A recent number of the “ Algemeine Zei- tung,” contains an interesting account of a visit which the writer had made to inspect the progress of building a wall in the manner called Cyclopean, at Dilsternbrook, near Kiel, in Schleswig-Holstein. He considers the effect of the work and the style of execution far superior to any of the numerous remains called by the same name, which he has seen in Italy, and goes so far as to give it the preference over any other ki!1d of walls, so far as the plain vertical surface of the material, apart from ornamental accessories, is concerned. He thinks that the polygonal stones, exerting their pressure in all directions, must insure stronger work than the squared stones, however closely jointed, which only act in the direction of gravity. Indeed, the innumerable number of many sided and multangular stones of all sizes seem so run together into one compact mass, of which neither time nor age will get the better. Neither mortar nor any other means of binding the stones together is employed ; but the greatest care is taken in fitting the granite blocks one into the other, the vacant spaces in the wall as it is carried up being accurately taken off with a lead tape, (bleistrnger) forced with a hammer into all the angles of the openings, and then applied to the flat hewn face ot the block best suited, and next to be brought' to its shape 'by the workman. FrSm the workmen he learned that the directions given them by the architect were, “Five-sided and six- sided blocks, seldom four-sided ; straight lines, joint upon angle and angle upon joint. according to the lead tape, and only inclined junctions between the blocks were found to be in every graduation between the perpendicular and the horizontal, without coinciding with either of them. In this obliquity of the joints the author detected the arch principle of con struction as applief to the work, and the workmen pointed out to him that each stone either presssed or supported, with every one of its sides, however numerous. Herr Mahnke was the name of the builder, who had said that the cost of the work was less than that of a square stone wall; that it was much stronger, so that he should have used it in se veral larger buildings if he had been acquaint with it sooner; moreover, that this kind ot building was to be preferred, because every stone, large or small, can be used up in it Generally, the writer holds this polygonal or Cyclopean kind of building to be especially applicable in, first, hydraulic works, as it offers nowhere a continuous joint to the water; second, in fortifications ; third, for railways in substruction and deep coverings, and in the cellar story and even in the next story of large buildings and palaces. In these mortar would be used, not as a means of connecting the stone, but only as pointing to the joints, so that the immediate contact of the stone should not be interrupted. In conclusion, the writer recommends the adoption of this method of building according to determined and clearly defined principles and rules, as altogether practical wherever the material for polygonal blocks is found.
This article was originally published with the title "Modern Cyclopean Wall"