One of the town’s most distinctive features is the abundance of fisherman houses coated in whitewashed paint. The authentic façade allows you to step back in history and enjoy the marvels of a historic town.
The “colour code” has its origins back in the day when it was considered that to coat one’s house with a thin paste composed primarily of water and lime, is the most effective and economical way to paint your home. It was inexpensive and easy to maintain and when applied to a surface, the mixture forms a thin opaque film of calcium carbonate (plaster), which is non-yellowing because there is no oil binder.
Historically it was used on the exterior of the house to reflect heat and was somewhat effective as a fire retardant and thermal insulator when applied in thick layers. It was also considered a “sanitary” coating due to its disinfect qualities.
Although modern paints are now being used, the Paternoster community still currently adheres to this tradition, resulting in a charming authentic village where you can find a house of any color, as long as it is white.