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Architecture of Fuerteventura.



The architecture of the buildings on Fuerteventura gives us a lot to learn about the culture and way of living of the island´s former inhabitants. The buildings on Fuerteventura can be divided in 4 different types: religious buildings, archaeological buildings, dwelling houses and buildings of a typical architectural style as it exists only on Fuerteventura (edificaciones singulares).

FUERTEVENTURA ARCHITECTURE

The religious buildings on Fuerteventura are represented by 12 churches and about 20 chapels. The churches were built simultaneously to the formation of the respective villages and offer the typical characteristics of the era in which they originate. In the course of time they were reformed for different reasons such as destruction by fire or pirat attacks or needs of amplification.

The chapels were mostly built by the inhabitants of the respective villages in the 18th century and therefore feature a certain simpleness in the architecture and a lack of building materials.

Furthermore, in former times there were built fortifications for security reasons in the cities and villages. Some of those can be visited until today, e.g. in Caleta de Fuste, Tarrajalejo oder El Cotillo (El Tostón).

There are also six lighthouses remaining from older days four of which were built in the 20th century named El Faro del Lobo, El Tostón, La Punta de Jandía und La Entallada de Tuineje. Later on were built the lighthouses in Morro Jable and Puerto del Rosario.

In order to store crops and other agricultural products cillas and taros were built. The cillas were used by the church to store donations and own crops. Today remains the Cilla de La Oliva. In contrast the taros were used as depository for domestic appliances and agricultural products, cheese and manual equipments. There are a total number of six examples remaining existent in Lajares, Ampuyenta, Pajara and La Matilla.

Other typical buildings closely connected with the economy and the cultural heritage of Fuerteventura are the tenrias, tahonas, mills, lime kilns and salines.

The tenrias were used to tan leather. Today remains the Teneria de Mézquez. The mills were mainly used for grinding corn and therfore played an important role in the production procedure of gofio (toasted wheat or maize flour) which then was a daily staple. First existed hand mills fabricated of simple materials. These were completed by tahonas emerging in the 18th century built to th the farm houses from outisde and also used for the grinsing of corn.
FUERTEVENTURA ARCHITECTURE

FUERTEVENTURA ARCHITECTURE

Later were built big mills which until today caracterise the natural scenery of Fuerteventura. These are distinguished into molino macho and molina. The lime kilns firstly appear in the 17th century when the lime exploitation gains in importance. Since then lime has been used for the construction and whitening of buildings and the cleaning of rain water. There are two different types of lime kilns. On the one hand there is the clay kiln of a small roundish form and on the other hand ther is the coal-burning stove of a rectangular form and much bigger then the clay kiln.

Finally salines played an important role in the island´s life, too. In these the water was directed in artificially created compartments where it evaporated with the help of the sun and left the salt behind. Today remains only one example, the Salina del Carmen being of a huge historical and cultural value.

FUERTEVENTURA ARCHITECTURE

The residential buildings on Fuerteventura are distinguished into the traditional dwelling houses und the manor-houses. The traditional accomodations were built to give protection from the strong wind and the hot temperatures. Initially they were constructed from dry stones and later blocks of stones which were made of stones compacted by clay, lime mortar, volcanic material and finally cement. The roofs of the traditional houses were made of spikes and other plant materials.

For the designing of the house´s inside were generally used wooden strips and boards. The most important rooms were the kitchen and the cistern.

The manor-houses are influenced by Portuguese, Andalusian and Castilian culture.

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