Monday, March 18, 2013

0168 – About tors used to built enclosures

Fraga da Pena (Fornos de Algodres) walled enclosure.

In an Anthropological perspective there is no undifferentiated space in human dwelling. Space is always categorized, classified, and only the ways of doing so are contingent.

Before interfere through construction, man architects the space using its elements, the experiences and perceptions that they provide and the associated meanings.

Frequently, Architecture is a simple recognition and categorization of previous natural forms that are connected to stories, myths, and transformed in active storage of memories and experiences.

In this context, the tors volume and shape might be associated to sculptures or architectures of ancient times, mythic times, ancestral or divine. We can hardly assume that, in Prehistory, these elements were taken as “natural elements”, explained by tectonic and differential erosion.  

On the contrary. They probably had associated legends that contributed to the entity of the place, making it a meaningful mark in the landscape, through which space was organized and experienced.

The building of this kind of enclosures is not just a matter of building walls using a favorable previous situation. Walls and tor are integrated in a building where the previous meaning of the natural feature, not conceived as so, certainly had a main symbolic role. The choosing of the place and the decision of building an enclosure there hardly can be understood if we do not consider the meaning and symbolic power of these (for us) natural formations. Even if we cannot precise the specificities of that meaning and power, not consider them will result in a poor interpretation and explanation, that will reflect us more than them.  

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