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The Trulli of Alberobello

The Trulli of Alberobello

The trulli , limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia, are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs.

Les trulli d'Alberobello

Les trulli sont des habitations de pierre sèche de la région des Pouilles, en Italie du Sud. Ce sont des exemples remarquables de la construction sans mortier, technique héritée de la préhistoire et toujours utilisée dans la région. Les habitations surmontées de leurs toits pyramidaux, en dôme ou coniques, sont construites avec des galets de pierre à chaux ramassés dans les champs voisins.

ترولّي الألبيروبيلّو

الترولّي هي مساكن من الحجر الجاف في منطقة "البوي" جنوب إيطاليا. وهي أمثلة مذهلة للبناء من دون مِلاط وهذه تقنية موروثة من عصور ما قبل التاريخ وما زالت تستعمَل في المنطقة. فالمساكن التي تعلوها سقوف هرمية أو قبّية أو مخروطية الشكل بنيت من حصى كلسية تُلَمّ في الحقول المجاورة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

阿尔贝罗贝洛的圆顶石屋

意大利普利亚区南部发现的圆顶石屋,是一种石灰石住所,是史前建筑技术中无灰泥建筑技术的典型代表,该技术在这一地区仍然沿用。圆顶石屋是由从附近地区采集来的石灰石石块粗糙堆砌而成的。由石灰石板撑起的金字塔形、圆锥形或球状屋顶是石屋的特色。

source: UNESCO/ERI

«Трулли» – традиционные жилища в городе Альберобелло

«Трулли», жилые крестьянские постройки из известняка, расположенные в южной области Апулия, являются уникальными примерами построек со стенами сухой кладки (без раствора). Подобная доисторическая технология строительства используется в этом регионе до настоящего времени. «Трулли» строятся из грубо обработанных блоков известняка, собранных с соседних полей. Для них характерны пирамидальные, куполообразные или конические кровли, которые сооружаются из скрепляемых друг с другом известняковых плит.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Los trulli de Alberobello

Los trulli son viviendas de piedra caliza de la región meridional de Puglia. Son ejemplos notables de construcciones sin mortero, ejecutadas todavía hoy en día con una técnica heredada de los tiempos prehistóricos. Sus techumbres en forma de pirámide, cúpula o cono están edificadas con cantos recogidos en los campos vecinos.

source: UNESCO/ERI

アルベロベッロのトゥルッリ

source: NFUAJ

Trulli van Alberobello

De 'trulli' – kalkstenen woningen in de zuidelijke regio Puglia – zijn opmerkelijke voorbeelden van cementloze bouw, een prehistorische bouwtechniek die nog steeds wordt toegepast in deze regio. De woningen worden gemaakt van ruw bewerkte kalkstenen keien, verzameld uit naburige velden. Kenmerkend zijn de piramidale, gewelfde of kegelvormige daken van steen. Alberobello is een goed voorbeeld van deze inheemse architectuur en één van de best bewaarde en meest homogene stedelijke gebieden van dit type in Europa. De stad is uniek vanwege de speciale kenmerken en het feit dat de gebouwen nog steeds bewoond worden. Verder vormt het een opmerkelijk overblijfsel van prehistorische bouwtechnieken.

Source: unesco.nl

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The Trulli of Alberobello © UNESCO
Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria (iii), (iv) and (v) considering that the site is of outstanding universal value being an exceptional example of a form of building construction deriving from prehistoric construction techniques that have survived intact and functioning into the modern world.

Long Description

Alberobello, the city of drystone dwellings known as trulli , is an exceptional example of vernacular architecture. It is one of the best preserved and most homogeneous urban areas of this type in Europe. Its special features, and the fact that the buildings are still occupied, make it unique. It also represents a remarkable survival of prehistoric building techniques.

There was prehistoric settlement in the Itria and the tholos (dome-shaped tomb) tradition of building may have come to the region at this time. The present settlement dates from the mid-14th century, when what appears to have been an uninhabited area was granted to the first Count of Conversano by Robert d'Anjou, Prince of Taranto, in recognition of his service during the Crusades. He and his successors colonized the area by moving people from their other fiefs, allowing them to build cottages known as caselle . However, recent research suggests that scattered rural settlements that began around AD 1000 gradually coalesced to form the village units of latter-day Aja Piccola and Monti. Tradition has it that drystone walling was imposed upon the new settlers so their houses could be quickly dismantled. This served two purposes: recalcitrant householders could be dispossessed easily and, later, it would be possible to avoid taxation on new settlements. In the latter case the buildings could be reconstructed equally rapidly. This is known to have occurred in 1644 to thwart tax inspectors sent by the King of Naples. However, historical and comparative analysis suggests that this technique was a minimal physical response to local conditions, later to be exploited for punitive purposes.

