Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo

The walls of Lugo were built in the later part of the 3rd century to defend the Roman town of Lucus. The entire circuit survives intact and is the finest example of late Roman fortifications in western Europe.

Remparts romains de Lugo

Les remparts de Lugo furent construits à la fin du IIe siècle pour défendre la ville romaine de Lucus. Tout le circuit demeure intact et constitue le plus bel exemple de fortifications romaines tardives en Europe occidentale.

أسوار لوغو الرومانية

شُيّدت أسوار لوغو الرومانيّة نهاية القرن الثاني للدفاع عن مدينة لوكوس الرومانيّة. ولا يزال تتابع السور على حاله ويُشكّل أبرز مثالٍ عن حصون رومانيّة شُيّدت لاحقاً في أوروبا الغربيّة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

卢戈的罗马城墙

卢戈城墙修建于公元3世纪末期,用于保卫罗马城镇卢戈斯。整个圆形城墙至今保存完好,是西欧罗马帝国晚期城堡的最完美样例之一。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Древнеримские стены в городе Луго

Эти крепостные стены были построены в конце III в. для защиты древнеримского города Лукус. Они сохранились неповрежденными по всему периметру, представляя собой превосходный пример древнеримских укреплений в Западной Европе.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Muralla romana de Lugo

La muralla de Lugo fue construida a finales de siglo II para defender la ciudad romana de Lucus. Su perímetro se ha conservado intacto en su totalidad y constituye el más bello arquetipo de fortificación romana tardía de toda Europa Occidental.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ルーゴのローマの城壁群

source: NFUAJ

Romeinse muren van Lugo

De muren van Lugo werden in het laatste deel van de 3e eeuw gebouwd om de Romeinse stad Lucus Augusti te verdedigen. Het hele bouwwerk is intact gebleven en vormt het mooiste voorbeeld van laat Romeinse vestingwerken in West-Europa. De muren hebben een Romeinse oorsprong, maar maakten ook de problematische middeleeuwen en vernieuwende 19e eeuw mee. Hierdoor verenigt deze monumentale constructie van meer dan 2 kilometer lang de bewijzen en facetten van de evolutie van een stad; van het oorspronkelijke Lucus Augusti naar de stad Lugo (zelf overigens ook een historisch en artistiek geheel).

Source: unesco.nl

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Justification for Inscription

Criterion (iv): The Roman walls of Lugo are the finest surviving example of late Roman military fortifications.

Long Description

The walls of Lugo are an outstanding example of the type of construction and architectural and archaeological group which illustrates various significant periods of human history. Starting with their Roman origins and passing through the problematical Middle Ages to the innovatory and disturbed 19th century, they unite in a single monumental construction over 2 km long different proofs and facets of the evolution of a town such as Lugo (itself a historical and artistic ensemble) from the original Lucus Augusti.

There was a Roman military camp here during the campaign of Augustus, and it was here that the new town, Lucus Augusti, was founded in 15-13 BCE. The original chequerboard plan did not require the town to be enclosed by a defensive wall, because of the effectiveness of the Pax Romana . The town prospered in the succeeding centuries, because of the mineral resources of the region. This administrative centre acquired impressive public buildings and luxurious urban villas, which spread over a wide area.

However, in the mid-2nd century Frankish and Alemannic invaders crossed the limes and ravaged Gaul, penetrating into Hispania before being driven out. This resulted in the construction of massive urban defences at all the towns of the western Roman provinces. Lucus received its walls between 263 and 276 (perhaps less against barbarian invaders from across the Rhine than against the local tribesmen, who had never fully accepted the Roman occupation of their lands). As in most colonial towns, the area enclosed by the walls was less than that of the urban settlement: a considerable part of the town in the south-east remained outside. Despite the strength of its fortifications, Lugo was unable to resist the Suevi when they swept into the peninsula in the early 5th century and destroyed the town by fire. They were to be dislodged in their turn by the Visigoths, who captured the town in 457 and settled it once again. The irresistible Moorish invasion of Spain saw Lugo overwhelmed and sacked in 714, but it was recaptured for Christendom by Alfonso I of Asturias in 755 and restored by Bishop Odarius. The town was to be ravaged once again in 968 by the Normans, on their way to the Mediterranean, and it was not restored until the following century.

The structure of the Roman walls of Lugo consists of internal and external stone facings with a core filling of earth, stones and pieces of worked Roman stone from demolished buildings. There are ten gates: five ancient and five recent. Five stairways and a ramp give access to the parapet walk. A number of double staircases giving access from the parapet walk to the towers have been found within the thickness of the walls, and it is assumed that each of the towers was provided with similar stairways. Of the original interval towers, 46 have survived intact, and there are a further 39 that are wholly or partly dismantled. They are spaced at irregular intervals round the walls; they were two-storeyed and most of them are roughly semi-circular in plan, the gap in the wall in which they were constructed varying in width from 5.35 m to 12.80 m.

