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Travel Guides > Monuments, Churches, Chapels, Fortresses in Madeira Island

Salão Houses


One of the main expressions of traditional architecture on the island are the so called salão houses. You can still find some rare examples of the centenary buildings.


These are humble houses, characterised by having their roofs made of salão, due to the weather conditions and the limited resources for building the island provides. Salão is a kind of clay noted for its sandy composition and strong adherent properties.


Buildings using this for their roofing material fit extraordinarily well into the Porto Santo rural landscape.


These houses are very cool because, during summer, when the weather is very dry, cracks open up in the salão, letting the air circulate. In winter, this material absorbs the rain, becoming much like a waterproof sponge. The only inconvenience of this material is that it needs to be replaced every year.

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