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Pebbles

The use of pebbles in flooring, both inside and out,  is very common around El Maestrat from the mountains right down to the coast. They are generally inlaid into the floor amongst large smooth stones, but sometimes you will come across whole streets of them, even more awkward to walk on with heels as cobblestones are.

The patterns can be exquisite and I call this pebbledash gone right, but in truth the Moors introduced the style to Spain and if you look carefully at the geometric designs, you can see the juxtaposition of the Koran with Cathar and other Christian influences.  Sometimes down at the coast the pebbles are inter-exhcanged for shells.

 

The tradition has all but died out and it is hardly surprising. Though it is easy enough to do these floor inlays, the naturally-formed pebbles are  hand-picked from beaches or dry river beds. Just like the landscape-defining dry stone walls and terraces of the mountains, the man hours required to execute them are just not practical in today’s modern world.  But have you noticed – in Leroy Merlin and the like, you can buy these types of designs already positioned on mesh clothes?  A bit regular perhaps, but interesting all the same,  and especially as it tends to be used for shower floors!

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