Book of Fortresses Summer Updates
by Xinyue Gao
The Book of Fortresses project seeks to spatially reconstruct an exceptional architectural source called the
Livro das Fortalezas, which contains 120 perspective drawings and plans of 55 fortresses on Portugal’s border with Spain in 1510. GIS and 3D modeling techniques are used to translate the book into a comprehensible spatial source for modern viewers. In Spring 2022, it was published in . Out of the Archives: Digital Projects as Early Modern Research Objects
This post is from principal investigator
Edward Triplett ‘s Twitter account, which shares a bunch of new photos to show from his summer research.
Photographs of castles and towns along Portugal’s border with Spain from May and June. Each photo is paired with a corresponding drawing from the “Livro das Fortalezas” by Duarte de Armas in 1509-1510. First up is Bragança from the SE & W.
Pointclouds of Monforte do Rio Livre, Outeiro and Penas Roias castles. These will soon be added to the project website http://bookoffortresses.org and zoomable 60+ mpx photo/drawing pairs are in process as well. It was such a relief to finally make this trip w/help of NEH Digital Humanities.
Castelo Branco, facing N & W. The octagonal keep is now gone, and the view of the castle and town are now largely obscured by apartment buildings, but the four-paned tower remains visible from both vantage points.
Idanha-a-Nova, facing S & E. A very difficult site to understand based on Duarte de Armas’ drawings, as much of the castle is gone, and the town has grown right up to the top of the hill. 2nd photo taken while standing on a short wall and holding a camera over my head.
Monforte do Rio Livre, NE & W. A stunning site, also visible from Chaves. The town was already depopulating in Duarte de Armas’ time, allowing excavation of medieval houses within the walls. This is also a site that we scanned via drone photogrammetry.
Penas Roias, N & S. Another castle that was happily isolated from the surrounding town – allowing a detailed drone scan. Closely correlating S photo was shot from the road when the site first came into view. Not a coincidence. The drone revealed the keep’s wonkiness.
Vilar Maior, NE & W. Another happy surprise. The approach to the castle was recently rebuilt with a grant from the EU, and many walls and the bridge are in good shape. On a more disturbing note, the structure in image 4 is in the same location as Duarte de Armas’ gallows.