The Trabuco: A Force To Be Reckoned With

The trabuco is an ancient weapon that was most commonly used throughout the Middle Ages in siege warfare. The trabuco’s first recorded use dates as far back as 400 BC in Ancient China.

Over the years, the siege weapon was reconstructed to become a force to be reckoned with. It could throw projectiles that weighed up to 140 kilos at high speeds as far away as 800 meters without losing its momentum according to The fortifications of enemies were reduced to ruins from the power and precision of the trabuco. Depending on the location and era, the projectiles known to be used were large stones, diseased animals and humans infected with the plague.


The build of the trabuco consists of a large lever and sling that is akin to the structure of catapult. Its main structure was made of wood that was typically reinforced with various metals, leather strips and ropes. Since the trabuco had to be assembled on-site near the enemy walls, most of the lumber used were taken from the surrounding areas. The lever of the trabuco is attached to a suspended axle that is raised high and supported by a sturdy base, allowing the lever to rotate vertically over 180 degree angles. The sling attached was made of leather and could sufficiently hold the heavy projectiles.

The trabuco was used during the Crusades, King Philip Augustus II of France had named two of his siege weapons ‘Bad Neighbor’ and ‘God’s Stone-Thrower’ during the Siege of Acre in 1191 according to Charles VII of France had his men assemble a trabuco that could throw a stone weighing as much as 800 kilograms. After the arrival of gunpowder, the siege weapon started to lose its popularity and became a rarity during war. Today, we use the trabuco for educational purposes and innocent entertainment such as the famous pumpkin throwing competition that is held annually in the United States.

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