Several take the form of slightly tapering truncated cones, and a few have rectangular plans. One of the towers, known as La Moschera, is surmounted by the remains of its superstructure containing two arched windows. There is a variety of materials to be observed in their construction, and in that of the walls themselves. The main stones used were dressed granite and, in particular, slate. There is some variety in the forms of laying the stones and in their size. In some cases the slate walls rise from foundation courses of granite; in other examples these basal courses are also in slate. Yet another common wall make-up consists of the courses in the lower half or two-thirds being of dressed granite with the remainder in slate, but with some granite blocks interspersed. The parapet is crenellated in places, but this is certainly post-Roman work. Considerable reconstruction work took place at what is now known as the Reducto de Santa Cristina in 1836- 37, to create a fort that accorded with the military architecture of the period.

The original gates have undergone a number of transformations since the 3rd century. The best preserved are the Falsa Gate and the Miñá Gate, which still has its original vaulted arch set between two towers, in characteristic Roman form; traces of the now disappeared guard chamber can be seen on the interior wall (also visible at the San Pedro Gate).

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The Roman town of Lucus Augusti was founded in 15-13 BCE following the pacification of this region by Augustus. The Celtic name Lug suggests that it may have been a sacred site of the Copori, but no evidence has been forthcoming from excavations on this point. There was a Roman military camp here during the campaign of Augustus, and it was here that the new town was laid out on a checkerboard plan according to classical principles. The original plan did not require the town to be enclosed by a defensive wall, because of the effectiveness of the Pax Romana (although the entire region continued to have a military presence, dispersed in a number of small forts).

The town prospered in the succeeding centuries, not least because of the important mineral resources of the region, which were actively exploited. It was also the administrative centre of the surrounding area (the Conventus Iuridicus Lucense), and an important nodal point in the network of roads built by the Romans. The town acquired impressive public buildings and luxurious urban villas, which spread over a wide area.

However, in the mid 2nd century Frankish and Alemannic invaders crossed the limes and ravaged Gaul, penetrating into Hispania before being driven out. This resulted in the construction of massive urban defences at all the towns of the western Roman provinces. Lucus received its walls between 263 and 276; it has been suggested, however, that these were built less against barbarian invaders from across the Rhine frontier than against the local tribesmen, who had never fully accepted the Roman occupation of their lands. As in most colonial towns, the area enclosed by the walls was less than that of the urban settlement: a considerable part of the town in the south-east remained outside.

Despite the strength of its fortifications, Lugo was unable to resist the Suevi when they swept into the peninsula in the early 5th century and destroyed the town by fire. They were to be dislodged in their turn by the Visigoths, who captured the town in 457 and settled it once again. The irresistible Moorish invasion of Spain saw Lugo overwhelmed and sacked in 714, but it was recaptured for Christendom by Alfonso I of Asturias in 755 and restored by Bishop Odarius. The town was to be ravaged once again in 968 by the Normans, on their way to the Mediterranean, and it was not restored until the following century.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
Notes
  • Following a survey of ownership carried out in the late 1960s, ownership of the totality of the walls was vested in 1973 in the Spanish State, through the Ministry of Education and Science. It was transferred to the Xunta de Galicia by Royal Decree in 1994.

     The Spanish Constitution reserves certain rights in relation to the heritage to the central government. However, these are delegated to the competent agencies in the Autonomous Communities, in this case the Xunta de Galicia. For the Lugo walls the Xunta is in the position of both owner and competent agency. Under the Galician Heritage Law the Xunta is required to cooperate with the municipal authorities in ensuring the protection and conservation of listed monuments, and certain functions are delegated down to them. The Xunta operates through its General Directorate of Cultural Heritage (Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural), based in Santiago de Compostela.

    The Master Plan for the Conservation and Restoration of the Roman Walls of Lugo (1992) covered proposals for actions to be taken in respect of research and techniques of restoration. This was followed in 1997 by the Special Plan for the Protection and Internal Reform of the Fortified Enceinte of the Town of Lugo, which is concerned principally with the urban environment of the historic town. However, it has a direct impact on the protection afforded to the walls, in terms of traffic planning, the creation of open spaces, and regulation of building heights. Another planning instrument which affects the walls is the Special Plan for the Protection of the Miño [river], approved by the municipality at the beginning of 1998.

    There is at the present time no management plan sensu stricto for the walls in operation in Lugo: work is continuing on the basis of the 1992 plan. Nor is there a technical unit specifically responsible for the conservation and restoration of the walls. It is against this background that serious consideration is being given to the creation of an independent foundation, under royal patronage and with representatives from government, academic, voluntary, and business institutions, to work with the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage of Galicia. The work plan of this body would include the development and implementation of integrated conservation, restoration, and maintenance programmes.