Granaries everywhere in Espinaréu

A stopover

A stopover

The rural area of ​​Espinaréu (in the council of Piloña), is quite a living treasure of other times. Its antiquity is attested mainly by the granaries that proliferate in each corner. These agrarian constructions are an ancient ingenuity that served to store harvests and slaughtering meat and put food sustenance safely. That's why they were built on high, supported on four pillars or pegoyos, to avoid humidity and achieve the precise temperature, preventing at the same time that rodents or vermin would end up with stocks.

The granaries were part of the Asturian landscape due to the inevitable human adaptation to a hostile and humid environment. If you visit Asturias you will see that the granaries exist. They abound, more or less. However, in most cases they exist as a mere exception, scattered and with low density. In some rural areas this exception is not even observed. On the other hand, being exceptional, they usually survive dilapidated and sterile, and in many cases they hardly fulfill any other role than that of sheltering tools, vehicles, or cars of the country under their structure.

What is an Asturian granary? What is it for?

Based on seeing hórreo after hórreo we understand that the villages were territories full of life and ingenuity, and we confirm with the sight that in this village the highest concentration of hórreos of all the Eastern zone of Asturias.

The granaries currently serve other needs, or none in particular. Only on the outside can it be seen that they still fulfill the function for which they were created, and it is not uncommon to see them adorned with onions, garlic and other less perishable products from the garden. In this sense, current fridges and freezers have relegated the granary to an almost romantic role.

In EspinaréuAs if time had not passed, these constructions seem to want to tell us that they are still alive. Not surprisingly, they have reason to be haughty, because in this town are the oldest buildings of this type in Asturias. If we wish, we will have the opportunity to see one inside, taking into account that all granaries have an owner and are locked, so to access them it is necessary to ask for permission.

The granaries of Espinaréu, as in the rest of Asturias, also have a mystical essence, or superstitious if you prefer. The ethnographic heritage of the village is rounded off with the mystical-magical signs inscribed on its tablets. Persuasive elements, in many cases to ward off evil spirits, of basically Celtic origin that were originally drawn or carved in forests and caves. These symbols coexist with other merely ornamental and commemorative ones that are the marks of the carpenter-builder, and with a good number of messages and generational slogans subject to the interpretation and analysis of the most curious.

Granaries ... and bread baskets in Espinaredo

In Espinaréu granaries and breadbashes coexistThese last ones are very similar to the first ones but of greater capacity, with six pegoyos instead of four, a corridor, a balustrade and a greater number of ornaments. Both types of constructions were mainly made of chestnut wood and their pieces were joined without a single nail, using wedges from the wood itself to assemble them.

It is known that granaries and breadbaskets were vital in a farm and that many times, at least the bread boxes, were part of the bride's trousseau. Going back further in time we discover that they have an uncertain origin. Some maintain that the large wooden crates carried on wheels to the Roman camps in the campaigns of imperial conquest, predecessors of the current caravans, were frequently abandoned and used by the locals, who placed them on supports to use them as warehouses.

The Espinaréu environment

Espinaréu is a good mobile to know the essence of the Asturian countryside, but it is also a magnificent environment to further admire its landscape. The proximity of the mountain and indigenous forests allow hiking as in few places. It is also a very suitable place for horse riding and mountain biking. The territory is furrowed by the Espinaréu and Sotu rivers. In its surroundings we find panels that indicate the routes. Just three kilometers from the rural nucleus, along the winding road that leads to Riofabar, we discover two excellent places for rest: the recreational area of ​​La Pesanca and the Arboreto de Miera, located on the banks of the Infierno River and inscribed between the Sierra de Aves and La Giblaniella. An enclave fortunate in natural resources, with one of the most extensive spots of beech, oak and chestnut trees of all Asturias.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for

coordinates Latitude: 43.3018227 Length: -5.3614140
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