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Identify house detail - Spanish Pyrenees


Go to solution Solved by PaulOutWest,

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I need help identifying this from a home in the village of Torla in the Spanish Pyrenees. Many of the buildings in the region have this but I have no idea what it is for. It looks like maybe cold storage? I have only seen this in mountainous regions of northern Spain. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated but please stay on topic  B)

 

 

 

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/34444455@N05/8971223406

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No idea, but if it is at 1st floor level above cellar storage (usually built above ground in alpine houses) and in the centre of a gable end with a chimney we can't see, it may be a hearthstone built in and through the wall to balanace it and allow the support of a chimney. Sure someone will know.

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Thanks David,

These structures were all elevated, on the upper level of the first or on the second floors. I don't think it could be any sort of a hearth as there is no chimney or vent. They were quite common in the region with at least 1/3 of structures having them.

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Could it be a decorative overhanging door lintel / porch cover above a doorway that's subsequently been bricked up?

 

The mortar looks newer in the stonework underneath.

 

Was it just above head height?

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Very interesting, Paul. It looks more like a blocked-up window than a door, what with its horizontal shape. The little roof on top is curious. Maybe it had a ventilation purpose originally, but is now blocked for a different purpose. The most curious aspect is that this is not a one-off, but there are many of these. Hmm. 

 

Why not send an attached foto to the Spanish Embassy or a couple of museums? Even a phone call might help. I've gotten a lot of information from museum in the past. 

 

Afterthought: What is they were settings for a Catholic shrine and then were sealed up during the Spanish Civil War? (Forgive me. I'm rereading For Whom the Bell Tolls.) 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Another possible use - I've seen something like this but not built the same - could be cover for logs/wood for winter fires - stacked against the wall. Unlikely. It's the lack of any opening or apparent obvious use (like a hoist to a hayloft) which makes me think it may support something internal.

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  • Solution

Solved. So I posted to a fp page and the consensus is that it is an old toilet that has been blocked up. When the streets were sewers, they would drain directly out of the house. Nice, huh.

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Solved. So I posted to a fp page and the consensus is that it is an old toilet that has been blocked up. When the streets were sewers, they would drain directly out of the house. Nice, huh.

 

And there we have the charm and the serendipity of foreign travel.

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