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Visual Essays

Vol. 7 No. 1 (2022): Landscapes of Care: the emergency of landscapes of care in extreme territories

Six Stones and a Plinth : Spanish Hórreos as Cultural Landscape




This visual essay looks into a typology of granaries that is common in Northern Spain: the Hórreo. It describes their genealogy, structural components, and current use in the Spanish province of Asturias. The essay seeks to give attention not only to their agricultural use but also to their striking visual appearance and its integration within the Asturian Landscape. It argues, following the words of archaeologist Richard Bradley, that the Hórreos have a monumental presence; as an offspring of prehistoric temples—where food surplus was divided by the priests—they are a relic of a time when agricultural production was ritualised, and are thus a reminder of the blurred distinction between the sacred and profane.

Cover image: Northern Spain: the Hórreo - photo by Gili Merin


  1. Bradley, R. (2005). Ritual and Domestic Life in Prehistoric Europe. Routledge.
  2. Cosgrove, Dennis E.. (1984). Social formation and the Symbolic Landscape, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press.
  3. Oliver, P. (ed). (n.d.). Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World. Vol. 1, Theories and Principles.
  4. Online slideshow from The Department of Technology, IES Aramo in Oviedo, Asturias, miguelssm/asturian-horreo-34457929