How to make layers???

Hi, I've been reading some stuff about layered systems, and how OS uses it, and how it's good for reusability etc. Its only now that I'm trying to make one, that I ran into a problem. What is a layer?? In full definition, not the abstract one they give in books. Is it a class? How do I implement it? How can I say what goes on the bottom what on top? How can I restrict access so that lets say the top layer can contact the one on the bottom, but not the other way around. And most importantly how do I actually make one in real programming language. If anyone knows any book/sources, or can give me an example. Thanks, Tim.

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