Falling Rock Signs in Spain
Let's turn our attention to some peculiar finds first.
Pont de Suert, XII.1991
A most remarkable roadsign - the one Spanish find with only four boulders - reminding me of some
Portuguese falling rocks
with which it has several
features in common:
• stripes suggesting speed
• a boulder in a cavity of the rock
• a boulder already landed.
Notice the work of a local artist who gave the landed boulder a whole new meaning.
You'll find more drag stripes in Nepal (bat like rocks),
Chile and Romania.
Note: In May 2007 I was in the region again and couldn't find this specific sign back.
Bielsa (Huesca), V.1995
The new and tasteless find from Bielsa in the north of Spain gives plenty of
reasons to worry. The drawing follows the normal scheme of most Spanish rock-signs
with five boulders and the lowest stone being flat, but the make is bad beyond
belief. The boulders are real monstruosities and the wall is like a huge mouth
snapping to the stones. Because it is so ugly this design will probably spread
Ribadavia (Ourense), VII.1999
This sign differs from any other find in Spain up until now.
It was on a newly paved road and let's hope signals a new trend.
It features nine boulders: that's the maximum ever found in Spain.
All boulders are still in the air, but gravel is already accumulating
on the road.
Linás de Broto, X.1992
Apart from the three specialities Spanish Falling Rock Signs
come in many flavours. There is clearly no agreement about the size of the
drawing and how much space it may fill on the canvas. Also a matter of dispute
is the margin between the drawing and the red triangle. The width varies widely.
The same holds true for the size and the shape of the stones. It may seem
unlikely, but we've found a way to bring some order in the designs.
First there is the group with five boulders (previous and following row).
The boulder ready to hit the road is flattened. The second and fourth rock are
bigger than the others. The third rock is a pebble and stays close to the wall whose
shape varies from almost straight to deeply disturbed.
The shape of the rocks is rather variable (e.g. follow the two highest boulders; they
vary from dots, to rectangle, boomerang or flying saucer).
Col de Velate, XII.1992
Sierra de Urbion, V.1991
The second group is made of the roadsigns with six falling rocks
In general the first and second stone from the top are far apart.
The third stone is the largest and often tooth-like. Sometimes all shapes
are rounded, now and then even to the point that the boulders become slender and like
drops (note: this design was also found in France
Falling Rock signs of the third group count seven stones.
They must impress by the numbers, because their size is rather small. Again
the artist has quite some freedom, but similar to the other designs, the bottom
stone is usually flat and the center stone bigger.
Aguascaldas - Vilas de Turbon, XII.1993
A Pontenova (Lugo), 10.II.2009;
pict. J. Koelstra
A fourth group with nine stones
The stones look natural enough, but their position, Oh-la-la
The more I look at it the more it looks like as if two huge lips at the base are spewing
out rocks into the air. Spume rocks perhaps.
Sixteen extra stones were sprayed onto this sign with originally
six slender stones (see Bielsa 1995).
For better results the artist might have chosen a faster drying paint.