Aiming at promoting careful and heritage-respecting rehabilitation interventions, in line with the recommendations of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), the Rehabilitation Nucleus of the Construction Institute (NR-IC), integrated in the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP), has participated in several conservation and requalification projects. The development and implementation of a consolidated and holistic methodology of inspection and diagnosis aims to intervene in these historic structures by respecting their authenticity and integrity. This paper focused on the NR-IC experience in the analysis, inspection, and diagnosis of structures with ancient defensive walls existing in Portugal’s border, while addressing several practical cases in different contexts and state of conservation. These structures have lost their original defense function, assuming nowadays a symbolic character of historical memory. In some cases, these structures were maintained, although in other cases they were abandoned, having reached the present time quite degraded. In this context, this paper focuses on three cases studies: the Cross-border Fortresses on the river Minho (Portugal-Spain border), the Guimarães Castle, cradle of the Portuguese nationality; and the Peniche Fortress representing maritime defensive structures. The wall’s structural system is characterized as well as the distinct inspection and diagnoses approaches recommended for each structure. Particularly, the systematization, recording, and processing of information is described and commented during the inspection phase, taking into account the large size of most of the structures involved.
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