A chimenea or chiminea ( ; from Spanish language chimenea , in turn derived from French language cheminée, "chimney") is a freestanding front-loading fireplace or oven with a bulbous body and usually a vertical smoke vent or chimney.
The chimenea was once a daily life necessity that served a domestic purpose. The chimenea of the past was used indoors for heating and cooking, usually by an open window or in the center of the hut or home with an opening in the roof to allow smoke to escape. With the advent of the modern home, chimeneas are now used outdoors mainly for entertainment in a backyard setting.
More modern clay chimeneas have clay that has been heavily grogged to better handle the thermal stresses that often fracture traditional earthenware items. Manufacturers now also offer cast iron and aluminium chimeneas, which can become very hot on the outside, but are much less fragile than the traditional clay models, and may be better suited to climates with wide temperature ranges.