee was selected by the scientic committee of the Conference among the
most experts in this eld; peer review referee screened the submitted articles. This process has been chosen
to encourage authors to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and to prevent the dissemination of
irrelevant ndings or uncorrect interpretations.
© Copyright 2012
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Department of Architecture,
Drawing, History, Design,
University of Florence
Forum UNESCO ICOMOS Italia ICOFORT University of
Pavia
University of
Florence
Laboratory of Landscape
Survey & Design,
University of Florence
Province of
Florence
Province of
Arezzo
Municipality of
Poppi
Union of Municipalities of the Casentino Mountains
FRDB - Life Beyond Tourism
CAM 2- Faro Group Technology Inc.
OIKOS srl
Department of Civil
Engineering and Architecture,
University of Pavia
Proceedings of the International Conference “Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and
military technology of fortied landscapes”. Poppi (AR)-Firenze, Italy May 7-13, 2012.
University of Florence; Department of Architecture, Drawing - History - Design.
University of Pavia; Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture.
Organizing COmmittee
Sandro Parrinello University of Pavia, Italy
Stefano bertocci University of Florence, Italy
Giovanni Pancani University of Florence, Italy
aleSSandro brezzi Director of Rilliana Library, Poppi (AR), Italy
milaGroS floreS román ICOFORT president, USA
SCientifiC COmmittee
PhiliPPe braGard Belgium
tamara blaneS martín Cuba
robert treufeldt Estonia
nicolaS faucherre France
michel Perloff France
athanaSioS nakaSiS Greece
cho Doo won Korea
carloS Scheltema Holland
Stefano bertocci Italy
marco bini Italy
anGelo buGatti Italy
aleSSandra marino Italy
anna marotta Italy
Sandro Parrinello Italy
ciro robotti Italy
Giovanni Pancani Italy
franciSco muñoz eSPejo Mexico
maricruz PailleS Mexico
roberta luciani havran Norway
dominGoS buchoS Portugal
manuel jeSúS ramírez blanco Spain
fernando coboS Spain
Pablo rodríGuez navarro Spain
juan a. rodríGuez-villaSante Prieto Spain
david mitchell UK
douGlaS Pritchard UK
viacheSlav kulinich Ukraine
milaGroS floreS román USA
roy Graham USA
SCientifiC SeCretariat
Sandro Parrinello
Organizing SeCretariat
Silvia bertacchi
Giovanni minutoli
andrea PaGano
WebSite, graphiC deSign
Sara Porzilli
franceSca Picchio
andrea PaGano
INDEX
greetingS
Graziano aGoStini Major of the Municipality of Poppi 15
vincenzo ceccarelli Councillor of the Region Tuscany, President of the Sixth Committee - Environment and Territory 16
rita mezzetti Panozzi Councillor to Cultural Activities and Heritage, to Public Education and Tourism in
the Province of Arezzo 17
marco GamannoSSi Councillor to Planning, Territorial Programming, Parks and Protected Areas in
the Province of Florence 18
Saverio mecca Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Florence 19
uliSSe tramonti
Director of the Department of Architecture, Design-History-Project, University of Florence 20
ferdinando auricchio
Director of the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Pavia 21
anGelo buGatti
Director of the Master Degree Course in Building Engineering/Architecture University of Pavia 22
fOrtified landSCape SyStemS and netWOrkS
The documenTaTion of anTonellis forTresses, a research beTween Two worlds. 27
Sandro Parrinello
anTonelli and The spanish forTified caribbean. 34
Milagros Flores Román
analysis of The condiTion of The casTles of valencian province. 38
Manuel Jesús Ramírez Blanco, Jaime Llinares, Ana Valls, Rafael Emilio Marín
casTles of The province of valencia in GeoGraphic informaTion sysTem (Gis). 42
Concepción López González, Simeón Couto López, Francisco Taberner Pastor
The research projecT documenTinG The forTresses of The casenTino area. 45
Giovanni Pancani
casenTino TerriTory and casTles. 48
Marco Bini
