Assignment Title: Ancient Architecture Egypt, Greek and Rome Subject: Western History Of Architecture(BAB3215) Course: Bachelor Of Architecture Year II Semester I June 23 – July 7, 2010 Assessor: SHARIFAH HASHIMAH BT SYED HASHIM
Content Introduction Characteristics of the building/element Building Analysis References or sources
Tower of Hercules is an ancient roman lighthouse. It located at Galicia, Spain. Built at Trajanus age-2nd century- and known as farumBrigantium. Being the only building on the worldwith a Roman origin and basis that still working.
The red dot in the map show the location of the tower.
The tower has been considered to be the oldest existing lighthouse in the world. The Tower of Hercules is a National Monument of Spain, and since June 27, 2009 it is also being consider as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Tower was restored in the 18th century in an exemplary manner, which has protected the central core of the original Roman monument while restoring its technical functions.
Through the millennia many mythical stories of its origin have been told. According to a myth that blends Celtic and Greco-Roman elements, the hero Hercules slew the giant tyrant Geryon after three days and three nights of continuous battle. Hercules then—in a Celtic gesture— buried the head of Geryon with his weapons and ordered that a city be built on the site. The lighthouse atop a skull and crossbones representing the buried head of Hercules’ slain enemy appears in the coat-of-arms of the city of Corunna.
Another legend embodied in the 11th-century compilation LeborGabalaErren— the "Book of Invasions“ In that legend, King Breogán, the founding father of the Galician Celtic nation, constructed here a massive tower of such a grand height that his sons could see a distant green shore from its top. The glimpse of that distant green land lured them to sail north to Ireland. A colossal statue of Breogán has been erected near the Tower.
The Tower, were built on a 57 meter high rock, rises a further 55 meters. Build in square plan, it had a basic distribution in four rooms covered with barrel vault made of Roman concrete opus caementicium. The inner rooms were very high and were vertically communicated through a perimetral slope that raised with several turns up to the superior floor where the lamp stood.
There are many hypothesis about original design for this slope as such :- -The first is that it was inserted between central body and four exterior walls that hid and protected it. It brings a defensive element to the tower. -The second proposes were an external slope, made of wood or stone. This would be lost because of the effect of time and lack of maintaining.
inner and outer façades were composed by great ashlars,opus quadratum. Actual covering of ashlars is 0,60 m. wide and hide original Roman construction, very spoilt. It had a cylindrical plan covered by a dome. But it was substituted by a structure with an octogonal plan at 18th century. The tower rises on a wide polygonal platform 32.40 meter wide, which is its base. This platform was built in early 19th century.
At one of the rocks close to this building this inscription was found: - MARTI AVG.SACR. G.SEVIVS LVPVS ARCHITECTVS AEMINIENSIS LVSITANVS EX V. It translate: "Devoted to Mars. Gaius Sevius Lupus architect of Aeminium, lusitan, fulfilling his promise" and perhaps an information on the architect who designed the lighthouse.
The picture beside show the floor plan and the section of the tower.
It being build to overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. The position of the lighthouse itself, is a mistery since it favours an approach from the North West. It does not provide a guide to safe harbour to any vessels approaching.
The tower were build used an ancient Roman construction technique, “Opus quadratum” in which squared blocks of stone of the same height were set in parallel courses, without the use of mortar. The main material of the tower were stone block. It is also use the arch vault to support the massive structure without using any cement.