Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Andorra Neighborhood, Traditional Stone

 Residential Neighborhood

In this remote Pyrenees mountain area, stone is the building material of choice and convenience. Traditional neighborhoods wend up the sides of the hills and mountains, the main town in the valley with no place to go.  Older homes have wooden lintels, windowframes, and the year of construction at one side often.  This home, Number 39, relatively new, was built in 1718.  Look closely there on the right, beneath the lintel.

Neighbors are close, very close.

Homes are sensibly packed together to maximize the number of people that can be accommodated, some ancient entries with doorways below street level by now, some with angled roofs to deflect snow, or cap a traditional gate at the street.

In other places, like Romania, capped elaborate gateways at streetside, with the house at a distance behind, were to block evil spirits from entering, a bit of luck to keep them out. 

Park, twist through the alleyways, aiming for the tower, looking for Santa Coloma.  Most parking is limited to lots set aside, but some lucky homeowners have space beside the house.  Get used to leaving your car, vulnerable, and we found the only problem in all these years was theft in the Blarney Castle parking lot in Ireland. 

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