Special Issue "Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 June 2019).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lola Pereira
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Guest Editor
Departmentt of Geology, University of Salamanca, Spain
Interests: natural stones; petrology; geochemistry; architectonic heritage
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Lidia Catarino
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: architectonic heritage; stone degradation; stone wastes; natural raw materials
Dr. Giovanna Antonella Dino
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Guest Editor
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Torino, 10124 Torino, Italy
Interests: circular economy; sustainable mining; raw materials; mining and quarrying; environmental engineering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The working group on Heritage Stones has been growing in the last ten years and it has become obvious that a Special Issue presenting new stones that have been used in the construction of the architectural heritage is demanded. Heritage Stones are those stones that have special significance in human culture. Examples include some very important stones that have been either neglected because they are no longer extracted, or stones that have great significance in commercial terms, but knowledge of their national and/or international heritage has not been well documented.

The aim of this issue is to spread awareness of architectural heritage around the world, and the natural stones that have been used in its construction. Also the need to preserve historical quarries that once provided the source of such stones. Historical quarries are linked to regional culture and traditions. Today very often, due to improved transportation and infrastructure, or globalization that leads to imports of exotic ornamental stones, they lie idle. Because the specific technical and aesthetical characteristics of heritage stones, that have lasted for centuries, these historical quarries should be preserved to be able to use the stone for proper restoration of monuments and historical buildings to avoid negative actions that can be observed in many places in the restoration of buildings, some times part of World Heritage sites.

This is why we invite you to submit your research related to natural stones and heritage, to build an exciting and very interesting Special Issue that will serve as awareness about the importance of natural stones in the architectural heritage.

Prof. Dr. Dolores Pereira
Prof. Dr. Lidia Catarino
Dr. Giovanna Antonella Dino
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Candoglia Marble and the “Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano”: A Renowned Georesource to Be Potentially Designed as Global Heritage Stone
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4725; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174725 - 29 Aug 2019
Abstract
Marbles from Alpine area have been widely employed to build and decorate masterpieces and buildings which often represent the cultural heritage of an area (statuary, historic buildings and sculptures). Candoglia marble, object of the present research, is one of the most famous and [...] Read more.
Marbles from Alpine area have been widely employed to build and decorate masterpieces and buildings which often represent the cultural heritage of an area (statuary, historic buildings and sculptures). Candoglia marble, object of the present research, is one of the most famous and appreciated marbles from Alpine area; it has been quarried since Roman times in the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola (VCO; Piemonte—NW Italy) extractive area. Candoglia Marble outcrops are present as lenses within the high-grade paragneisses of the Ivrea Zone, a visible section of deep continental crust characterised by amphibolite- to granulite-facies metamorphism (Palaeozoic period). Candoglia calcitic marble (80–85% CaCO3 and the 15–20% other minerals) shows a characteristic pink to gray colour and a coarse-grained texture (>3 mm): frequent centimetre-thick dark-greenish silicate layers (mainly represented by diopside and tremolite) characterize the texture of the marble. It has been largely used in local rural constructions and historical buildings, but its most famous application has been (and still is) for the “Duomo di Milano” construction (fourteenth century). The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano carried out the anthropogenic activities dealing with the Candoglia marble exploitation; it has to be highlighted that the company have managed the Marble exploitation during the last seven centuries and that the quarry itself is a tangible sign of the development of extraction and heritage in the VCO area. Candoglia marble can be recognized as a significant example of a “Global Heritage Stone Resource”: its exploitation from quarry to building (the Duomo di Milano) well represents the close correlation between stone and cultural heritage, between georesources and humankind development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Historical and Contemporary Use of Natural Stones in the French West Indies. Conservation Aspects and Practices
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4566; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174566 - 22 Aug 2019
Abstract
The French West Indies (F.W.I.), in the Eastern Caribbean, are part of a biodiversity hotspot and an archipelago of very rich geology. In this specific natural environment, the abundance or the lack of various natural resources has influenced society since the pre-Columbian era. [...] Read more.
