Hórreos are granaries, or storage barns, traditionally used in Northern Spain for hundreds of years. If you've ever visited Northern Spain, from Cantabria to Galicia, you'll agree these structures are common sights!
They have an ingenious design. The walls are slatted to allow air to move through. They sit raised off of the ground to keep moisture out, on a staddle stone. This stone has two parts: the legs, often tapered to a narrow top, form the base. Then, a wider, flat stone sits directly under the structure. This is my favorite part of the design: the width of the staddle stone abutting the narrow pillar prevents rodents from crawling in, as they would have to go upside down to get around the stone and into the hórreo! I love it!
Here are some hórreos we've photographed in Northern Spain. The Taramundi area on the border of Asturias and Galicia area was full of them!
An hórreo sat next to our casa rural in northern Galicia, below.
Here is a fancy one in Galicia, just outside of Santiago de Compostela. Many of the Galician hórreos are narrow and long.
Hórreos are also in Portugal. Here is one from the Douro Valley.
They can make fine picnic shelters, like this one at Hotel Arredondo in Asturias.
Sometimes, hórreos are converted into other structures or newly-built. This one in the Picos de Europa appears to be integrated with the bar / restaurant.
Finally, here are two side by side, one missing a roof, near the Costa de Morte in Galicia.
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