Traditional houses in Kozani region-Greece.
The architectural style of Kozani’s urban residences reached its full expression around the middle of the 18th century, a time when the town’s merchants were acquiring considerable financial power and their way of life became more urbanized, influenced by trends from central Europe.
Most of the wealthier mansions still standing today in our region, date from the second half of the 18th and the 19th century. They are rectangular in plan and their comfortable upper storeys are richly ornamented.
From outside, the mansions resemble fortresses, since their lower section (middle and ground floors) is dressed with bare stone and equipped with loopholes and only a few barred windows. Conversely, the top floor is a light construction of varnished wood with enclosed balconies (‘sachnisia’) at the corners and larger openings (windows and transoms).
In times of danger the inhabitants used to escape from a passage located in the small courtyard to the rear of the house, which communicated with the courtyards of neighbours and linked up with the town’s road network.
The low entrance, usually found in the western wall, leads to an inner, flagstone courtyard (’embati’ or ‘mesia’) around which the various auxiliary spaces are grouped (storerooms, cellars, etc.). One stone staircase communicates with the middle floor, a second with the upper floor.
On the middle floor, arranged around an inner wooden balcony, are the ‘iliakos’ (sun room, the main reception room) and the winter reception and living rooms (‘heimoniatika’). The upper floor contains the summer rooms (‘kalokairina’) arranged around a central space, to the right and left of which are corridors, the lavatory and utility rooms.
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