Slovenian Traditional House


Boštjan šeruga



Cottages usually stand above or between the vineyards, on wooded tracts, on southern slopes or in valleys. They are 4 – 5 m wide and 8 – 10 m long.

They are built from rough wooden brunos and the crevices are filled with moss. Walls are roughcasted with mud and whitewashed. That type of house is called “cimprana hiša.”

Wooden roofing is placed on the walls and covered with thatch. Chimney stands somewhere in the middle of the roof. Chimneys were usually made of wood, so the fires weren´t so rare.

The typical home had one larger room, called hiša, smaller room (hiška), small vestibule and black kitchen. Windows were small.

Beside the wood people often used argil to build a home, because it was a building material for poor people. They scraped the earth, mixed it with chopped straw, pressed all together with their feet and put the mixture between two logs. Then they liftted the logs and started doing the next wall. That´s how “butana hiša” was built. It was roughcasted with soaked soil and whitewashed.



The shape and construction of house depended upon form and structure of ground, climate and disposable material. They used wood of less quality than today, as the houses were small and swept with clay.

Houses usually don’t have basis, only elementary frame is sometimes stronger and made of oak’s beam. Instead of walls they used oak’s, beech’s and poplar’s wood. First they hewed beams, stacked them together horizontally and tied them with wood wedges. At the edges and contacts of transversed walls they splitted beams up and bind. That’s what we call general construction of blocks. The last two rows of beams were a little longer, as there on the top of jointed walls are two consoles which carry watershoot position.

They simply cut out the window openings into block walls and also connected door’s jamb with taps to the blocks. The rest of doors were made of boards, carpenter’s made of wood hinges and bolts.

Walls were from outside and inside swept with muddy, clayey roughcast. It was women’s job to smear and repair it. Swept walls were later whitewashed with lime and the lower belts coloured with grey. With clayey mixture they also coated attic, floors in the house and the corridor under the projecting roof. Kitchen walls were the only walls that were built of stone, but sometimes it was only the wall next to the fire, that separated kitchen from the house. Chimney were in most cases built of stone and through it the smoke was lifting up.

When they covered the roof they used wheat and rye straw, that mustn’t be damaged so they harvested it manually with sickle.



Vuk’s homestead ( Dobrina 11)
A wooden “cimprana” house with a kitchen with fireplace, a room with baker’s oven, balcony and thatched roof sits on a basement made from stone. It dates back to the Eighties of the 19th century.

Dominko’s homestead (Gorišnica 12)
Everyone is amazed by this 300 years old typical Pannonian house with its walls from logs still firmly standing. The builders had to be real masters of carpentry and “cimpranje” and roofing, as they were usually one and the same person.


June 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm 1 comment


Phase 2 is running for next two months. So for the members of this project, it is your time to share about your rooms inside of your house and activities done in those rooms. Looking forward of your collaboration.

April 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

The Long Houses of the Dayak

The Dayak, some of the original inhabitants of Borneo, build long houses on stilts, using ironwood for the structure and tree bark for the walls; the floor are simple planks of wood placed side by side. The length of these houses was for the last century of 110 meters (over 360 feet) and today they generally range from 10 to 70 meters (33 to 230 feet).

On Borneo the long house forms a center for both social life and for rituals. Here people meet to talk after work, and its here the central ceremonies and rituals of the group are performed.

In each long house is a central stilt or main post which is the first to be placed in position when the house is built. This post is associated with the ancestor who founded the house has a sacred signifiance; it stands in the center of the house and its looked on as the link between the underworld and the upper world. The long houses were often decorated with representations of water snakes and rhinoceros birds. They were connected with the group’s central creation myth, for water snake is associated with the underworld and the rhinoceros bird with the upper world of the good spirits.

March 12, 2009 at 8:33 am 6 comments

FORUM is already reset.

