Manta Rota

The greater symbol of the region, the ornate chimney presents, alongside the platband, as the most characteristic element of the popular Algarve architecture, although sometimes arise merged from classical influences. Clearly Expression domain techniques ancestors of the mass labor and "game" the tile or the roof tile allows also used in other architectural elements of the house, intended, through complex formal and decorative grammars, beyond their functional purpose, show the creativity of the master builder and / or the property owner's taste where it belongs.

In Algarve the chimneys are remarkably simple structures for flowing the smoke. Usually - and when existing - were formed only by a succession of tiles or tiles settled across, and often, until very recently, rural households do not have any chimney. The fire often made on the ground in a corner of the room reserved for this purpose, it was drained by a simple hole in the rod by between a few tiles that alteavam. In the lower Guadiana, for example, there are many clusters where the population refers to the absence of an even chimney.

At least from the  XVIII century, and over the XIX century we can assist the development of solutions that seem to go hand in hand these older copies. Lower horizontally become increasingly enriched in formal, decorative and chromatic terms, to the point that in the early century. XX, in humbler dwellings, modesty house to contrast with the exuberance of its copies.

Miguel Godinho
Superior Cultural Heritage Technician - Centro de Investigação e Informação do Património de Cacela, Vila Real de Santo António Municipality


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