Literature on the subject of stone and all its aspects would fill entire libraries ...


Therefore, no attempt will be made here to produce a comprehensive list, or even anything approaching it. The aim is to provide a few suggestions concerning works on certain subjects. The focus will naturally be on stones from the Walloon Region, whenever this is possible. Most of these publications may be found in well-stocked libraries – many are unfortunately out of print and cannot be obtained from bookshops. The books themselves often contain detailed, even exhaustive, bibliographies; we have used an asterisk to mark out those of particular interest in this regard.

Applications for stones

  1.  Carl CAMERMAN, Les pierres naturelles de construction, 52 pages (including a text previously published in "Annals of Public Works in Belgium", n°4); Ghent (Printed by N.I.C.); 1961.

    This concise work contains the teaching notes, posthumously published, of one of the greatest experts in the world of stone, Carl CAMERMAN (1885-1958). He wrote extensively on the subject and his complete bibliography is given in this installment; most of the references are still of some interest, even if the methods of analysis are obviously dated.

  2. Michel DE KEMMETER, Construire avec la pierre naturelle, 287 pages, lavishly illustrated; Enghien (Beta-Plus sa); 1998. 
    General and specific advice on the application and maintenance of stone.

  3. Michel DE KEMMETER, Pierre naturelle & habitat, 256 illustrated pages; Enghien (Beta Plus sa); 2000.
    Examples of ways of applying natural stone in private buildings.

  4. Margret & Horst WANETESCHEK, Naturstein und Architektur, Fassaden, Innenraüme, Aubenanlagen, Steintechnik, 176 pages, lavishly illustrated; München (Callwey Verlag); 2000.
    One of the most recent summaries on the applications of stone, containing a rich photographic panorama of recent work carried out all over the world and a highly comprehensive technical section, based, of course, on the norms existing in Germany; in German.

Stones from the walloon region

  1. Catherine CNUDDE, Jean-Jacques HAROTIN & Jean-Pierre MAJOT, Pierres et marbres de Wallonie, 185 pages, richly illustrated; Modern Architecture Archives, Brussels, & Ministry for the Walloon Region (General Administration for Natural Resources and the Environment), Namur, 1987.
    A classic work, reprinted five times in two editions, with French/ Dutch and English / German versions; this is a landmark publication, the first of its kind, and has since generated several similar works throughout Europe.

  2. Centre scientifique et technique de la Construction (avec Philippe CAUCHETEUX, Jos DELBROEK & Pierre DONNER), Pierres et marbres de Wallonie, emploi dans le bâtiment, fiches techniques, 35 information sheets on applications and 9 sheets on materials, a large number of illustrations; Ministry for the Walloon Region (General Administration for Natural Resources and the Environment), Namur, 1992.
    Technical supplement to the previous volume, in the form of a card-index file on applications (in every area, both exterior and interior) and materials; in French and Dutch.

  3. Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie a.s.b.l. (Cristina MARCHI & Francis TOURNEUR), Living Stones - Ornamental stones in Belgium - A General Perspective, 216 pages, more dan 600 pictures; Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie, Sprimont; 2002.

  4. A reference work describing the ornamental stone sector and the risks and challenges it faces at the dawn of the 21st century. The publication contains in-depth articles, a visual compilation of applications and a technical dossier on all the different varieties of stone and their finishes, in French, Dutch, English and German.

Geological aspects

  1. Ehrard M. WINKLER, Stone in architecture, properties, durabilities, 313 pages; Berlin (Springer Verlag); 1994 (third edition).
    A very comprehensive work, taking a scientific approach to the study of all aspects of rocks and their characteristics relevant to application. It also details all the general problems relating to deterioration and conservation.

  2. Mick R. SMITH (Ed.), Stone : Building stone, rock fill and armourstone in construction, 478 pages; London (Geological Society, Engineering Geology Special Publications 16); 1999.
    A very extensive scientific and technical approach to stone in all its applications.

  3. Jean-Paul BRAVARD, Cecilia CAMMAS, Pierre NEHLIG, Pierre POUPET, P.G.
    SALVADOR & Julia WATTEZ, La géologie, les sciences de la terre, 168 pages; collection "Archéologiques", édition Errance; Paris; 1999.
    An all-inclusive approach to the world of earth sciences, intended for archaeologists but also applicable to the field of construction

Official documentation

In the last few years, the European Standards Commission has issued a number of rulings on  norms relating to stone – identification, naming systems, methods of conducting tests and now, specifications concerning different usage – issued by Technical Committee 246 on natural stones and by other, more general committees (exterior floors, masonry, covering, etc.) each of which has its "stone" sector. The task of the Belgian Standards Institute is to establish these norms within the national context and ensure that they are officially transmitted throughout the country.Among the technical information Notes regularly published by the Scientific and Technical Centre for Construction, the following relate specifically to stone and serve as a reference :

Les revêtements extérieurs verticaux en matériaux pierreux naturels de mince épaisseur. - NIT 146; 1983 (avril).

