Local Heart, Global Soul

December 9, 2010

Grain Stores of Soajo, the photographer drools on…

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m totally captivated by the Espigueiros, (Grain Stores), of northern Portugal.

In a continuation of yesterday’s post these are the “extra” photos that I couldn’t bear to leave out but were too many for a single blog post.

We have seen lots of these stone grain stores during our journey around the Peneda-Gerés National Park, but most of them singles, set back in fields or at the edge of alotments or next to houses and outbuildings, places where getting a good photo was difficult.

Sometimes they were right on the roadside, but the surrounding walls of buildings or stone walls the lane we were on blocked any good views, and often the roads were so narrow that I simply couldn’t back away far enough to get a recognisable photo.

Here in the village of Soajo, to find thirty or so of them grouped together, in great shape and making an imposing feature on the landscape … Well it’s a photography opportunity to be relished.

To give you an idea of how some of the other grainstores have looked on our travels,  I’ve included a few extra photos of some that use ventilation bricks and wood…

…but I have also left out a lot of the other photos of the ‘singles” that I found, mostly becuase I didn’t manage to get close enough to most of them to do them justice, in spite of finding myself knee-deep in thorny brambles on several occasions whilst I made an effort.

I love these stone Espigueiros best, it amazes me that the slots that let the air in are so amazingly tiny… millimeters wide, clearly the stone has been expertly shaped to funnel the air into these tiny crevasses.

Now I understand the practical aspect of placing these grain stores together on this raised rocky platform, first it looked like lugging a lot of very heavy stone up a small hill for no reason, but these are the areas that are first out of the mists that often shroud mountainous regions, and keeping the damp off the grain was important so areas that warmed fast and had good airflow would be at a premium in some places.

That’s probably the reason that these are grouped together, and of course no crop is going to grow on this solid stone outcrop, so the simple and easy practicability of these has been throughly thought out.

Moi?…. I just want to post the last of the Espigueiros photos and to drool over them a little longer.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So… drooling over grain stores complete,  we can go onwards to our next adventure…

2 Comments »

  1. Those grain stores are really interesting. Sensible, and the stonework almost evokes a Roman or Greek theme. Some of them look like they have a faux pillar look.

    Comment by Chelsie — December 9, 2010 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

  2. Yes, I see what you mean, if you walked around a corner of a rugged Greek island and saw these then I don’t think they would appear to be out of place (the solid stone ones at least). I think that like the Romans, the Portuguese have here combined simplicity and elegance in stone and pared them both down to the absolute essentials. The result in both cultures is stunning architecture like this.

    Comment by kiwidutch — December 12, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | Reply


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