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.
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:
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.