Famous Chimneys of the World
When you look at a house, is the chimney the first thing you notice? While chimneys can be very beautiful, they are probably not the architectural feature most people are initially drawn to. There are some chimneys throughout the world, however, that are eye-catching and unforgettable to the extent that they are famous tourist attractions. The following are some of the most famous chimneys in the world.
Antoni Gaudi Chimneys
When talking about memorable chimneys, Antoni Gaudi of Spain has to enter the conversation. He was a famed architect who, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, created some of the most creative chimneys in the world.
- Casa Batlló. An attention-grabbing structure in Barcelona, Casa Batlló is one of Gaudi’s architectural triumphs. The unique building is considered a masterpiece. Broken ceramic tiles decorate much of the building façade. The arched roof on Casa Batlló has been compared to the back of a dinosaur or dragon. There are four groupings of colorful, curvy chimneys on the one-of-a-kind roof that tourists line up to visit every year.
- La Pedrera Chimneys, a.k.a. Casa Milà. Twenty-eight chimneys in several groupings sit atop the famous La Pedrera Chimneys, better known as Casa Milà. The remarkable chimneys are colorful and unique, along with other rooftop features, such as snail-shaped water tanks. Gaudi used fragments of champagne bottles from the building’s inauguration to adorn one of the chimneys.
- Palau Güell. Considered to be an excellent example of art nouveau, Palau Güell is truly awe-inspiring. One of his earliest works, Palau Güell has 20 chimneys which create the look of a veritable candy land complete with colorful, swirly lollipops.
Das Heizhaus Chimney
Rudolf Steiner was born in Croatia in 1861and during his lifetime achieved many notable distinctions, not the least of which is the world famous Das Heizhaus Chimney located in Donarch, Switzerland. The unique chimney is spectacular and an ideal representation of Steiner’s nonconformist ideas and consistent depictions of nature.
The chimney, which dominates the 15-building boiler room complex underneath it, has supposed leaves on each side. In addition to being a revolutionary architect, Steiner was a literary scholar, artist, social thinker, educator, and philosopher.
With an astounding 365 chimneys,the Chateau of Chamboard in Loir-et-Cher, France, won the distinction of having the most chimneys of any structure in the world. Built for François I to serve as a hunting lodge, the 440-room chateau was actually never completed. Close to one million visitors tour the chateau each year, and the ornate chimneys are arguably the biggest draw. The chimneys feature columns, nymphs, wreaths, animals, sculpted shields, and more.
The coal-fueled GRES-2 Power Station in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan, has the tallest chimney in the world, standing at 1,377 feet tall. Locals nicknamed the chimney “the Cigarette Lighter,” and there isn’t a chimney in the world that rivals it for height.
In May 2006, the chimney caught fire. Flames and smoke were seen by people throughout the area. No one was injured in the enormous fire, and the chimney has continued to be in operation.
It is believed that 12th century Fontevrault abbey has the oldest standing chimneys in the world. Five huge wood-burning fireplaces are in the medieval kitchens, where food was prepared for hundreds in the monastic community. The five fireplaces connect to 20 pencil-shaped chimneys that add to the Romanesque architecture of the abbey. The following are among the claims to fame of the abbey:
- Richard the Lionheart is laid to rest there.
- The abbey became one of the toughest prisons in France in the 19th century.
Today the structure is constantly visited by artists, conference attendees, and visitors, who learn about the daily lives of the nuns who resided there once upon a time.