By Pere Roca
Historical Constructions, edited by P.B. Lourenço and P. Roca (Guimarães, 2001)
Abstract: The study of three Gothic Cathedrals is presented with a discussion on the results obtained with regard to their structural features and present condition. The paper focuses on the significant difficulties that the analysts may encounter in the attempt of evaluating historical structures. These difficulties stem from the importance of historical facts (historical genesis, construction process, and possible natural or anthropic actions affecting the construction throughout its life time) and the need to integrate them in the analysis. The case studies of Tarazona, Barcelona and Mallorca Cathedrals are presented. Particular attention is given to Mallorca Cathedral because of the uniqueness and audacity of its structural design and because of the challenges that the analyst must face to conclude about its actual condition and long-tem stability.