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Between Free Passage and Restriction. Roads and Bridges in the Towns of Wallachia and Moldavia (16th-18th century)

Domenii publicaţii > Stiinte umaniste + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în volumul unei conferinţe

Autori: Laurentiu Radvan

Editorial: Neven Budak, Zagreb, Leykam International and the International Commission for the History of Towns, Communication in Towns, p.103-118, 2008.


Paper presented at the conference dedicated to Communication in Towns, organized by the International Commission for the History of Towns, Zagreb – Croatia, September 2006 (volume published in 2008).

Abstract: Similarly to other towns of Medieval Europe, inner town communications stood for a significant element in the development of urban centers in Romanian-inhabited areas as well. Roads did not only allow for the carrying of news and military operations; they also represented trade routes, whereby merchants could carry their merchandise and their money. In towns of Moldova and Wallachia, communication routes were under the joint supervision of town administration and royal representatives. The public road network in towns was irregular, and had developed over time, as towns had followed a gradual, unchecked pattern of expansion. A peculiar feature in many of the indicated towns were the so-called “planked streets” that had been built over the roads; these were made of boards of wood secured in such a way as to create a type of even floor, that was designed to ease passage of vehicles; this had been noticed by a large number of foreign travelers, missionaries, businessmen or diplomats that had made their way through the area. Since roads also ran across many rivers, all towns being located on water shores, there is information from the 15th century concerning the construction of certain bridges, whose construction and maintenance patterns were area-specific. This type of bridges has survived up to the early 20th century. Their maintenance was the task of the „bridge builders” guild.

Cuvinte cheie: town, roads, bridges, authonomy