Dry Stone Wall Building Workshop Held in Zagreb

By 28 May 2016

An NGO wants to include dry stone wall building as part of the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage.

Another touch of history in Zagreb. The Dragodid Association decided to build a dry stone wall in the courtyard of the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum. The association, which is named after a village near Komiža on the island of Vis, deals with the protection and restoration of dry stone walls, reports Večernji List on May 28, 2016.

Such walls made of natural stones without the use of any other material can be found along the entire Croatian coast and its hinterland.

The intention of the Association is to protect these monuments of human effort at the highest possible level – at UNESCO. According to Mišo Renić, one of 40 members of the Association, due to the fact that there are similar stone walls around the Mediterranean, it is possible to protect them only as an intangible heritage.

“What we are building here at the workshop at the Museum is a double border dry stone wall. Dry stone walls were used to mark borders between individual properties and vineyards”, says Renić, one of some 15 architects which are members of Dragodid.

Dry stone walls also had an important historical role. With the advent of the epidemic of phylloxera in France and Italy in the late 19th century, there was a marked increase in demand for wine. More and more vineyards were being planted, often on difficult terrain, so the landscape rapidly started to include more and more dry stone walls.

This was not the first such workshop which was organized by the Association. The goal is to preserve this valuable heritage and educate and motivate people to continue with the construction.

“Dry stone walls are becoming increasingly popular. At the workshop, we have people coming specifically with the intention of building one themselves. It is not easy, and you have to take into account that the first two attempts will fail, but the third attempt will probably succeed”, says Renić who emphasizes that Croatia is the country with the highest number of dry stone walls per capita.

If you are interested to see for yourself how a dry stone wall looks like for real, and you are not visiting Croatian coast or hinterland where it is a common sight, you can come to the Technical Museum in Zagreb.