We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Cobblestones?

By O. Wallace
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Since the beginning of civilization, man has felt the need to travel. Whether long distance or local, civilizations around the world constructed roads, paved with varied materials. Cobblestones have been a popular choice for streets and sidewalks for centuries. Chances are, if a city or town is more than 150 years old, there are cobblestones buried below layers of concrete and asphalt. If the citizens are particularly preservationist-minded, then some streets and sidewalks may be protected by the local historical society.

Cobblestones are made from highly durable stones, usually granite or basalt. They were usually dug from nearby areas and then cobbled, or roughly shaped into the size needed. The cobblestones were then set in sand or mortar. Sand allows the road to gently give to traffic, preventing the cracking associated with pavement or asphalt. Streets paved with cobblestones have proven their durability and longevity by showing up through worn out sections of paved roads throughout the world.

The term cobble is a geological term used to describe a stone of a particular size, which is approximately two and a half to ten inches (.64 to 256 millimeters). Colors range from grey to black to purple, depending on the origin of the stone. Patterns in cobblestone streets depend on the creativity of the workers who designed the streets and installed the cobblestones.

Towards the end of the 19th century, cobblestones lost their popularity to newer techniques in street paving. The smooth surfaces of asphalt and concrete quickly became preferred, as they were easier and cheaper to install. Some people estimate that a cobblestone road costs four times as much to replace as an asphalt one. Many people don’t like the bumpiness of a cobblestone road and complain about biking or pushing a stroller on a cobblestone sidewalk.

Although naysayers abound, there are many who believe that the quality and aesthetics of a cobblestone road far surpass blacktop. Many European cities, towns and villages never quite got on board with the asphalt revolution, and to this day maintain beautiful and unique cobblestone streets and sidewalks, much to the delight of tourists and locals. In fact, a tourist would be hard pressed to find a city or town in Europe that doesn’t have surviving cobblestone roads or sidewalks.

In the United States, preservationists have fought hard to protect what is left of cobblestone roads. Approximately 36 “lane” miles (58 kilometers) of protected cobblestone road exists in New York City, and many are fighting to add to it. Other American cities, such as Alexandria, VA, Huntley, IL and San Francisco, CA have grassroots movements to preserve their cobblestone roads. Many successful companies operating in the United States sell antique cobblestones that have been reclaimed from streets and sidewalks undergoing repavement or construction.

If aesthetics and durability weren’t enough, there has been a recent study supporting cobblestone streets for another reason. The study found that walking on cobblestone-simulated mats improved participants’ physical performances and balance due to the uneven surface. This led to an improvement in blood pressure, as well as other health benefits.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By helene55 — On Jan 17, 2011

Because the city is so old, the modern set of cobblestone streets in downtown Rome, Italy is nearly three stories above the excavated ruins in the middle of the city. While they current landscape cobblestone have replaced blacktop, they have also added even more layers to the original ancient streets.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.