Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Carrasqueira - Portugal

I´ve said in the previous post that Paulo had sent me, a few days ago, one of the postcards of Idanha-a-Velha but that postcard was not the only he sent me. He sent around 200 cards, maybe more, I'm still counting them. Most of them are from Portugal and there are also some from Spain and other countries. In the next few days I will show you some. These two are from Carrasqueira, a village in the municipality of Alcácer do Sal, located in the Sado's Estuary Natural Reserve.

A masterpiece of the popular architecture, the Carrasqueira’s Palafitte dock, unique in Europe, is built out of irregular timber stakes, apparently frail, from the 1950’s and 1960’s decades, which serve as pier to the fishing boats that anchor there. The stakes are either buried in mud, or water, according to the tides.
The riverside village contains hundreds of meters of piling through the muddy sea inlets of the river Sado.
Touristic attraction site, it is one of the most visited places in the county; the dock goes on, nevertheless, accomplishing the mission for which it was built: To allow to the fishermen boat access, even during the low tide. - in:

Constructed with reeds and wood, the thatched huts that still today can be seen in large numbers in Carrasqueira remind us of the difficult lives of the rural workers, fishermen and salt workers who once inhabited the vast lands of Herdade da Comporta.
These constructions arose from the necessity of housing the workers of the homestead and had a provisional shelter character. Landowners did not allow their employees to build dwellings on more solid and durable materials, as this could subsequently give them some tenure rights. The workers were thus obliged to construct thatched huts, whose floors were of beaten earth or clay.
The houses were built of highly flammable materials. In this way, the construction of two huts with different functions for each two families was established: in one of the rooms were the rooms and the living room, while the other worked as a kitchen. This division made it possible to avoid many fires.
Nowadays, thatched cottages are considered cultural heritage, some of them being used as eco-tourist accommodation.

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