The pallozas

 

  In the mountains of Encarres one will meet this big circular or elliptic building named palloza.

Under this immense roof covered with straw of rye were gathered the small and big animals with the lodging house of the inhabitants, the partitions of boards dividing the different functions or domestic activities. The only one of these spaces possessed a ceiling boards, the sleeping room for the olders, serving ceiling of mezzannine where slept the rest of the family. A place was fitted out for the cooking of food towards the centre of the palloza, and as there was no fireplace, the smoke spread at the top of this big volume, and eventually evacuated through the straw. Protecting in the passage coverage and skeleton of insects or rodents.

And it was there the only building of the family with the hórreo guard of the food which was separated from this unity.  

 
       
 

   
 No palloza is lived really today. With the disappearance of the culture of the rye, the renewal of the coverage is difficult. Many disappeared, especially on the east hillside (León), one can see the others of it in the bare skeleton, or still covered with corrugated iron. Those still in function shelter only animals, or still welcome family celebrations.

So as Piornedo. This village having been connected with the road only in 1970, different ("normal") houses began to take from this date due to this new means of communication. Previously everybody lived in the pallozas which were so maintained here much longer that somewhere else, the last one being still lived hardly 5 years ago.  

 
   

To realize roofs of thatch of this quality needs for a big skill, artisans had to be do specialists of this work, still exist? 

The government of Galicia became aware of the necessity of protecting this type of original and spectacular building, and dedicates capital for the maintenance and the restoration of pallozas, specially in Piornedo.

The one that I visited was transformed into small museum of the past life, with all that it contained as domestic or working tools. His owner lived in this palloza until the age of 6 years and in the recollections life was in no way unpleasant. The love for it was sensitive and it will take care of its protection.

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