Casas Típicas de Santana – Santana, Portugal - Atlas Obscura
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Casas Típicas de Santana

Santana, Portugal

These small, triangular, colorful houses are a staple of Madeira Island.  

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The beautiful, yet small, heritage houses of Madeira are made from wood and thatch. Originally, they were constructed by farmers and other rural inhabitants during the settling of the island. Each house consists of just one or two rooms where a single-family could live.

Despite being composed of straw, the thatched roofs are sharply angled, almost touching the ground. This helps water run off the house with relative ease, keeping the inside dry during heavy rains. These same materials also keep the homes cool during the summer and warm in the winter.

While these houses are located across Madeira, the best versions are located in Santana, close to the Municipal Council building. Visitors can see a few restored houses complete with lovely gardens. Many of the houses have been converted into various shops.

Alternatively, visitors can wander the town’s streets to see the triangle houses in various states of repair. Some are still inhabited, while others have been converted into expensive accommodations.

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