Skały w romańskich murach Małopolski

Jan Bromowicz, Janusz Magiera


Rocks in the medieval edifices of Małopolska (Lesser Poland; south Poland).
A b s t r a c t. Early medieval Małopolska (Lesser Poland) covered regions with diverse geological structures and, therefore, various rocks of different suitability for the construction, shown up on the surface. Masonry skills of historical builders changed with time. So did their preferences in choosing the rocks and stones of mechanical properties optimal for the stonemasonry techniques of the time and mechanical resistance. Below, we present the rocks that were chosen by the stonemasons, usually foreign, to build what were often the first stone buildings there. We present the preferences and skills of contemporary builders, changing over time, regarding the proper selection of rocks with the desired properties, ensuring sufficient resistance to destruction while allowing the use of an appropriate method of stone processing. An inventory of stones in the available fragments of the walls was made, and their structural and textual features and petrographic composition were identified. Measurements of the size of stone elements in the faces of the walls were also made. Based on the analysis of the geological structure of the building’s surroundings, the most probable sources of origin of the rocks used and, if possible, their basic physical and mechanical properties are provided. The order was established in which different rocks were used to obtain the desired effects. It depended on the possibility of obtaining them in particular regions. It was shown that the distance of the construction site from the outcrops of the rocks used did not exceed 25 km. Examples of the use of different rock properties in various architectural solutions are given.

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