The Most Famous Chimneys in the World

Visually speaking, the exteriors of chimneys often do little more than signal that a structure is complete with a fireplace. There are some remarkable chimneys in the world, however, that do a lot more than transport combustion materials from a fire to the out-of-doors. Some chimneys in the world are positively celebrated because they are outstanding or unique in a fascinating way. Below are some of the world’s most famous chimneys.

The Most Chimneys

Most chimneys in one placeAn enormous château in France has 365 chimneys, more than any building in the world. It’s not just the sheer number of chimneys that has made the Chateau of Chamboard in Loir-et-Cher so famous. The chimneys are ornate, displaying such features as wreaths, animals, columns, sculpted shields, and nymphs. Construction on the château that was built for François I began in 1519, and it was meant to be a hunting lodge. The 440-room landmark was never fully completed, a fact which doesn’t discourage tourism. Every year almost one million people visit the place with 84 staircases and more chimneys than any other structure in the world.

Old chimneys


Oldest Standing Chimneys

The standing chimneys that are believed to be the world’s oldest are in England in an abbey that is also the burial site of the wife of Henry II and Richard the Lion Heart. The 12th-century Fontevrault abbey has a massive kitchen with five huge wood-burning fireplaces.

Those fireplaces were used to cook for hundreds of people in the monastic community. In an ingenious way, the five fireplaces connect to 20 chimneys. The architecture of the pencil-shaped stone chimneys blends harmoniously with the Romanesque architecture of the abbey.


World's tallest chimneyTallest Chimney

While it is not ornate, the tallest chimney in the world is worth a look. Built in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan, in 1987, the 1,337-foot tall chimney is part of the Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station, a power generating station that is coal fueled. The second tallest chimney, located in Homer City, Pennsylvania, is at another coal-burning station and stands 1,217 feet tall.


Thornbury Castle

The intricately designed chimneys of Thornbury castle in Thornbury, England, are the most prominent feature of the Tudor style building, one of England’s oldest and most historic homes. The castle that was built in 1511 is also famous for the fact that King Henry VIII confiscated it for a short time and lived there with Anne Boleyn.

Oldes Chimneys in the worldThe castle’s chimneys were added to the structure in 1514, and bricks carved and molded in order to create symmetrical designs were used to stunning effect.

Antoni Gaudi Chimneys

A celebrated architect who was born in Reus, Spain, in 1852, Antoni Gaudi is famous for eye-catching chimneys on several remarkable structures. The following details three of his most notable achievements in creating unforgettable chimneys, all of which are located in Barcelona, Spain:

  • Among Gaudi’s earliest works is Barcelona’s resplendent Palau Güell. This outstanding structure has been touted as an example of the best in art nouveau. In 1886 construction began on the building, and 20 remarkable chimneys were added in 1895. The roof looks like a veritable candy land because of the design of the chimneys, such as one which looks like a swirly, bright lollipop.
  • Another of Gaudi’s works on display in Barcelona is Casa Batlló, located in the heart of the city. The awe-inspiring curvy, bright chimneys punctuate the unique rooftop that is colorfully tiled.
  • Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera Chimneys, is a stunning building completed in 1912 and remains a favorite tourist attraction. Atop the somewhat odd yet spectacular structure are 28 chimneys in several groupings. The colorful chimneys are truly stunning examples of architectural brilliance. In Italian, the chimneys of the building are referred to as espanta bruixes, meaning “witch scarers.” One of the unique chimneys is decorated with bits of champagne bottle glass collected from the event celebrating the building’s inauguration. In addition to the dazzling chimneys, the rooftop has other unforgettable features, such as water tanks shaped like snails.



DasHeizhaussmDas Heizhaus Chimney

Rudolf Steiner is the architect who created the world-renowned Das Heizhaus Chimney. Steiner was an artist, philosopher, social thinker, literary scholar, and educator with many lifetime achievements to his credit.

The colorful and spectacular Das Heizhaus Chimney is representative of his talent for expressing his nonconformist, revolutionary ideas. Architects the world over have been inspired by this famous chimney ever since it was constructed in 1914.

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