|An early sketch of the city showing the Alcazar, four gates, various churches and the Cabildo (council building)|
|The wall is clearly visible in this print from 1565 looking eastwards from the Ermita de Guia|
The construction method of the walls is interesting. A technique called "tapia" (from the arabic "tabiyya) or "rammed earth" was employed. This is an ancient method which is simple and economical and uses easily obtained materials. It consists of a wooden framework into which is poured a mixture of lime, earth and mixed aggregates such as bone, stones, gravel, bits of ceramic and organic material such as straw. The mixture is then rammed down to compress it, and once hard enough, the framework can be removed and used again for the next layer. It is not so different from pouring concrete into shuttering, and in both cases the impression of the woodgrain can often be seen. In the picture below you can see all sorts of regular marks on the walls. These are holes where the wooden framework was anchored, and once it was moved they were filled in. The passage of time and insufficient maintenance have exposed them.
|The octagonal tower at the Alcazar showing construction method (foto:Pascual/diariodejerez)|
|A mid XIX century view looking eastwards. The outline of the wall is still clearly visible|
|Calle Ancha with houses built against the wall and the old railway track in the 1950s|