The arcaded houses in the Low Lands

The distinguishing element of the Low Lands, among other regions, are the arcaded houses. These are some of the last such valuable monuments in the Delta of the Vistula River, which, thanks to the enthusiasts and lovers of these lands, we can continue to admire and even visit.

The arcaded houses have a wooden frame structure, which are filled with a decorative puzzle of the so-called Dutch ballast brick. The uniqueness of these buildings is evidenced by the under shade, the extended floor based on wooden pillars (4-9 columns). The resulting room initially served as a warehouse, later it was transformed into residential areas. The arcaded houses were placed with the porch to the road, sometimes along the entire length of the village, creating an impressive structure of rows of columns.

The number of pillars in the shadows depended on the wealth of the host. Initially, there were warehouses in the basement as well as in the whole attic, where bags of grain were usually stored, transported with the help of a crane through a hatch in the floor directly from the wagon.

An arcaded house in Nowa Cerkiew, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

An arcaded house in Nowa Cerkiew, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

Wnętrze domu podcieniowego w Żuławkach, fot. Pomorskie Travel

Wnętrze domu podcieniowego w Żuławkach, fot. Pomorskie Travel

The arcades were used in the Low Land houses probably already in the Middle Ages, the oldest preserved building dates from the beginning of the XVIIth century. Since they were known already in the Middle Ages, it is a mistake to assume that they were invented by Dutch settlers – Mennonites.

The increase in the wealth of the Low Land peasants can also be seen in the architecture of the arcaded houses. Initially, the house had a top arcade facing the road, the next step was to build on one side of the wing, finally the building had a centrally located under the arcade, and on both sides there were symmetrical residential parts.

Wnętrze domu podcieniowego w Żuławkach, fot. Pomorskie Travel

Wnętrze domu podcieniowego w Żuławkach, fot. Pomorskie Travel

The interiors of all the houses were similar. They consisted of a large room, a summer room, a black and white kitchen, a main hall and a utility room. Additional rooms such as a bedroom or utility rooms depended on the size of the house. Most often, the large chamber was delineated on the south side of the building and was directly adjacent to the black kitchen, where meals were cooked on an open hearth.

The black kitchen was adjoined by a white one, where meals requiring cooking were prepared. The main hall was the representative part in front of the main entrance, leading from it to the black kitchen, the large room and the summer room.

The commercial hall formed the boundary between the residential and the commercial part, in smaller houses it separated the residential house from the commercial buildings. The interiors of the houses were decorated with stairs with a decorative balustrade, decorated doors, impressive tiled stoves, decorative ceramic tiles – so-called tiles and wall furniture.

An arcaded house in Nowa Cerkiew, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

An arcaded house in Nowa Cerkiew, photo: Pomorskie.Travel

In the Low Land area there were also buildings without the arcades and so-called Dutch homesteads or houses in which the residential part was connected with outbuildings. However, it is the houses with sub-shades that are a characteristic feature of the buildings of the Low Land villages and create the climate of this region that is not found anywhere else.

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