Dry stone construction in Europe

Dry stone construction is a common heritage in many parts of Europe. The typological variation is well known: from large terraced areas creating landscapes of great structural value and beauty around the Mediterranean countries to the river valleys of Portugal, Germany and other areas in the Alpine.

Shelters for people and livestock such as the "bories" in the south of France, the "caselli" and "trulli"  in Italy, the sheds and huts in Valencia and Catalunya, the "ponts de bestiar" and cabins in Menorca, all point to superb quality and structural diversity. Walls used to delimit properties, fields, or cattle are also widely spread, present around almost the entire Mediterranean region as well as in northern countries such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland and some islands off the coast of Sweden.

The great cultural significance and the landscapes they create have made the value of dry stone recognised all over the world, for example the terraces in the wine-growing region Alto Douro in Portugal, the terraced sea cliffs in Portovenere and Cinque Terre, and the trulli in Alberobello, in Italy, that the UNESCO included in the World Heritage Sites List.