The French West Indies (F.W.I.), in the Eastern Caribbean, are part of a biodiversity hotspot and an archipelago of very rich geology. In this specific natural environment, the abundance or the lack of various natural resources has influenced society since the pre-Columbian era. The limited size of the islands and the growth of their economy demand a clear assessment of both the natural geoheritage and the historical heritage. This paper presents a brief review of the variety of the natural stone architectural heritage of the F.W.I. and of the available geomaterials. Some conservation issues and threats are evidenced, with particular emphasis on Guadeloupe. Some social practices are also evoked, with the long-term goal of studying the reciprocal influence of local geology and society on conservation aspects. Finally, this paper argues that unawareness is one of the main obstacles for the conservation of the geoheritage and the natural stone architectural heritage in the F.W.I. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Suitable Re-Use of Abandoned Quarries for Restoration and Conservation of the Old City of Salamanca—World Heritage Site
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164352 - 12 Aug 2019
Abstract
Martinamor granite has been used for centuries in the monumental buildings of Salamanca city. In this study, the fracturing pattern of the Martinamor granite outcrops was evaluated in order to assess the possibility of supplying material for the restoration of heritage monuments. Several [...] Read more.
Martinamor granite has been used for centuries in the monumental buildings of Salamanca city. In this study, the fracturing pattern of the Martinamor granite outcrops was evaluated in order to assess the possibility of supplying material for the restoration of heritage monuments. Several joint sets with a mean joint spacing lower than one meter compose the fracturing pattern, making the massive exploitation of this granite impossible. Only small blocks for restoration can be obtained; therefore, the outcrops should be protected for such purpose. The area of outcrops and ancient quarries, as well as that of mining activities from the same period, should be preserved as examples of historical extraction techniques and as a remembrance of our geological-materials-based society. Several proposals are presented for the geoconservation of the site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Bargiolina, a Striking Historical Stone from Monte Bracco (Piedmont, NW Italy) and a Possible Source of Industrial Minerals
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4293; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164293 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Bargiolina quartzite from Monte Bracco (western Alps, northern Italy) represents one of the most important historical ornamental stones of the Piedmont region. Known and used since the prehistoric age as substituting material for chert, it was celebrated by Leonardo da Vinci, and [...] Read more.
The Bargiolina quartzite from Monte Bracco (western Alps, northern Italy) represents one of the most important historical ornamental stones of the Piedmont region. Known and used since the prehistoric age as substituting material for chert, it was celebrated by Leonardo da Vinci, and exploited at least since the XIII century, peaking in the XX century. It was extensively used in the construction of basilicas and noble palaces by famous architects of Piedmontese Baroque, for internal and external stone cladding. There are four main commercial and chromatic varieties, and the main technical feature is the regular schistosity, to obtain very thin natural split slabs. The different varieties have a homogeneous mineralogical composition and microstructure: A fine and homeoblastic grain size, and a granular—lepidoblastic texture, with regularly spaced schistose domains. The main rock-forming minerals are quartz, phengite, small amounts of K-feldspar and traces of plagioclase and chlorite. The yield rate of quarries is about 20%, and the poor exploitation planning of the past led to only partly exploited quarry benches, with a very poor residual yield. The large amount of quartz-rich quarry waste and the presence of kaolin-rich gneisses suggests the potential for novel applications in the field of industrial minerals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Minero-Petrographic Characterization of Chianocco Marble Employed for Palazzo Madama Façade in Turin (Northwest Italy)
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154229 - 05 Aug 2019
Abstract
The study of ancient marble plays an important role in the interpretation of historical and archaeological sites and gives interesting information about building materials used in ancient times and their trade routes. The present work focuses on Chianocco marble that represents one of [...] Read more.
The study of ancient marble plays an important role in the interpretation of historical and archaeological sites and gives interesting information about building materials used in ancient times and their trade routes. The present work focuses on Chianocco marble that represents one of the most important ancient white marbles for cultural heritage exploited in the Piedmont region (Northwest Italy) and employed for the Palazzo Madama façade. A multi-analytical study based on petrographic (optical and scanning electron microscopy), electron microprobe, cathodoluminescence and stable isotope analyses was carried out on these marbles in order to perform an archaeometric study. Chianocco marble was used in Turin during the baroque era by the Savoy architect Filippo Juvarra (1678–1736) in historical buildings, such as the façade of the Palazzo Madama, the plinth of the façade of the town Cathedral and the columns (now plastered) of the portico of Piazza San Carlo. This stone is a dolomitic rock belonging to the Mesozoic cover of the Dora Maira Massif (Pennidic Unit). It shows a vuggy fabric characterized by a vacuolar texture due to tectonic brecciation and subsequent selective dissolution during subaerial exposure. This kind of research is useful to highlight the importance of the use of local stones as building materials and to investigate stone materials for the restoration and maintenance of historical buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Dolostone in Historical Buildings of Coimbra (Central Portugal)
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4158; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154158 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, the importance of the dolostone (a carbonate sedimentary rock where the dominant carbonate mineral is dolomite) in monuments and urban buildings of the city of Coimbra, Portugal, is highlighted. Old quarries are not visible in the nucleus of the city, [...] Read more.
