Monday, August 25, 2014

An oddly placed wall

Watercolour and crayon sketch
©2014 Charlene Brown

On June 4 we journeyed from Dubrovnik to Split, with a stop in the fortified town of Ston. The walls of Ston are considered to be outstanding examples of medieval fortification. Originally over seven kilometres in length, they form the second longest wall in Europe. (Yes, Hadrian’s Wall is the longest.)

The outer wall, shown zig-zagging up to the right in this painting, goes beyond the ridge and extends across the entire width of the isthmus of the peninsula on which Ston is situated.  This strikes me as the only part of the wall that makes sense, as it was intended to protect the valuable salt pans at Ston, as well as acting as a second line of defence for Dubrovnik.

Studying the rest of the wall for the fifteen minutes it took to start this sketch, I was unable to figure out why it was draped as it is in the cliffs above the town, so I read up about it when I got home.  I learned it’s laid out in what is described as an ‘irregular pentangle.’ They didn’t say why.