By the mid-16th century the Monti area was already occupied by some 40 trulli , but it was in 1620 that the settlement began to expand, when Count Gian Girolamo Guercio ordered the construction of a bakery, a mill and an inn. By the end of the 18th century the community numbered over 3,500, and in 1797 they brought the feudal rule of the Acquaviva family to an end by obtaining the status of royal town from Ferdinand IV, King of Naples. The name of Alberobello was adopted, taken from the medieval Latin name of the region, siva arboris belli . From this time onwards the construction of new trulli quickly declined.

These buildings were constructed using roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields and, later, the large water-collecting basins in the area. They were built directly on the underlying natural rock, using exclusively the drystone technique. The walls that form the rectangular rooms are double, with rubble cores, and are pierced by small windows. Fireplaces, ovens and alcoves are recessed into the thickness of the walls. The roofs, which are also double-skinned, spring directly from the walls, simple squinches allowing the transition from the rectangular to the circular or oval sections of the roofs themselves. These are built up of successive courses of grey limestone slabs, known as chianche or chiancarelle . The roofs of the larger building terminate in a decorative pinnacle, often apotropaic in function. There are ingenious provisions for collecting rainwater using projecting eaves at the base of the roof which divert the water through a channelled slab into the cistern beneath the house. Flights of narrow stone steps give access to the roofs.

The interiors are equipped with wooden fittings, such as door frames, barrel-vaulted niches, etc., and in some of the larger trulli there is a second storey formed from a wooden floor and reached by means of a wooden staircase. Stone fireplaces and ovens are ventilated through stone slabs covering them. The roofs are not painted and develop a patina of mosses and lichens; they sometimes bear mythological or religious symbols in white ash. By contrast, the walls of the trulli must be whitewashed at regular intervals, which has the effect of rounding the outlines of the stones, giving a brilliant homogeneous surface. The Monti quarter, which covers 6 ha on a hillside, contains 1,030 trulli . Its streets run downhill and converge at the base of the hill. The Aja Piccola quarter, with 590 trulli , is less homogeneous than Monti. The streets converge on a common farmyard where in feudal times the peasants were forced to thresh wheat.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

There is evidence of prehistoric settlement in the Itria valley, and it is possible that the tholos tradition of building may have come to the region at this time. It is generally considered that the present settlement dates from the mid-14th century, when what appears at the time to have been an uninhabited area was granted to the first Count of Conversano by Robert d'Anjou, Prince of Taranto, in recognition of his service during the Crusades. He and his successors colonized the area by moving people from their other fiefs such as nearby Noci, allowing them to build cottages known as easel/e. However, recent research by local planners suggests that scattered rural settlements that began around AD 1000 on either side of the small river that now runs underground through the town gradually coalesced to form the village units of latter-day Aja Piccola and Monti.

Tradition has it that drystone walling was imposed upon the new settlers so that their houses could be quickly dismantled. This served two purposes: recalcitrant householders could be dispossessed easily and, later, it would be possible to avoid taxation on new settlements. In the latter case the buildings could be reconstructed equally rapidly. This is known to have occurred in 1644 to thwart tax inspectors sent by the King of Naples. However, historical and comparative analysis suggests that this technique was no more than a minimal physical response to local conditions and circumstances, later to be exploited for fiscal or punitive purposes.

By the mid-16th century the Monti area was already occupied by some forty trulli, but it was in 1620 that the settlement, then still part of the town of Noci, began to expand, when the Count of the period, Gian Girolamo Guercio, ordered the construction of a bakery, a mill, and an inn. By the end of the 18th century the community numbered over 3500 people, and in 1797 they succeeded in bringing the feudal rule of the Acquaviva family to an end by obtaining the status of royal town from Ferdinand IV, Bourbon King of Naples. The name of Alberobello was adopted, taken from the medieval Latin name of the region, silva arboris belli. From this time onwards the construction of new trulli quickly declined.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation