University of Palermo, Dipartimento di Storia e Progetto nell’Architettura – L.I.R.B.A.


The construction of stone walls in the Sicilian Late Gothic architecture – in use for a period spanning between the 15th and 16th centuries – shows stylistic influences and constructive techniques strongly related to the relationship between the local guilds and those from other parts of the Mediterraneanarea. A specific Sicilian constructive tradition becomes apparent in the transitional period stretching between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, this being the result of communication between Sicilian and foreign guilds alongside cultural changes and evident stylistic analogies, with Spanish architecture in particular.
The research performed has focused on the study of a large number of examples dealing with the fair faced wall currently extant in Sicily, gathering the necessary data to understand the geometries, the units of measurement adopted and the techniques utilized for stone extraction as well as for the manufacturing of semi-finished goods whose completion would eventually take place in the construction site. Special attention has been devoted to stone walls with pointed ashlars.
After outlining the essential construction principles forming this kind of architecture, some of the restorations distinguished by their stylish reconstruction technique will be illustrated, both from the first years of the twentieth century and from the period after World War Two.

Key words
constructive technique, Late Gothic Sicily, restoration