casTles in The norThern border of sobrarbe, oriGinaTinG aT The Time of sancho el mayor (11Th cenTury). 52
Susana Mora Alonso-Muñoyerro, Pablo Cruz Franco, Mónica Fernández de la Fuente, Patricia González Amigo,
Marcos Hernanz, María de Juan Pelillo, Natalia Rubio, Adela Rueda Márquez de la Plata, Jesús Sánchez Arenas
culTural landscapes of The miliTary archiTecTure of veracruz. camino real veracruz, mexico via jalapa. 55
Dolores Pineda Campos, Alfonso García y García, Roberto Ramírez Rodríguez
meThodoloGy for The sTudy of a spanish forT in The 18Th cenTury: forT Galeras in carTaGena (spain). 60
Guillermo Guimaraens, Juan Francisco Noguera, Virginia Navalón
The applicaTion of miliTary TreaTises in The desiGn of The spanish forTresses in The second half of The
sixTeenTh cenTury: The work of The palearo fraTino broThers. 64
Andrea Pirinu
feaTures of The archiTecTure of casTles and forTified churches of crusader epoch. 67
Stefano Bertocci
The defence sysTem of cosTanTinople in The middle aGes and The archaeoloGical works in The
byzanTine forTress of yoros/hieron on The bosporus. 70
Asnu Bilban Yalcin
The forTificaTion of medieval caesarea (israël), a defensive melTinG poT. 73
Nicolas Faucherre
from drawinG in The TreaTises To buildinG in The consTrucTion siTes: examples in piemonTe. 76
Anna Marotta
sTudy on The role of The forTified sysTems of TrenTino wiThin The ausTrian hunGarian empire TarGeTed
To The valorisaTion of The forTified heriTaGe. 81
Fiorenzo Meneghelli
casTles in ruins: a proTocol for The planninG of conservaTion and manaGemenT. 85
Lorenzo Appolonia, Gabriele Sartorio, Antonino Sergi, Cécil Dupré, Christophe Guffon, Joël Serralongue, Laurent d’Agostino
forTificaTions alonGside narva river and Their muTual miliTary use ThrouGh cenTuries. 88
Robert Treufeldt
beTween easT and wesTThe phenomenon of forTified landscapes in poland. 91
Lidia Klupsz
The forminG peculiariTies of odessa landscape slopes. 94
Nadezhda Yeksareva, Vladimir Yeksarev
seTTlemenTs forms for The land conTrol and defence in basilicaTa. 97
Antonio Conte, Maria Onorina Panza, Marianna Calia, Dario Boris Campanale
The informaTion sysTem of forTificaTions To proTecT of The access To The fucino lake alonG The
via valeria rouTe beTween The 10Th and 12Th cenTury. 100
Romolo Continenza, Ilaria Trizio
forTified farmhouses in sharq al-andalus on The fronTier beTween chrisTians and
muslims (8Th – 13Th cenTuries). 103
Pablo Rodríguez Navarro
The forTified landscapes of The adriaTic basin. 106
Caterina Palestini
defence of The borders of The Tuscan romaGna TerriTory. 109
Fauzia Farneti
CaSe Study Of military teChnOlOgy
namhansanseonG, mounTain forTress ciTy (republic of korea). 115
Cho Doo Won
The house of The chancellor in huanG chenG. The beTTer example of chinese casTle. 119
Francesco Maglioccola 马 方济
forT oulu: desiGns for world´s norThmosT basTion forTress. 122
Petri Vuojala, Harri Ryynänen
charTreuses eT forTificaTions: le cas de la charTreuse de pierre-chaTel. 125
Giovanni Leoncini
The reconverTion of The forT of bard (valle d’aosTa). 128
Laura Blotto
The diGiTal documenTaTion of sTirlinG casTle. 131
Douglas Pritchard, Chris McGregor, David Mitchell
The ciTadel of Gozo. resToraTion sTraTeGies and valorisaTion of malTa forTified sysTem. 134
Marcello Balzani, Federico Ferrari, Luca Rossato, Alessandra Tursi
The ciTadel of Gozo. 3d modelinG. 137
Leonardo Chiechi, Sabina Macchitella
The priamar in savona. criTical readinG of a besieGed forTress. 140
Michel Perloff
The arezzo 16Th cenTury forTress, beTween hisTory and resToraTion. 143
Maurizio De Vita
The forTress of meldola as represenTed in The sTudies of General marinelli. 146
Silvio Van Riel
The casTle of The counTs sambuy. 149
Nadia Fabris
an anTique ciTy: knidos. 152
Sibel Onat Hattap
a forTress, some sieGes and Thier represenTaTion. 155
Roberto Parenti
ananTe liTTeramnewfoundland: The casTle of pieTrabuona. 158
Alessandro Merlo, Gaia Lavoratti