-  Collage des pierres et des marbres. - NIT 148; 1983 (juillet-août).

-  La pierre de Tournai. - NIT 163.1; 1986 (mars).

-  La pierre de Vinalmont. - NIT 163.2; 1986 (mars).

-  Gestion et calcul du prix de revient pour les entreprises de taille de pierre et de marbre. - NIT 171; 1988 (avril).

-  Tachage des pierres blanches et des marbres calcaires, choix d'un mortier approprié pour la pose d'un revêtement de sol intérieur. - NIT 182; 1991 (décembre).

Pierres naturelles. - NIT 228, NIT213.

La pierre bleue dite petit granit d'âge géologique tournaisien.  NIT 220; 2002

Other notes deal with stone to a greater or lesser extent, but of particular interest are several articles wich have been published in the Centre quartely, or in the form of "conference notes".

Historical aspects

  1. Jean-Louis VAN BELLE, Les maîtres de carrières d'Arquennes sous l'Ancien régime. Un métier. Des hommes.-379 pages; Bruxelles ; Crédit One of the very detailed studies of blue stone quarries in the Hennuyer basin,by far the best known from the historical point of view.

  2. Jean-Louis VAN BELLE, L'industrie de la pierre en Wallonie (XVIe-XVIIIe s.). -77 pages; Gembloux (J. Duculot), collection Wallonie ; Art et Histoire ; n°35; 1976.

  3. Joseph TORDOIR (Ed.), La Gobertange, une pierre, des hommes.- 413 pages; Jodoigne (ASBL Gobertange 2000); 2000.
    All the aspects of this exceptional stone - geological, historical, traditional, etc., are dealt with by specialists on these topics.


  1.  Pierre NOËL, Technologie de la pierre de taille, dictionnaire des termes couramment employés dans l'extraction, l'emploi et la conservation de la pierre de taille, 373 pages; Paris (SEBTP); 1994 (reissued). 
    A major reference work, dated in form but very comprehensive in content.

  2. Jean-Claude BESSAC, L'outillage traditionnel du tailleur de pierre de l'Antiquité à nos jours, 319 pages; Paris (CNRS Editions) – Narbonne (Narbonnaise Archaeological Review, supplement 14); 1986 (reissued in 1993).
    A full review of all the tools used by stone-cutters throughout the ages, based on the author’s considerable experience; a specialist in both theory and practice, he works in France and throughout Mediterranean Basin. 

  3. Ecole atelier de restauration – Centre historique de Leon, Taille de la pierre, guide pratique, 218 pages; Paris (Eyrolles); 1999.
    A very educational work, illustrated with line drawings re-tracing all the processes involved in cutting and sometimes showing the methods of applying classic elements, such as columns, arches, etc.; translated into Spanish.

  4. Workers’ Association of the Guild of Devoir du Tour de France, La maçonnerie et la taille de pierre, 8 volumes; Encyclopaedia of Professions coll. ; Paris; 1991-1999.
    A genuine anthology providing the professional with specialized technical information.

Stones and historic heritage

  1. Jacques DUBARRY de LASSALE, Identification des marbres, 303 pages ; édtions H. Vial, Turin, 2000.
    Systematic list of historical and present-day marbles used in French heritage.

  2. Jacques DUBARRY de LASSALE, Utilisation des marbres, 303 pages ; édtions H. Vial, Turin, 2005.
    List of examples of the application of the different marble in furniture, artefacts, statuary, etc. … from great museum collections.

  3. Sabine DE JONGHE, Hélène GEHOT, Luc Fr. GENICOT, Philippe WEBER & Francis TOURNEUR , Pierres à bâtir traditionnelles de la Wallonie, manuel de terrain, 261 pages, 1 map and several photographs; Ministry for the Walloon Region (General Administration for Natural Resources and the Environment), Namur, 1996.
    A practical guide to recognizing the fifty most frequently used varieties of stone in Wallonia’s architectural heritage, in pocket-size format; published in French. 

  4. Francis TOURNEUR, Etudes lithologiques de monuments historiques : quelques exemples en Région Wallonne, Bulletin de la Commission royale des Monuments, Sites et Fouilles, n°16.2, pages 7-44; Namur / Liège; 1999.
    This work provides a method of analyzing historical buildings with reference to stone, as applied to certain monuments throughout the Walloon Region.

