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Xabia Jim 01-20-2007 10:32 AM

200 year old oven
 
1 Attachment(s)
On a bit of a whim today, I pulled off the road and went exploring to find the castle grounds of Sagunto, north of Valencia.

We walked around the ruins of the castle and marveled at much of the Roman ruins. There was a Roman amphitheater below the castle that had been restored for modern use. There was a storeroom up within the castle walls that had carved stone foundations for central pillars to hold up the roof and a whole series of clay vessels still half buried in the ground that must have held stores for olive oils, olives, wine, grains, nuts,....who knows what!!

Anyway, this is probably the largest castle grounds (walled city) I've ever been in and at the other end of the castle from the Roman Forum was another area with a wood fired oven!! This thing was huge! I'm guessing it was 4 to 5 meters in diameter. Lined with thin bricks on edge and covered with a lot of masonry in an arch pattern. Talk about holding some heat....I'll bet they got multiple bakes out of that baby.

This oven was obviously part of a military operation about 200 years ago (the castle site goes back over 2200 years and is a key historical monument) and based on the size of the complex, there was a lot of food cooked in it. (BTW...the 200 year figure came from an attendant at the Roman museum on site)

I'll go back to take measurements and take pictures to post. I was surprised how big in diameter it was and that it had a relatively low dome, I'm guessing less than a meter high. What an interesting find....

Xabia Jim 01-20-2007 11:20 AM

History Lessons
 
As far as I can tell the old oven was used to feed the troops that fought with France (Napoleon) during the "War of Independance" (The Spanish War, as it was known in France, lasted six years. The Spaniards called it the War of Independence, and it was an all-encompassing national war.) The French sacked the castle during that war.

1808 to 1813: The Spanish people rise against French domination (May 2nd 1808) and with English help defeat Napoleon. The Peninsular War (Guerra de la Independencia) was a key factor in the cristalization of Spanish Nationality.

Now think about feeding a whole garrison of troops next time you slide something in your wood fired oven!

Perspectives....

CanuckJim 01-20-2007 02:24 PM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
Jim,

What an absolutely tremendous find and good narrative to boot. I'd really like to see some pics of the oven, plus some measurements to see what the dome diameter to dome height ratio is. Well done, though I'm very jealous.

Jim (the Canuck one)

redbricknick 01-20-2007 03:57 PM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
On the subject of 200 year old ovens, it seems that I've been working on mine for 200 years so far. My Uncle just knocked his down and built a bigger one in it's place. He finished the dome in 2 days. I'll try and get him to send me some photos.
Can't wait to see your photos Xabia Jim.

james 01-22-2007 06:33 AM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
Nick,
If you build like a Roman, your oven will be standing 2,000 years from now. 4,007; you gotta wonder what things are going to be like then, but at least we know why could still make wood-fired pizza on one of our ovens.
James

dmun 01-29-2007 06:09 PM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xabia Jim (Post 7383)
On a bit of a whim today, I pulled off the road and went exploring to find the castle grounds of Sagunto, north of Valencia. Anyway, this is probably the largest castle grounds (walled city) I've ever been in and at the other end of the castle from the Roman Forum was another area with a wood fired oven!! This thing was huge! I'm guessing it was 4 to 5 meters in diameter. What an interesting find....

Over the Christmas holidays I went to visit Geo. Washington's home, Mount Vernon. Very much worth the visit, even if you've seen it before. In the bakehouse next to the mansion is a large open hearth fireplace, and a bake oven next to it. Here's the link to the page on Mt. Vernon's website:

http://www.mountvernon.org/learn/exp...x.cfm/pid/289/

You can see that the flue for the oven angles over to the main flue for the fireplace. On a whim, I wrote an email to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, and asked if they had an inner photograph of the oven. I got a nice note back today from Dawn Bonner, of MVLA photo services, with the attached photo. As you can see, it's a low dome round brick oven, which wouldn't differ much from anything you would see in a pizzaria.

They specify that the photo is for research, not for commercial use or reproduction.

SpringJim 06-01-2008 05:24 AM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
David, did you get any dimensions on this MV oven?

It does not seem to be a low dome compared to the pompeii.

dmun 06-01-2008 07:56 AM

Re: 200 year old oven
 
I didn't get close to it: the tours are pretty closely herded. The oven is pretty small- I'd guess 32-36 inches.


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