WildGalicia

WildGalicia

Hórreos en

Hórreos

These buildings can be found all over Galicia where the climate allows for the cultivation of maize, otherwise they would not be seen so often. They are constructions for agricultural use, as their main function is to store, dry and preserve the grain.

The most common materials used in this type of construction are stone and wood, although other types of materials may be used. There are several different types of constructions: square, rectangular, round, L-shaped…

The largest hórreos in Galicia are in the hands of the Church, as the clergy kept 10% of the peasants’ harvests, the famous tithe.

When building the hórreos, it has always been taken into account that good ventilation and good insulation are necessary so that the grain can dry well and not be dampened by rainwater.

The grain stored in the hórreo must also be protected from rodents, insects and even birds, hence the appearance of the “tornarratos” or “espantaformigas”.

The hórreos basically consist of pillars, which raise the hórreo from the ground in order to protect the grain from humidity. Then there is the chamber, which is a narrow, ventilated space where the grain is stored, and a roof area, which is usually built with a gabled roof.

We can say that the most important parts of the hórreo are:

Its main function is to move the chamber itself away from the ground to protect the grain from the humidity of the ground and also to prevent the passage of animals.

The hórreo can be raised by columns, by walls, by a totally closed base or by a solid base.

Between this base and the chamber itself are pieces made of granite or slate with a circular or flat shape called tornarratos. The purpose of these pieces is to prevent rodents from gaining access to the chamber where the grain is stored.

In this support we will also find the tornaformigas, which is an indentation that surrounds the entire foot of the granary and is covered with water to prevent ants from accessing the chamber.

Chamber

This is actually the store where the grain is kept to dry and not get wet.

Its floor plan is usually rectangular although its width and height will vary from one to another.

Modes of access

The elements that allow access to the hórreo must never be in contact with the hórreo so as not to facilitate the passage of animals.

Access is by means of a small fixed or mobile ladder with a few steps to overcome any unevenness that the hórreo may have.

The door to enter the hórreo is usually placed in one of the transversal walls and will always be the same height as the chamber. It will always open from the outside.

Roof

In most hórreos, the roof is usually gabled and is usually covered with tiles or slate.

Ornaments

It is very common for different decorative elements to appear on the roof of the hórreo, but the most common are the crosses and pinnacles.

The pinnacle has a function of protection and invocation to old beliefs that have always had to do with meigas and spells.

The cross, however, is placed to ask for divine protection over the crops.

More information:

In Galicia, due to their size, the following stand out:

Hórreo de Poio

It is located in the Monastery of San Xoan de Poio, in the province of Pontevedra and is an obligatory stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago on the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way.

It is the largest hórreo in Galicia, with a surface area of 123.13 m2.

Its construction dates from the 18th century and it has 51 legs divided into rows of three, which means that it is supported by 17 trios of legs.

It is 33.64 metres long and 3.37 metres wide.

Hórreo of Carnota

It is located in the Casa Rectoral in the town of Carnota, in the province of A Coruña, and in this case the hórreo is accompanied by a beautiful dovecote, a manor house and the church of Santa Comba de Carnota.

The construction dates from the 18th century and is 34.74 metres long and 1.90 metres wide.

The base is formed by 22 pairs of legs, which means that the hórreo has 44 legs.

In order to access the hórreo, it has three doors.

Hórreo of Lira

This hórreo is located in a parish of Carnota, called Santa María de Lira, in the province of A Coruña.

The hórreo is located near a dovecote and the church of Santa María de Lira.

The construction dates from the 18th century.

It has 22 pairs of legs, making a total of 44 legs.

It is 36.53 metres long and 1.60 metres wide.

Hórreo of Araño

This hórreo is located in the municipality of Rianxo, in the province of A Coruña.

Its construction dates back to the 17th century.

This hórreo has the peculiarity that instead of being supported by legs, the hórreo rests on a continuous stone base with a long tornarratos.

It is 37.05 metres long and 2.40 metres wide, making it the longest hórreo in Galicia.

In order to access the hórreo, it has two access doors.

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