If unusual buildings interest you, then Portugal would be a good place for you to visit.
Curiosity has grown over the years about Portugal due, in particular, to one building that has taken the internet by storm. The building is called Casa do Penedo, or the “Stone House”.
Casa do Penedo is a relatively new building; construction started in 1972 and was completed in 1974. It is a private residence that sits on a hilltop in the Fafe countryside in Portugal within sight of a wind farm. Incredibly, the house has been built around a cluster of four granite boulders.
This unique home is well camouflaged and made out of stone and concrete. The interior is simple and constructed predominately of wood.
Due to increased interest in the house, the owner and resident has had to reinforce the doors and windows with steel bars; now the property is fenced off to stop trespassers from interrupting what should be a simple and idyllic lifestyle.
Building in such a manner is actually not unusual in Portugal. To see a more public and visitor-friendly example, you might want to go to the town of Monsanto. This steep and difficult to reach town is built into a granite mountain.
The town is very old, with its roots in Paleolithic times, and it also boasts archaeological traces of a possible Roman fort and bath house at the foot of the mountain. Over time, the town had been used as a defensive position, and it was once owned by the Knights Templar. It still retains its medieval aura, narrow roads, and old castle.
One of the striking features of Monsanto is the restaurant built under a bulging boulder that looks like it’s about to continue to roll on down the mountain. The restaurant is called “Petiscos & Granitos” and it is one of many buildings in the town that has incorporated the giant boulders into its design.
The shape of the small town looks fluid as it flows around, under, and over the boulders that make up much of its landscape. In the town there is a house called “Case de Uma So Telha”, which means “house with only one tile”. The tile is actually a huge boulder that makes up the entire roof. Some of the village’s boulders have had stairways chipped into them.