The landscape of Benevento is historically characterised by the presence of vernacular architectures which exploited the driving power of water for productive purposes. The abundance of watercourses and natural resources coupled with the large quantity of agricultural products enabled the development of a real protoindustrial centre, which was particularly active in southern Italy between the 18th and 19th centuries. Production activities linked to the manufacture of textiles and leather were flanked by a dense system of watermills. Situated in the proximity of the city walls and the town's main rivers, such watermills and their inherent complex network of canals have shaped the historic peri-urban landscape of Benevento over centuries. Thanks to the availability of numerous historical maps and archival drawings of mills, a link can be established between the past and what is currently visible in the area. The recognition of the physical traces of the mills and of the remains of the water adduction system deepens the knowledge of an unresolved strip of city territory that still retains a peri-urban character, being delimited on one side by the historic walls and on the other by the 20th century expansion of the city. In light of these considerations, this paper offers a new contribution to the study of the proto-industrial architectural heritage of Benevento, focusing on the interpretation of material traces of the past with the purpose that their recognition could strengthen the identity of this part of the city.

Architecture and Proto Industry. Watermills in the historic peri-urban landscape of Benevento (Italy)

Lia Romano
2022

Abstract

The landscape of Benevento is historically characterised by the presence of vernacular architectures which exploited the driving power of water for productive purposes. The abundance of watercourses and natural resources coupled with the large quantity of agricultural products enabled the development of a real protoindustrial centre, which was particularly active in southern Italy between the 18th and 19th centuries. Production activities linked to the manufacture of textiles and leather were flanked by a dense system of watermills. Situated in the proximity of the city walls and the town's main rivers, such watermills and their inherent complex network of canals have shaped the historic peri-urban landscape of Benevento over centuries. Thanks to the availability of numerous historical maps and archival drawings of mills, a link can be established between the past and what is currently visible in the area. The recognition of the physical traces of the mills and of the remains of the water adduction system deepens the knowledge of an unresolved strip of city territory that still retains a peri-urban character, being delimited on one side by the historic walls and on the other by the 20th century expansion of the city. In light of these considerations, this paper offers a new contribution to the study of the proto-industrial architectural heritage of Benevento, focusing on the interpretation of material traces of the past with the purpose that their recognition could strengthen the identity of this part of the city.
978-84-1396-060-9
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/893825
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact