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Hurdes - Culture - Architecture
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Architecture

If we had to give more importance to any of the characteristics, architecture would have a relevant place. Through history, people from Las Hurdes have known how to take advantage of the natural resources and all their experience to develop a singular architecture.

The urban distribution lacks wide public places. There are narrow streets adapted to an abrupt uneven ground. Every village and farmstead were being created depending on the rivers course in order to take advantage of their resources.

The materials they used the same as nowadays are stone and slate. This last one is abundant in the area because it creates homogeneity and characterises the typical house from Las Hurdes. There is another kind of architecture, such as the bridges, terraces and the houses that have been built with autochthonous materials.

Take care, preserve and protect. It forms part of our life.

The architecture in Las Hurdes strongly identifies its villages and inhabitants. It has remained intact through the centuries.

Arriving in Las Hurdes means to observe the splendour of its vernacular architecture. Its constructive typology reclaims many ancient cultural origins. This reveals that the villages came out as a consequence of the natural union between Man and Nature. The abrupt irregular soil has established a pattern of small simply - shaped house. The simplicity of its materials, stone and slate, brings life and beauty to austerity. Its either round or square ground is in accordance with the roof outside, which is covered with slate. In ancient times, these characteristics made possible the configuration of villages that mixed with the landscape. So, the bioclimatic house appeared as a consequence of its adaptation to the surrounding natural environment. Inside, two different areas can be found: on the one hand, a domestic area, which is composed of a bedroom and a slate kitchen; on the other hand, an area for animals. Both, inside and outside, the objective is to achieve usefulness.

The houses in Las Hurdes are low because of the hostility of the ground. They have a few spaces on the outside. With the passing of time, the number of gaps will be higher related to the creation of new heights. The roofs are made of slate, without chimneys, to use the inner smoke as a way of drying the house inside. The balconies will appear after having restored the inner part of the house. Stone benches occasionally interrupt the outside wall. The house is semi - detached to make better use of the ground. There are many blind alleys; some of them are so narrow that they can only be used to separate one house from another one.

Everything as a whole represents the typical house from Las Hurdes. These make us understand that "knowledge does not only consists of looking, but also of feeling the background as an attempt to understand what our curious eyes see".

IMPORTANT

To take care, preserve or protect are synonyms of loving something that has become a part of our lives; a kind of cultural heritage from ancient times that we must keep alive.

We must be conscious of the fact that, if we lose what we have and identifies us, we will forget what we are. That is to say, we are the people who build our own future by hand. Technical media are now multiple, the same as the methods to increase the output of the land.

Because of these, the old and new buildings must keep the original image of Las Hurdes. The black stony slate landscapes create its villages.

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