The Raya or frontier between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón was fortified with a system of castles and walled-cities that were useful during the several conflicts that took place in the late Middle Ages. The Serón de Nágima castle defended the communication road between the axis of the Jalón river valley, which flows into the Ebro, and Duero valley. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that it is one of the few fortifications in the area where rammed earth is the only building system used. In this paper, the castle building fundaments are exposed mainly focusing on the techniques and building processes developed from the interpretation of the legible constructive signs in its walls.
The late medieval strategy for delimitating and defending the frontier between Castile and Aragón was in its systematic fortification. Ancient castles and Muslim fortifications were repaired and new buildings for defense were erected. The aim of the author's Doctoral Thesis, which gathers from the present paper, is to know the construction techniques of a selection of these castles, so as to interpret the building activity of that historical moment and analyze the systematization of these construction techniques within the historical, geographical and architectural context.The research method consists of a fieldwork in which a series of castles are documented and surveyed; they are previously selected after analyzing the bibliographical works of the medieval Soria's castellology.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.