an early 14Th cenTury florenTine forTress aT fucecchio, in The lower arno valley. 161
Andrea Vanni Desideri
la double enceinTe du chaTeaux de civiTella en valdichiana. 164
Carmela Crescenzi
from defence Tower To culTural symbol: research and presenTaTion of vrsac Tower. 167
Snezana Vecanski
urban renewal on forTified (world) heriTaGe siTes. 170
Karl Kupka
The ladislao ii d’aquino casTle in roccheTTa sanT’anTonio in foGGia. Typical example
amonG The casTles of daunia in The araGonese period. 173
Domenico Spinelli
Theform facTorin The consTrucTion of monTe sanT’anGelo and casTel del monTe. 176
Giovanni Mongiello
The forTificaTions of malTa in The frescoes by maTTeo perez d’aleccio. 179
Ciro Robotti
pOSter
Giovanni baTTisTa anTonelli: Theory, model and realiTy. 185
Sandro Parrinello, Silvia Bertacchi
renaissance GeomeTry in The evanGelisTa menGa casTles. 188
Pasquale Tunzi
Towers of The forTified houses of seGovia. presence in The skyline of The ciTy. 191
Marcos Hernanz, Natalia Rubio
reuTilizaTion of Three spanish casTles: maqueda, peñafiel and simancas. 194
Mónica Fernández de la Fuente, Patricia González Amigo, Jesús Sánchez Arenas
hisToric masonry consolidaTions in The walled complex of buiTraGo del lozoya. 197
Silvia Bootello Almendáriz, Ignacio Mora Moreno
forTified lines aT The souTh of The ciTy of cáceres: The forTified landscape as culTural heriTaGe.
forTified house arvajal-villalobos. 200
Adela Rueda Márquez de la Plata, Pablo A. Cruz Franco
sTudy concerninG The developmenT of miliTary archiTecTure confiGuraTion in The TwenTieTh cenTury
colonial ciTy villa cisneros (currenTly dakhla). 203
Ruth Cebrián Jorge, Natalia Rubio Camarillo
The forTified palace of The house of The kniGhTs of sT. johns hospiTal in jerusalem in The ciTy of valencia. 206
Jorge García Valldecabres, Maria Luisa Navarro García, Daniel Crespo Godino
TechnoloGy of pressinG piles in The consTrucTion of TechnoGenic Ground in The perm reGion. 209
Svetlana V. Maksimova, Ekaterina B. Pimenova, Anna A. Shamarina
The casTellaccio of biviGliano. inTeGraTed survey and enhancemenT for an emblemaTic case of research on
forTificaTion sysTems in norThern Tuscany. 212
Andrea Pagano, Roberto Parenti, Sandro Parrinello
The sysTem of Towers on The amalfi coasT. documenTs, imaGes, consideraTions. 215
Luigi Corniello
The sTronG places of The valley simeTo. The donjon of adrano, paTernò and moTTa. 218
Nello Caruso
sTudy of archiTecTural and decoraTive sTyles of The sacred environmenTs inside The crusader donjons aT
paTernò and adrano. 221
Sara Bua
casTles and forTified sysTems in abruzzo: The case sTudy of acciano. 224
Carlo Raffaelli, Sara Porzilli
acciano walled villaGe: problems of seismic vulnerabiliTy of hisToric forTified cenTers. 227
Giovanni Minutoli
seacoasT defence sysTems: The casTle of roccella jonica and Tower pizzofalcone. 230
Stefano Bertocci, Graziella Del Duca
ThepalaTium sive forTiliTiumof alamanni salviaTi aT ponTe alla badia. 233
Monica Lusoli
meleTo casTle. 236
Linda Puccini
The balTic culTure and Tourism rouTe forTresses (balTic forT rouTe – bfr). 239
Hans-Rudolf Neumann
The ausTrian forTs in TrenTino: memories from The pasT To The fuTure. 240
Giovanna Massari
The forT of The royal siTe of porTici. 243
Annamaria Robotti
boloGna permanenT forTificaTion. 245
Fabrizio Ivan Apollonio, V. Baroncini
morpholoGic sTudy on The casTle of almenara. 248
Pablo Rodriguez-Navarro, Teresa Gil-Piqueras, Filippo Fantini
archeoloGical survey of The casTles and forTificaTions of esfahan from The perspecTive of adminisTraTive
GeoGraphy, from beGinninG of The islamic era To The safavid period. 249
Ali Shojaee Esfahani
exhibitiOn CatalOgue
1) documenTaTion of The anTonellis forTresses. 255
Curator of the exhibition: Sandro Parrinello
2) heriTaGe in danGer. casTles and forTresses in The province of valencia 270
Curator of the exhibition: Manuel Jesús Ramírez Blanco