In this paper, the importance of the dolostone (a carbonate sedimentary rock where the dominant carbonate mineral is dolomite) in monuments and urban buildings of the city of Coimbra, Portugal, is highlighted. Old quarries are not visible in the nucleus of the city, due to the sequential occupation by houses, and can only be identified by documentation (draws, contract letters and purchase orders). However, on the southern side of Mondego River (Santa Clara) some outcrops can be observed and were exploited until the mid-20th. It is presented a list of the old quarries and monuments made with this rock. The characterization of dolostones from the Coimbra Formation is also presented. It is made the connection between the local geology and the “identity” of Coimbra, putting in evidence the stone as a symbol that characterize the gilded aspect of the buildings. For restoration and rehabilitation works, a small number of blocks could be extracted from the Carvalhais quarry if were eventually necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrafast Laser Surface Texturing: A Sustainable Tool to Modify Wettability Properties of Marble
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154079 - 28 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Conservation strategies to reduce the degradation of stone caused by the action of water are focusing on increasing the hydrophobicity of the surface by imitating existing solutions in nature (lotus leafs and others). These are mainly based on the existence of hierarchical roughness [...] Read more.
Conservation strategies to reduce the degradation of stone caused by the action of water are focusing on increasing the hydrophobicity of the surface by imitating existing solutions in nature (lotus leafs and others). These are mainly based on the existence of hierarchical roughness with micro- and nanoscale structures. In the case of marble, research has focused on protective coatings that sometimes are dangerous for the health and the environment, and with undesirable effects such as color changes or reduction of water vapor permeability of the stone. Laser texturing, however, is an environmentally friendly technique, because no chemicals or toxic waste are added and, moreover, it can process nearly all types of materials. It has been used to change the surface texture of metals and other materials on a micro or even nanometric scale, to meet a specific functional requirement, such as hydrophobicity. The objective of this work was to analyze the feasibility of this technique to provide hydrophobic properties to a marble surface without appreciable changes in its appearance. Therefore, an analysis of the irradiation parameters with ultra-short-pulse laser was performed. Preliminary results demonstrate the ability of this technique to provide hydrophobic character the marble (contact angles well above 90 ). Besides, the analysis of the treated surfaces in terms of roughness, color and gloss indicates that changes in the appearance of the surface are minimal when properly selecting the process parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Use of Natural Stone as an Authentic Building Material for the Restoration of Historic Buildings in Order to Test Sustainable Refurbishment: Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4009; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154009 - 24 Jul 2019
Abstract
This study deals with the integrated process of conservation and restoration of architectural heritage and sustainability. The objective of the research was to define adequate methodologies for the structural restoration of historic buildings, their re-use, and sustainable refurbishment in accordance with modern requirements [...] Read more.
This study deals with the integrated process of conservation and restoration of architectural heritage and sustainability. The objective of the research was to define adequate methodologies for the structural restoration of historic buildings, their re-use, and sustainable refurbishment in accordance with modern requirements and conservation standards while maintaining the original visual character by using natural stone as an authentic building material. The main research method was the in-situ observation of the historic structures during the restoration and adaptive re-use, the analysis, and evaluation of the research findings regarding energy efficiency improvements and energy saving in the Haybarn complex within the monastery Hilandar, Mount Athos, Greece. Due to its cultural and natural values, Mount Athos has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The research included the damaged and abandoned agricultural structures that belong to the Haybarn complex and the analysis of the obtained results after the restoration had finished and the abandoned premises had been turned into guest rooms for the visitors of Hilandar monastery. The result section states the findings of the research arranged as recommendations for historic building restoration and re-use, emphasizing their new function in accordance with modern comfort requirements and environmental protection standards. The main contribution of this study is the analysis of the research findings and the possibilities of energy refurbishment of the restored historic buildings, through the use of natural stone as authentic local construction material, in accordance with energy efficiency measures and principles, conservation requirements and cultural heritage conservation standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Studenica Marble: Significance, Use, Conservation
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3916; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143916 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Studenica marble is the stone used in creating the mediaeval Serbian cultural heritage. This is a historical overview of the importance and use of stone from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, when the most imposing religious architectural structures were built. The significance [...] Read more.
