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In his book Breve Historia del Urbanismo (Brief History of Urbanism), Fernando Chueca Goitia states that the medieval city appeared at the beginning of the 11th century and flourished only between the 12th and 13th centuries. According to the author, this growth was closely linked to the development of commerce that allowed permanent occupations, resulting in a city no longer composed mainly of travelers. In other words, the bourgeoisie was formed thanks to the most diverse activities - craftsmen, tradesmen, blacksmiths, longshoremen - which stimulated the development of the medieval city. The rise of the medieval city is not only related to the economy but also its geographical surroundings. Still, according to Goitia, ancient cities needed other defense mechanisms besides the construction of walls. For this reason, they often developed in places that were difficult to approach, such as "hills, islands, and nearby rivers, primarily looking for confluence or sinuosity, to use the streams as obstacles against enemies." Therefore, taking advantage of the natural environment for their own defense determined an irregular urban plan that has become a symbol of the picturesque medieval city with its narrow and winding streets. View more View full description
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