Monday, October 3, 2016

Old postcard: Homes in Germany's Black Forest region

This nifty old postcard features a pastoral illustration of pair of homes and the busy (for then) dirt road in front of them. Someone has written BLACK FOREST on the card, and the architecture certainly seems to be the kind you would find in that historic mountainous region of southwestern Germany.

The artist for this postcard was named H. Hoffman, and the logo for the postcard's publisher is shown at right.

The distinctive Black Forest homes and farms have a history that date back centuries. Many served as combined living quarters for humans and their livestock and silage (wohnstallhaus in German, byre-dwelling in English). The long roofs that extend to the first floor, which can be seen on the homes in this postcard, are one of the primary characteristics of this type of architecture. All of this would often rest upon a strong stone basement/foundation.

As you can probably guess, part of the point of the design was to best withstand the region's harsh weather conditions, which could include high winds and snowy winters. The design also often took into account the direction of the sun's rays in summer and winter, as can be seen in this illustration on Wikipedia.

The popular Black Forest Open Air Museum, located in the Black Forest, features six fully furnished farmhouses, which were originally built in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in the region and have been reassembled at the museum site. The museum opened in 1964.

For related reading on the region, and to learn what life in these houses was like, you might want to check out Black Forest Village Stories by Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882).

Learn how you can get a "100% hand made" Black Forest Weather House for just $2.99!

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