Studenica marble is the stone used in creating the mediaeval Serbian cultural heritage. This is a historical overview of the importance and use of stone from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, when the most imposing religious architectural structures were built. The significance of Studenica marble is particularly manifested in the Virgin’s Church at the Studenica Monastery. For its marble façades and artistic architectural elements, among other things, the church was inscribed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1986. Through centuries, the Virgin’s Church suffered multiple destructions. In order to restore the marble façades properly and its architectural elements, the marble deposits where the stone was once quarried had to be located anew. When the stone material characterisation had been performed, the right stone was selected for the complex conservation works on the churches in Studenica and Sopocani. A practical implementation of the research results raised the awareness of the marble deposits in the Studenica vicinity, being also part of the national heritage. The Studenica Monastery Cultural Landscape Management Plan envisions preservation of the deposits and their sustainable use for restoration purposes in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Houses Based on Natural Stone; A Case Study—The Bay of Kotor (Montenegro)
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3866; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143866 - 16 Jul 2019
Abstract
The Bay of Kotor, in its exceptional natural conditions, thanks to its geographical location and influenced by historical events, saw the development of rural settlements that are historically, artistically and culturally worthy of recognition. These stone settlements were acquired completely spontaneously, keeping the [...] Read more.
The Bay of Kotor, in its exceptional natural conditions, thanks to its geographical location and influenced by historical events, saw the development of rural settlements that are historically, artistically and culturally worthy of recognition. These stone settlements were acquired completely spontaneously, keeping the same pace as the settling, and transformed to some degree due to contemporary social movement and migration. Up until the middle of the 20th century, structures on the coastline in general were built by applying the same verified methods, which remained unchanged for centuries. Unreinforced stone walls as load-bearing vertical elements, coupled with wooden floor joists attached in a traditional way are typically present in the stone architecture of the Adriatic region and karst areas in general. The construction characteristics of the stone houses built in such a way meet all needs in terms of strength, thermal insulation, and are suitable for the coastal climate of this region. The fast-paced development in the past 50 years, the inadequate legal protection of residential buildings in the Bay of Kotor, poverty, and the new rich have brought about the devastation of not only buildings built in traditional architecture styles themselves, but also the urban landscape of the bay. Throughout the Bay of Kotor, buildings built in traditional architecture styles are nowadays more and more rare to see in their original shape—houses outside of cities but which display all characteristics of civic coastal houses and buildings free of rigid style rules, even though closely in contact with them. Regardless of efforts to preserve the heritage inherited by our ancestors, cultural monuments and houses referenced here deteriorate on a daily basis due to troubles and neglect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
“Trachytes” from Sardinia: Geoheritage and Current Use
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3706; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133706 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sardinia was affected by an intense igneous activity which generated calc-alkaline products during the Oligo-Miocene period. The volcanic substance shows large variations, ranging from pyroclastic flow deposits, lava flows and domes. By composition, the deposits are all primarily dacites and rhyolites, with subordinate [...] Read more.