  5. Jean-Claude BESSAC, Florence JOURNOT, Daniel PRIGENT, Claude SAPIN & Jacques SEIGNE, La construction en pierre, 174 pages; Collection "Archéologiques", éditions Errance, Paris; 1999.
    This publication is both specialist and accessible to the layman; it deals with the various divisions within the profession, from the quarry to the construction site, with special reference to Ancient times and the Middle Ages.

  6. Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie a.s.b.l. (Francis TOURNEUR), Les pierres dans la restauration du patrimoine en Wallonie, 23 pages, nombreuses photographies; Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie, Sprimont; 2002.
    A brochure presenting the different operations which may be applied in the course of restoration work, illustrated by a number of examples throughout the region, in French.

Design of public areas

  1. Annie BOYER & Elisabeth ROJAT-LEFEBVRE, Aménager les espaces publics. Le mobilier urbain, 327 pages, lavishly illustrated; Paris (Editions du Moniteur, "techniques of design” collection);1994.
     A work dealing with urban street furniture, particularly in stone, with countless examples; the administrative section is naturally based on French legislation concerning the subject.

  2. Marie DEMANET & Jean-Pierre MAJOT, Manuel des espaces publics bruxellois, 164 pages, illustrated with line drawings and photographs; Bruxelles-Capitale Region (pub. Iris); 1995
    A masterly summary of all the issues relating to the development of public areas, with a chapter specifically devoted to exterior floor coverings, including stone.

  3. Francis TOURNEUR, La pierre et la rue, 167 pages; Ministry for the Walloon Region, Namur; 1998.
    This volume is devoted to all the uses of stone in public areas, with an introduction based on the historical perspective, technical developments concerning shaping and laying, and an illustrated panorama of examples throughout the Walloon Region; in French, with summaries in Dutch, English and German.

  4. Han MEYER, Frank de JOSSELIN De JONG, MaartenJan KOEKSTRA, Het ontwerp van de openbare ruimte, 272 pages; Sun, Amsterdam, 2006.
    This work is the second component taken from a research project devoted to town planning supervised by the University of Delft and explores in turn various elements of urban architecture.

Design of gardens

  1. Bénédicte BOUDASSOU, La pierre, matière de jardin, 128 pages, richly illustrated; Boulogne (pub. Du May); 1998.
    All sorts of ideas for applying stone in all its forms (rubble stones, slabs, paving, in addition to gravel, pebbles, etc.) in projects for green spaces.

  2. Alan et Gill BRIDGEWATER, Outdoor stonework in the garden, 125 pages ; Artémis Editions, Chamalières, 2006.
    A straightforward, practical and technical guide to working with stone in the garden, illustrated with many diagrams.

  3. David REED, Stones and Gardens. Walls, paths and waterfalls, 157 pages ; Artémis Editions, Chamalières, 2004.
    Varied examples of the implementation and association of stones and gardens, with practical advice about the methods of cutting and laying stone.


Publications and catalogues produced by Atelier 340 (340, drève de Rivieren, 1090 Brussels, tel.: 02/4242412) offer a vast panorama of Belgian art, in particular :

10.1 La pierre dans l'art belge contemporain ; 1983.

10.2 Pierre, un regard subjectif sur l'évolution – 1984-1994 ; 1994.


The review entitled "Pierre et Marbre", published by the Fédération royale des Maîtres Tailleurs de Pierres de Belgique, is the official periodical of "Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie". It is issued every three months and contains information of every kind concerning the world of stone and related activities.

The monthly publication"Pierre actual" (formerly "Le Mausolée"), is particularly favoured by French-speaking readers.

A number of reviews appear regularly in all languages; included among these are "Stein" and "Naturstein", for German readers and "Natuursteen" and "Natuursteen-Info", for Dutch.

German literature

German literature is extremely rich in specialist references concerning all the different facets of the world of stone and its applications. Although difficult for those not fluent in German to understand, two works that are almost encyclopaedic in scope may be singled out, as they are of particular interest :

  1. Bildungszentrum für das Steinmetz- und Bildhauerhandwerk Königslutter (Ed.), Steinmetzpraxis, das Handbuch für die tägliche Arbeit mit Naturwerkstein, 707 pages; Ulm/Donau (Ebner Verlag); 1995 (3e édition).

  2. Frieder BERNHARD (Ed.), Der Steinmetz und Steinbildhauer, 1., Ausbildung und Praxis, 388 pages; München (Callwey Verlag); 1996..