All the exterior doors and windows in our house in Ansouis have wooden shutters. But, whereas shutters in most houses in my experience in North America are merely decorative, here in Ansouis and elsewhere in the towns and villages in the area the shutters are fully functional and an important part of the house security and temperature control system. By custom the shutters on the ground floor are closed by 8:00pm (a heads-up from the owner of the house), and they must be closed when we go out for the day. Most of the shutters lock from the inside. The shutters on the kitchen door lock from the outside.
The shutters on the wide front door area are two 4-fold affairs that tuck away into a box at each side. The boxes each have a door that shuts and is basically held closed by a large stone at the base.
The window and kitchen door shutters fold back againt the outside wall and are held in place by a metal "arrow" that pivots on a bolt. This morning we noticed that three of the "arrows" are missing, victims of the party that ran late into Saturday night.
I understand that the shutters are traditional and important, but I don't like them. The interior of the house is usually very dark. I am accustomed to doors and, especially windows, that let in light.