Sardinia was affected by an intense igneous activity which generated calc-alkaline products during the Oligo-Miocene period. The volcanic substance shows large variations, ranging from pyroclastic flow deposits, lava flows and domes. By composition, the deposits are all primarily dacites and rhyolites, with subordinate andesites and very scarce basalts. The rhyolite lavas show porphyritic and ash-flow tuffs. Ignimbrite structures are found in the dacitic domes and rhyolitic lavas. These rocks—commercially known as “Trachytes of Sardinia”—used to be quarried in all historical provinces, mainly in the central part of the island to be used as ornamental and building stone. They continue to be commonly used nowadays, but their use dates back to the prehistoric age. They are easily found in many nuraghi, “domus de janas”, holy wells, Roman works (mosaics, paving, roads, bridges), many churches built in Sardinia and practically in all kinds of structural elements in public and private buildings, such as walls, houses, and bridges. Contrary to the granitoid rocks, whose appearance is largely influenced by the mineralogical composition, the aesthetic feature of volcanic rocks is rather affected by the widest range of colors, structure and texture, i.e., shape, size and distribution of mineral components, porphyric index, etc. “Trachyte” is quarried opencast with the “single low step” method, with descending development, with prevalent use of double-disc sawing machines. Whenever the stone deposit allows higher steps, the chain cutting machine, in combination with diamond wire, becomes the preferred extraction solution. This study aims to at look Sardinian “trachytes” from a geoheritage perspective. After a geological-petrographic framework, the paper discusses the historical uses of “trachyte” in Sardinia. The current state of the art of “trachyte” quarrying, processing and usage in the Island is also described. An analysis of the “trachyte” production has been carried out. Finally, a consideration about how to enhance geotourism in the area is suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Serpentinite from Moeche (Galicia, North Western Spain). A Stone Used for Centuries in the Construction of the Architectural Heritage of the Region
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2700; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092700 - 12 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Serpentinites are characterized by highly variable mineralogical, physical, and mechanical properties. Serpentinites from Moeche (North Western Spain) have been studied to establish their mineralogical, petrographic, and textural characteristics, as well as their physical and mechanical parameters and the factors influencing rock failure, to [...] Read more.
Serpentinites are characterized by highly variable mineralogical, physical, and mechanical properties. Serpentinites from Moeche (North Western Spain) have been studied to establish their mineralogical, petrographic, and textural characteristics, as well as their physical and mechanical parameters and the factors influencing rock failure, to evaluate the possible use of these rocks either for new construction or for conservation-restoration of the architectonic heritage of the region. In this paper, we highlight the importance of a detailed mineralogical and petrographic characterization in the fracture zones, which will determine the viability of quarrying the stone. A strong correlation between the petrographic features and the uniaxial compression strength values has been observed. The most important aspects were found to be the rock texture, the mineralogical composition of the fracture area and foliation, although mineralogy was also found to be involved (% of carbonates) in the strength of the stone. An important preliminary result of the study was the low asbestos content of these serpentinites, which will help in the potential re-opening of the quarries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic Performance of Ancient Masonry Structures in Korea Rediscovered in 2016 M 5.8 Gyeongju Earthquake
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061565 - 14 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Gyeongju Historic Areas, which include the millennium-old capital of the Silla Kingdom, are located in the region most frequently affected by seismic events in the Korean peninsula. Despite the numerous earthquakes documented, most of the stone architectural heritage has retained their original [...] Read more.
The Gyeongju Historic Areas, which include the millennium-old capital of the Silla Kingdom, are located in the region most frequently affected by seismic events in the Korean peninsula. Despite the numerous earthquakes documented, most of the stone architectural heritage has retained their original forms. This study systematically reviews and categorises studies dealing with the seismic risk assessment of the architectural heritage of the historic areas. It applies research methodologies, such as the evaluation of the engineering characteristics of subsoil in architectural heritage sites, site-specific analysis of the ground motions in response to earthquake scenarios, geographic information system (GIS)-based seismic microzonation according to the geotechnical engineering parameters, reliability assessment of dynamic centrifuge model testing for stone masonry structures and evaluation of seismic behaviour of architectural heritage. The M 5.8 earthquake that hit Gyeongju on September 12, 2016 is analysed from an engineering point of view and the resulting damage to the stone architectural heritage is reported. The study focuses on Cheomseongdae, an astronomical observatory in Gyeongju, whose structural engineering received considerable attention since its seismic resistance was reported after the last earthquake. Dynamic centrifuge model tests applying the Gyeongju Earthquake motions are performed to prove that it is not a coincidence that Cheomseongdae, a masonry structure composed of nearly 400 stone members, survived numerous seismic events for over 1300 years. The structural characteristics of Cheomseongdae, such as the well-compacted filler materials in its lower part, rough inside wall in contrast to the smooth exterior, intersecting stone beams and interlocking headstones are proven to contribute to its overall seismic performance, demonstrating outstanding seismic design technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Stone and Architectural Heritage) Printed Edition available
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