3) 3d laser scanner survey of counTs Guidis casTle of poppi and pieve a socana. 276
Curator of the exhibition: Stefano Bertocci, Giovanni Pancani
184
Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and military technology of fortied landscape
Plan of the Fort Bernia (Alicante), attributed to Giovanni Battista Antonelli, 1563.
España. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Archivo General de Simancas, Mapas, Planos y Dibujos, 19, 96.
185
Poster
During the political domination of King Philip II of Spain, a large amount of military engineers, mostly
from Italy1, was in charge of the fortications of his powerful kingdom, necessary for the safety of the vast
frontiers. The remarkable extension the Spanish territories had reached at that time and the need to face
many enemies, both by sea and by land, meant that a well-structured defensive network was of primary
importance.
The innovative theories about fortication, which circulated in Italy though the spread of more and more
specialized treatises, proposed a necessary evolution from medieval forms of defence. The transformation
of the old systems, induced mainly by innovations in the artillery and offensive weapons, lead to the
development of the bastion and the adaptation of the defensive walls to the trajectories of cannon re.
New theories about the fortications had developed and were tested in Italy at rst, probably as a heritage of
the Renaissance genius, but mainly because of the battleground character of the country had. The peninsula
in fact was torn apart by the belligerence of the multitude of states which composed it, and in addition, it
was subject to the aims of domination by powers across the Alps, such as France.
In this context Giovanni Battista Antonelli2, military engineer, who moved to Spain in the 1560s3, played a
fundamental role in the defence of the country, practicing several tasks of high prestige and responsibility.
For years he had been visiting the existing fortications, evaluating the defence systems and planning a
suitable upgrade for the fortresses of the entire kingdom4.
His main idea was to create a global security network that involved the existing forts and towers, with the
increase of military outposts, in a very ambitious project that unfortunately was never completed.
With reference to his activities, we can do an interesting comparison between the theoretical information
from his treatise on fortication5, representing in brief the level of his background knowledge, and
applying them to reality, throughout the creation of an
ideal defensive model, which would be the distinctive
characteristic of the entire family.
Although the nature of the text, containing several
references from other contemporary authors6, is not
exactly innovative, this treatise is a signicant example
of that phenomenon of cultural diffusion of new systems
and new military technologies coming from Italy.
These were spreading throughout the Spanish territory
as cultural background, carried by foreign engineers,
whom the Spanish domination had favoured moving in
the country7.
It was the rst step of that process of transferring the
cultural tradition inherent in the fortications soon to
be repeated in the Americas. Spain in fact is the link to
Giovanni Battista antonelli: theory, model and reality
Sandro Parrinello, Silvia Bertacchi
Keywords: Fortresses, 16th century, Bernia (Alicante-Spain), historical documentation and survey
Perspective view of the Fort Bernia,1563. España.
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Archivo
General de Simancas, Mapas, Planos y Dibujos, 19, 63.
University of Pavia, Italy;
University of Florence, Italy
186
Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and military technology of fortied landscape
vehicle many engineers to fortify the new world, providing the requirements of defence against pirates and
for the control of the overseas wealth8.
