Algarvian Chimneys

Posted by Marianne Hoesen on Friday, April 24, 2015 Under: what to see

When you visit the Algarve, one of the things you will notice are the typical chimneys (chaminé in Portuguese) on the roofs. They come in many different shapes and sizes, are often very ornamental and they are definately the main symbolic element of the Algarve.

Many people believe that they are a legacy of the Moors who ruled over this part of the country for so many years, because the chimneys resemble minarets or even miniature mosques. As a matter of fact nobody knows much about their origins. The Arabs, who lived here for more than 500 years, did not build chimneys at all at that time, so the origin of the Algarvean chimneys remains kind of a mystery.


What we do know about the subject is that the builder who constructed the chimney, used to ask the owner: "how many days of chimney do you want?" So the more ornate and complicated the chimney was, the more expensive it was, which means that you could link the status of a family by looking at their chimney. The minaret shape of the chimney only appeared centuries after the Moors left the region, but it still is reflecting the Moorish influence in South Portugal regarding architecture and ornamentation.

Nowadays, new buildings display factory produced chimneys, only remotely resembling the authentic and unique works of art created in the old days. Luckily a lot of these original chimneys are still to be admired on the roofs of many Algarvean houses. The oldest ones date back to the late 17th and early 18th century.

Set against an energizing bright blue sky and the whitewashed walls of the plain and almost windowless houses, the Algarvian chimneys certainly are beautiful to look at. 


In : what to see 

Tags: algarvian chimneys  chaminé algarvia  algarvian architecture 

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About Me

Marianne Hoesen Born in the deep south of The Netherlands, I moved to the central Algarve in 2007, together with my partner and 2 dogs. In the meantime we added some goats and chickens and are living a peaceful life in the rolling hills of the rural south of Portugal. I invite you to read a bit in my blog and to leave a comment afterwards. Also check out the holiday accommodations mentioned elsewhere in this website.


Algarve Portugal
café Portugal, bica
Esteva, rock rose, Algarve
sun, beach, Algarve
real cork real wine
beach Algarve
folklore dance Algarve
chicken piri piri

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