Why roller shutters are an integral part of the Spanish street scene

by Deborah Cater
roller shutters are commonplace in Spain

Visitors to Spain are often surprised to see all houses have Venetian or roller shutters and they are used regularly. It is almost impossible to find a house in Spain that does not have shutters on the windows. This tradition sets Spain apart from many other European countries.

Of course, it has to do with the number of sunshine hours. But there is also a cultural aspect to it. The fact shutters are so deeply rooted in Spain is also due to the fact many Arab customs have survived in Spanish architecture.

What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors

Despite the open and friendly nature of the Spaniards, they treasure some privacy in their own homes. This is why blinds, like curtains, play a fundamental role: to protect them from outside glances. ‘This idea contrasts even more with the Calvinist idea of Central European countries opening up their homes to show the honesty of their guests and not be afraid to show whether you are poor or rich’.

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‘What will people say?’

The concern to protect the interiors of homes in Spain could also be rooted in a Catholic religious culture. Inherent in that culture is the concern as to what others may say. It is essential to protect the household to avoid unwanted rumours.

Saving through insulation

Finally, the shutters have an insulating function in the home that serves both in the summer months with the high temperatures and in the winter when the thermometers indicate falling temperatures. In fact, insulating the house with shutters is one of the most important recommendations for maintaining the optimal indoor temperature. This leads to savings on air conditioning and heating

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