It doesn’t seem that Giovanni Battista’s intuitions led to the construction of an overall outline, in any case
it does not appear in the drawings or in the schemes of his treaties.
On the contrary one of the most common suggestions made by the engineer was to adapt the fortication
to the land morphology, peculiar for each site. However, we can assume that the ideal model proposed by
Antonelli, although not explicit in a graphical form in one the manuscript’s pages, is the bastion, according
to the typical concepts of the sixteenth century.
The theme of the fortied square with bastions at the corners,criticized in the treatises and accused of
imperfections due to the small number of sides, will be used instead by the engineer in case of new
fortications without pre-existing structures, and afterwards exported by his brother and nephews in the
forts of the Caribbean.
Emblematic example is the Fort Bernia9, the only built project attributed to Giovanni Battista, still visible
in its main characteristics and in the planimetric layout, although in ruins. This project represents a total
failure for the serious errors relative to the site choice and inicts a blow for the credibility and career
of the engineer, but holds an unquestioned importance from the historical point of view. Indeed it is the
most glaring example of reworking the ideal model of defence in the light of sixteenth-century theories
concerning fortication, and its implementation in a real building.
In conclusion we can say that this engineer has undertaken a key step for the exportation of the Italian
defensive knowledge abroad.
Moreover, his concept of total protection of the peninsula will survive over the years, strenuously defended
by the same king, which encouraged and promoted the expansion and defence of his great empire.
The laser scanner survey (February, 2012) of the ruins of Fort Bernia.
187
Poster
The idea of considering the country as a city and
the defences of the coast like a protection wall are
considered successful,enough to be restarted several
years later by other Spanish engineers.
Notes
1 In the coeval documentation we can often nd the names of several
Italian engineers, working in the same period, as an example the
Antonellis from Gatteo, Giorgio Setara, Tiburzio Spannocchi, Filippo
Terzi and the Palearis, another important family coming from Italy.
2 Giovanni Battista Antonelli is the founder of a family of Italian
engineers experts in fortications, working for the Spanish Crown
and whose activities cover a period of nearly a century, between the
second half of the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
3 Probably he moved to Spain in 1559, after the peace treaty of
Cateau-Cambrésis, dividing Italy between Spain and France.
4 Within the several projects we became acquainted with thanks to
the archive documentation, only a small part was brought to completion. In many cases the projects were too ambitious, requiring
exorbitant costs for the Crown and the villages; in other ones, such as for the tower network, time itself determine the incomplete
execution for lack of funds.
In addition since the 1570s, other engineers got on the stage and got the commissions of fortications at the surpassing Giovanni
Battista Antonelli, whose projects, harshly criticized, will be modied or abandoned.
In a second period, perhaps because of the many criticisms towards him, Giovanni Battista starts working in another area of
engineering, dealing with the navigation of rivers.
6 The importance of the Epitomi delle forticationi moderne, written in Italian between 1560-61, is undeniable. Although unpublished,
it represents the theoretical speculation on modern fortication, basis for all his activity, which the engineer tries to x on paper.
6 There are many Italian treatises dealing with fortication from the 15th century. Antonelli certainly was inspired by some of them,
because it is possible to nd some references similar to other works.
7 For example the inclusion of the double measurement units in the treatise, dealing about the proportion of the main parts of the
fortress, becomes a clear purpose to provide an “international” key to the comprehension for both the Italian and Spanish cultures.
8 Among them, his brother and nephews moved to America, applying the same fortication models in the New World.
9 The history of the fort is very particular. Built on the southern slope of the Sierra of Bernia in 1562, at about 800 m above sea level,
its construction took a few months, because of the fear of a revolt of the Moorish population, in large numbers in the area. The main
purposes of the building were the control of the Moorish population, by controlling the sprig waters in the area, and of course it served
as coastal sighting against pirates attacks.
Unfortunately the position chosen for the fortress was unfavorable (also Vespasiano Gonzaga wrote a merciless critic of the fort)
and the building, isolated and far from the town, had a difcult and expensive maintenance, often necessary because of unfavorable
climatic conditions. These expenses are considered excessive by the council of war, so that the fort was dismantled and demolished
following the expulsion of the Moors (1609), even after fty years of activity (the fort was destroyed in 1613 to prevent the bandits in
the area it could be used as an outpost and a logistic base).
