Medieval Ship Graffito in the Palau Reial Major at Barcelona

By Lawrence V. Mott, published February 1990


A drawing of a medieval ship in Santa Agata in Barcelona illuminates Catalonian political and trading changes in the 14th century, the effect of the Black Death and Mediterranean shipwrights’ adoption of the northern keel. ┬áThe drawings include the ship, Sant Jordi and the Dragon, knights, noblewomen, letters and musical notes and help date the graffito to about 1350. ┬áNotable characteristics of the two-masted ship are a longer and narrower hull than a cog, a stern mounted rudder, three hatches and possible top reefing.

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Filed under: High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

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