The Casa do Penedo: A Portuguese Flintstones House
Sensationally dubbed online as a ‘real life Flintstones house’, the Casa do Penedo dates not to the Stone Age, but to the 1970s. Being such a curious structure, the Casa do Penedo has since become a tourist attraction…though not all the visitors have been friendly.
Location and Construction
The Casa do Penedo (translated to mean ‘Stone House’ or ‘House of the Rock’) is a peculiar monument located in the Norte Region (‘North Region’) of Portugal. This house acquired its name due to the fact that it was built between four gigantic boulders.
A Portuguese engineer from Guimarães was inspired to build a house in the Fafe Mountains (located in between the municipalities of Celerico de Basto and Fafe) to serve as a place for recreation in the countryside. The construction of the Casa do Penedo began in 1972 and was completed two years later, in 1974.
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The Casa do Penedo. (Feliciano Guimarães/ CC BY 2.0 )
The most striking feature of the Casa do Penedo is the fact that it was built in between four large boulders, which serve as the structure’s walls and ceiling. This allows the house to blend in perfectly with the surrounding landscape, one might not even realize that it is indeed a human habitation if it were to be seen from afar. The rest of the house was constructed mainly out of stone, though other materials were used as well. The staircase, for instance, was built of wood, and the house also has glass windows, and a metal door.
Casa do Penedo inside. (Architetturaecosostenible/CC BY NC ND 4.0 )
Although the interior of the Casa do Penedo may be described as rustic, it seems to be quite comfortable. Each room has a different shape, probably due to the boulders that form the walls of the house. A fireplace was installed in the Casa do Penedo to keep it warm during the cold winters, and there is also a sofa made of concrete and eucalyptus wood in the house.
Additionally, a swimming pool was carved out of the rock nearby, which would have provided some recreation for the home’s owners. Interestingly, the Casa do Penedo does not have a direct electricity supply, even though it is situated not far from a wind farm.
The Visitors Who Frequent Casa do Penedo are Not Always Kind
The Casa do Penedo has attracted many tourists to the Fafe Mountains, as they want to see this unusual house for themselves. The fame of this house further increased when it was featured in as a story in the Portuguese media, as well as on the internet, resulting in an increase in the number of tourists visiting the site.
Casa do Penedo interior. (Architetturaecosostenible/ CC BY NC ND 4.0 )
The house also appeared in a Portuguese film called ‘Moon’. Consequently, the house can no longer serve its original purpose of being a recreational home in the countryside. Moreover, the current owner of the house, Vitor Rodrigues, had to move away to avoid the mass of curious visitors wanting to see his property. Since then, the house has been converted into a small museum so as to accommodate these tourists.
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Unfortunately, the fame garnered by the Casa do Penedo has also brought unwanted visitors to its doorsteps. The house has been a target of vandals, who have broken the windows many times. It has been claimed that the owners have had to replace these broken windows as many as 20 times.
Because of this, it was decided that bullet-proof windows be installed instead. Additionally, metal bars were used to reinforce these windows. As added precaution, a steel, bullet-proof door was also put in place to deter would-be vandals from causing damage to the house.
The stone house in Portugal, with visible bars on the windows. (Pablo García Chao/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
Top Image: A photo of the Casa do Penedo. Source: Feliciano Guimarães/ CC BY 2.0
By Wu Mingren
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