A trivial but iconic architectural element of Europe are the chimneypots that adorn the rooftops of houses and buildings. In Paris, in particular, they are ubiquitous and occur in unusually large concentration on nearly every building. As these photos testify, it is impossible to look over the rooftops of the sprawling French capital without being accosted by chimneypots. You can actually tell how many individual fireplaces the building has or had by counting the chimneypots.
Chimneys first appeared in Europe possibly in the 13th century. Prior to that, homes were heated by an open fire set on a clay or brick surface in the center of the house, over which meals were cooked and people huddled around for warmth. The smoke from the fire would fill the house and only escape through a hole in the roof or in the wall made for the purpose. Early chimneys appeared only on large manor houses, and during the Tudor period it became fashionable to have ornate brick chimneys and stacks.
Photo credit: Shreyans Bhansali/Flickr