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A simple wall made of natural stone
Barrier wall ( Israel / Palestine )
Berlin Wall (1988)

A wall (from Old High German mûra , borrowed from synonymous Latin murus ) is a solid wall made of masonry . Traditionally, walls are built by masons .

The lower boundary of a wall is called the bottom , the upper crown , often covered with a wall covering.


Colloquially, the term is usually used to describe a free-standing, flat building . In its usual meaning of a wall made of stone and mortar , the word was borrowed from the time when Germanic tribes learned the Roman stone building technique and is therefore - like many other building terms - of Latin origin. Their counterpart among the Germans was the plaited and mud-smeared wall. The gender was then transferred from the word wall to wall.

Colloquially, the terms wall and wall are often used synonymously. However, technically this is wrong. Today, walls are often made of reinforced concrete with a similar function , as non-load-bearing interior walls also in dry construction . They are made not by joining stones but by pouring concrete into a formwork . Border walls or walls and fortifications for city and national defense or to prevent escape are colloquially referred to as walls, even if they are not bricked (examples: city ​​walls , Berlin Wall ).


Walls have the function of spatially separating or delimiting areas. People build walls to protect themselves. They should preserve what is their own and define their affiliation spatially. Every wall can therefore always be understood as a postulate of the "we" against the "others". Separate walls. The protection function can be very diverse: Wind protection, privacy protection, protection from escape, protection from unauthorized entry, protection from violence, protection from animals, protection from floods or other natural forces, etc. As part of the building envelope of a building, they also offer protection against unwanted climatic influences such as cold or heat. In addition, walls (especially in buildings) can also have a load-bearing function for the entire building, ie they can be load-bearing components and thus belong to the load-bearing structure of a building.

Known walls


Masonry is a ( structural material ) that is made from bricks and mortar. Stacked walls without the use of mortar are a special type of construction and are called dry stone walls . The minimum requirements for the mechanical properties, the quality and the quality control of the building materials stone and mortar are regulated in numerous building material standards in Europe. Wall stones are differentiated between artificially produced stones and natural stones . Artificially produced bricks are classified according to their raw materials. In modern construction, natural stones are mostly used in the repair of natural stone masonry and only rarely in new buildings. All types of rock occurring in nature are used that have sufficient minimum compressive strength and that do not show any structural or weathering damage. Walls can consist of regular or irregular layers of stones, but they can also be piled up wildly so that there are no continuous layers. While natural stones are only regulated in the masonry design standards of DIN EN 1996 Eurocode 6: Dimensioning and construction of masonry structures , the requirements for artificially produced masonry stones are described in various building material standards. Ceramic clinker, for example, is standardized as part of masonry bricks in DIN 105-4.

See also


  • Marianne Birthler, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz: Unbuilding Walls . From the death strip to free space. 1st edition. Birkhäuser, Basel 2018, ISBN 978-3-0356-1594-4 .
  • Astrid Nunn (ed.): Walls as borders . Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2009, ISBN 978-3-8053-3934-6 .
  • Tobias Prüwer: World of walls. A cultural story . Wagenbach, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-8031-2796-9 .

Web links

Commons : Mauer  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Wall  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Wall  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Pfeifer: Etymological Dictionary of German . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1997. (Lemma Mauer )
  2. Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . 25th edition. Walter de Gruyter, Tübingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-11-022364-4 , p. 608 .
  3. ^ Marianne Birthler, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz: Unbuilding Walls . From the death strip to free space. 1st edition. Birkhäuser, Basel 2018, ISBN 978-3-0356-1594-4 , pp. 6 .
  4. ^ Günter Pfeifer,: Masonry Atlas . In: Detail . Institute for International Architecture Documentation GmbH, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6478-5 , p. 55 .
  5. DIN 105-4 Bricks - Part 4: Ceramic clinker . Beuth, Berlin January 2019.