The original drawings of the project, with the report about the coastal defence written by Antonelli, are preserved in the Archivo
General de Simancas-AGS, Valladolid (Spain). Important documentation about the maintenance works can be found both in the
Archives of Valencia (Archivo del Regne de València-ARV) and of Barcelona (Archivo de la Corona de Aragón-ACA).
High-density point cloud showing the ruins of the fort,
almost covered by vegetation, perspective view.
188
Between East and West: transposition of cultural systems and military technology of fortied landscape
renaissance Geometry in the evanGelista menGa castles
Pasquale Tunzi
Keywords: Fortress, 15th/16th century, Barletta (Copertino-Italy), historical documentation
The name of Evangelista Menga, a military engineer in Charles V’s employment, is numbered in castle
historiography among those who took part in the renovation of the defence structure of the Kingdom of
Naples. However, his biographical prole and his contribution supplied in the layout of certain defence
works are still not well-known.
In this brief study, we intend analysing and comparing two castles ascribed to this engineer, the rst site in
the town centre of Barletta (1532-37) and the second one on the outskirts of the built-up area of Copertino
(1540) whose installations, rather regular, have many similarities in dimensions and elevations. They are
two war machines built on pre-existing works of the Middle Ages period, whose redesign and realization
renewed the image of the respective places.
In the Renaissance, perspective principles induced the military planners to consider the points of view
with a new awareness, whose function was tied in with opportune positioning due to the use of rearms.
The new-generation embrasures were extended in such a way as to allow an emplacement to have more
perspective views, useful for aiming and offence. This renovation is rather measured in the Barletta castle,
while in the Copertino castle it is more present. The applicative concepts originate from mathematical and
geometric studies based on fteenth-century notions and ancient Euclidean laws, reassessed and updated
by Jacob Köbel and Niccolò Tartaglia.
A rst comment on the two works brings out a different spatial layout concerning orientation, probably
caused by the rather different environmental conditions in the two cases. Barletta castle has the entrance
placed to the south and places its northern side close to the sea, while the Copertino castle, with its access
from the west, rises in the vast Salento plain, 15 km southeast of Lecce and 11 km from the Ionian coast.
The layout of Barletta castle is in a shape which is very similar to a square, with small differences on the
opposing sides: the distance between the ramparts of the entrance is 7 m shorter compared with that of the
opposite side, while the distance on the left of the entrance is only 3 m longer than the other one.
This allows us to inscribe it almost perfectly in a
circle which brushes the points of the ramparts, whose
sides and angles repeat themselves in almost the same
manner.
The prolongation of the above-mentioned sides shows
a trajectory which ends in the corners of the sides,
and the angle of the ramparts (with circular pillboxes,
except for one) is more or less regular on all four fronts.
The dimensions of the northern defensive wall between
the ramparts is equal to one and a half the length of
the side of the rampart, a proportion which we nd on
the other fronts excluding the entrance front where the
ratio is one and 1/4.
Aerial view the castle of Barletta.
University of Chieti Pescara, Italy
189
Poster
The overall shape in which Copertino castle is enclosed has a quadrangular shape, with the shortest distance
between the points of the ramparts situated on the west and the greater distance on the opposite side, where
the entrance is. Such an irregular shape was established, though in an orderly way, by the pre-existent
remains of the Swabian-age keep and by the volumes of the 15th century.
Probably, the choice of adopting a four-sided shape was not established only by the pre-existing buildings,
but also by the value attributed to the number four which represented the generating virtue from which
all the combinations derive. The sense contained in this number was that of motion and the innite, of
corporeal and incorporeal, concrete form and abstraction perfectly combined. Its shape is generated by
the triangle in which another side (3 + 1) is inserted: symbolically, the Eternal approaches man. Four
as a manifestation of what is permanent represented in the square, an expression of order. But, in the
Renaissance, this perfection was upset by the discovery of the golden number characterized by innite
decimal numbers, the interminable number which led to incommensurability. The distance between the two
eastern ramparts which frames the entrance to Copertino forms a triangle with the wide angle at the vertex
Geometric patterns of the plan of the Castle of Barletta.
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