Leonese - Settlements

In Leon one finds small, nucleated village or town centers, each consisting of residences, local shops, taverns, and a church, as well as an administrative center. The median size of such a village is small—perhaps twenty-five households. Surrounding these settled areas one finds a region of cultivated lands, broken up into a myriad of small plots often less than a hectare each in size; this cultivated zone is itself Generally surrounded by uncultivated scrub or woodland. Mud and adobe brick form the principal construction materials. The houses of the village are built as roughly rectangular Structures, with each surrounding an open central space that serves as a corral. Set into the front wall are two doors, the smaller one to provide access for people and the larger one to accommodate the passage of a wagon. In the traditional layout, the principal living quarters are set up along the front of the structure, with sleeping rooms on the second floor, while shelter spaces for household animals (cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, and perhaps a donkey or two) run along the two sides. Along the back one finds storage areas for grain and other farm products. At one corner of the structure one once Commonly found a kitchen; nowadays the room that serves that function for the household is part of the living area at the front. Where the old kitchen once stood, today one frequently finds a large oven used for baking bread.

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