Project Coordinator informs the members of OGW-Houses that the forum server can be accessed now so the forum activities at is not  delayed anymore. We have reset it up now. Click here

Aris Mujiraharjo
Project Coordinator

March 7, 2009 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Estonian Old Houses of 18-20th Century

Svetlana Dychenko

The Open Air Museum owns the largest collection of national architecture in Estonia. Ours is the only museum in Estonia with the primary goal of collecting and researching countryside architecture. 72 old village structures have been delivered to the museum and rebuilt on location. We hope to continue this work with newer structures of the 20th century. Our other collections supplement the national architecture collection and help to demonstrate the genuine country life of the past.

jyrijaagu rocca3 scarecrows demonstrating-how-washing rocca11 rocca2 rocca5 rocca41 rocca6 rocca7

March 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm 6 comments

Houses in Santorini island

Santorini is characterised by its picturesque white painted houses on the top of impressively high cliffs.
The main reason the inhabitants of Santorini were choosing areas so far away from the sea was the fear of the pirates.
A village in Santorini is very similar to all the villages in most of the Greek islands of the Cyclades: small white-painted houses with blue doors and windows divided by narrow streets.This kind of architecture can be explained by several reasons:
the small number of secure and easy to build on places, protection from the hard weather conditions (heavy hurricanes in winter and solar heat in summer), a shelter from the many pirates of the area, and also scarcity of construction material.
The design also suits the climate with the rock insulating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
From an architectural point of view, some of the most important characteristics of the construction style in Santorini are the caves that were built in the hill and in prolongation of each house.
These caves also kept an average temperature during the entire year. Because of the volcanic history and terrain of Santorini, many houses had some, or most of their interior, made by burrowing into the rock.
Today, many of these picturesque houses have been restored and turned into beautiful villas or hotel complexes.
These houses are located in the charming villages of Fira, Firostefani and Oia.
Because of the widespread wine making on the island, many houses also had their own tank installed to crush the grapes.


February 24, 2009 at 11:36 am 7 comments

Houses in the Greek islands

Folegendros island

Folegendros island

Cycladic architecture is famous for its uniqueness and charm.  When you visit a Cycladic town or village for the first time, you may have the feeling that you are inside an enchanting stage set.
The streets are characteristically paved with whitewash-outlined polygonal or rectangular flagstones. The pattern of the flagstones is usually adapted to fit along the outsides of the buildings, which are of two main styles: narrow-facade (“stenometopo”) and broad-facade (“evrymetopo”). Buildings on the same block are most likely to be in the same style, with similar features. Therefore, a row of narrow-facade houses will have approximately the same dimensions and the same design. The houses usually have two storeys, with an outside staircase that allows separate access to the upper storey from the street.
The outside staircase exists regardless of whether the house is used as a single-family dwelling or two separate families individually own the ground floor and upper storey.
Separate ownership of individual floors is a popular tradition in the Cyclades, dating centuries back. It apparently started because of the lack of space within the fortified settlements, but it satisfied other needs too, as the lack of storage spaces.
The exteriors of Cycladic buildings are simple and unembellished, whitewashed, with only a few windows and

Myconos island

Myconos island

a particular type of roof, which comes in three variations: vaulted, inclined, or pitched. For the most part, Cycladic houses resemble connected stark-white cubes.
The interior of the houses is also similar, with only minor variations from island to island. The inside space is divided into two unequal sections by a kind of platform, 1-2 meters high and up to 3 meters wide, extending either the length or width of the house. This platform is called, alternately, “krevatos” (bed), “kraatos” or “sofas” (couch) depending on the locale. The furnishings, which are impressive for their aesthetics refinement and usefulness, are in total harmony with the decoration and architecture of the house. The interior decor consists of small cabinets, the “stamnos” (water jug) stand, trunks to store clothing, wardrobes, icon stands, wooden-carved chests, as well as a variety of furniture built into the walls.
Perched on cliff-sides, with an economy of space ensured by native ingenuity, these single or two-storeyed houses blend with church facades, fountains, windmills to compose pictures seen nowhere else in the world.


February 24, 2009 at 11:30 am Leave a comment

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