One of the many beautiful sights in the Algarve are the chimneys. You will spot them on old and new buildings, and even on gate posts. They may be cylindrical, square or rectangular, simple or elaborate. Some are clearly just decorative others show signs of heavy use with their blackened edges.
The theory is that they are a Moorish influence, but evidence of the link seems to be hard to find. They do though look like smaller versions of the windcatchers to be found in the Middle East.
As with many things the more intricate the chimney the higher the status of the owner, and I have read somewhere the cost is determined by the number of days is takes to make it, and it apparently is not unusual when ordering a new chimney to be asked “how many days of chimney”.
According to Portuguese legend a man accused of stealing silver is proved innocent and saved from hanging by a dead cockerel crowing, and since then the cockerel has become a symbol of Portugal. Images of cockerels can be found throughout Portugal, and frequently on top of chimneys.