Touring many Andalusian towns such as Ubrique, involves encountering an overflowing number of white facades. But it really wasn’t always like this, what happened for localities that wore colors as disparate as blue, yellow or red iron oxide? The different epidemics of plague, yellow fever or typhus from the 16th to 19th centuries were largely the reason for this obsession that survives as a social ritual associated with hygiene.

The antiseptic and antibacterial effect of calcium oxide is clear, although it is true that the specific incidence that lime could have against the coronavirus has not yet been demonstrated.

Lime is one of the oldest building materials used by humanity. Mixed in mortar with or without pigments, dissolved in water as a plaster, it has been used in architecture for millennia.

The facades were painted in spring, for the patron saint festivities and cemeteries, in November to dress them up for the month of the deceased. In almost all Andalusian homes there was always a corner with the necessary materials for this maintenance: brushes, brushes, stairs, jars, buckets, etc.

Today, either for uniformity or for tourist attraction, there are still many towns that preserve these traditions. Do you dare to visit them? Very soon we will be able to do it again.