White Villages: Unique Traditional Communities
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White Villages: Unique Traditional Communities

In many parts of the world, such as Spain, Greece, Sicily, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, there are rustic villages, which are traditionally painted with the white color and shine under the sun. The villagesÂ’ charming white houses and beautiful plazas are spectacular places, which express the traditional life style and provide a sense of relaxation and enjoyment.

In many parts of the world, such as Spain, Greece, Sicily, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco, there are rustic villages, which are traditionally painted with the white color and shine under the sun. The villages’ charming white houses and beautiful plazas are spectacular places, which express the traditional life style and provide a sense of relaxation and enjoyment. Most of these villages are located on island, mountain sites, perched on top of a high rock, or overlooking a sea or an ocean.

Image credit: An impressive example is the village of Paros in the Cyclades Islands. It features an outstanding picturesque landscape within its fertile valleys. The village enjoys long sandy beaches and characterized by number of small churches which complement its fantastic scenery. It also the house of many well-known monuments from the ancient medieval time.

The outstanding vernacular design of these villages creates unique ecological and sustainable communities, which can integrate itself with the surrounding natural environment.The organic planning, the winding streets, and the architectural form of the buildings create a highly visual interest to their residences as well as to the visitors. The streets, which are naturally paved from the repeated walks, or stone-paved, provide an easy walk and create a peaceful and satisfying promenade from an artistic point of view. 

 

Image credit: The oasis town of El-Oved is one of the many villages in the desert of Algeria. The village is characterized by its high stone border walls, which provide both protection and  privacy to the inhabitants.

In fact the architecture of each of these traditional villages was devised to stand the effect of the surrounding natural environment. The houses are perfectly oriented to enjoy the prevailing wind in summer and be protected from it in winter time. The openings also vary in size in order to allow the most favorable amount of wind, heat or light. The structures of the houses were intuitively made out of appropriate natural materials with varying thickness in order to adapt itself to the local climate.

 

Image credit: Grazalema, One of the White Villages, Cadiz Province, Andalucia, Spain, Europe

The houses of these white villages featured a full adaptation of the available local materials to the purposes of the inhabitants’ life. There is no doubt that the perfect design of the houses cannot be produced from an architect’s drawing board. They are the outcome of the accumulated experiences which reflect the real personality of the people. It is also very apparent that the villages are an expression to the rich knowledge, which enabled them to create their houses based on their actual life-needs. In fact they understand intuitively that certain architectural forms and method of construction are appropriate to the specificity of their regions.

 

 Image credit: White Houses in Capileira, Barranco del Poqueira, Alpujarras. Granada province, Andalucia, Spain

References:

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Comments (27)
Ranked #4 in Architecture

Interesting as always. I have seen some of this style of villages in many locations across southern Europe.

This is a very interesting article. I've been to Spain, but never in the parts where there are white villages.

Thanks John and Liz for your kind comments. I've not been to Spain, but I think it will be my next step. much appreciated

A very unique article too. Thanks.

Very interesting and entertaining topic!

Amazing built-environment, very creative inhabitants. Thank you for posting this presentation.

Thanks Rama, James, and Mervat for your valued and appreciated comments.

Ranked #1 in Architecture

I haven't seen many first hand, but they are very attractive. Thanks for a great piece, Sir.

I have never seen these places except in picture. I think it would be nice to visit but I would want more plants, flowing vines, or something to add color.

Thanks very much Michael and Brenda for your valued comment and yes I think it would be interesting to experience the life style of these places.

Very nice article and pictures. I studied some of the art and artifacts from the Cycladic culture in college. One of the icons looks very much like our Oscar.

Thanks Judith for your comment, and it is really very interesting to study the culture of these unified communities.

Yes, I do think these villages look very charming.

Another exceptional post by the master of architecture and the likes. The images are quite amazing. Thanks for posting...voted

Thanks kimberley and Donata for your kind, valued and appreciated comments.

Another perfect piece of work.

Ranked #10 in Architecture

Another well presented topic with matching images, sir.

Love this piece and the photos..voted

Thanks Francina for reading and kindly commenting. appreciate

I enjoyed reading about the villages and why they are built the certain way, well done.

I prefer white paint for my house color. It is pleasing to the eye. Thanks for sharing Sir.

Thanks Christy and Jessie for reading and kindly commenting. much appreciated

A wonderful article, as usual. These sunny white villages reflect the inhabitants lifestyle and architectures. They also bring a vision of serenity. Beautiful photos accompany your text. Thank you for the tour!

Thanks Francois for your kind and insightful comment. much appreciated

These are really cool. Good info here too, FB liked.

Thanks Phoenix for your kind comment. appreciate

Very interesting. Thank you. Nowadays I do not get your articles, though I am following you. I do not know waht to do. I had to do much search work today, since I want to be your friend and supporter always. ThanK you.

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