The fotoalbum of the ukrainian folk architecture. Types of Ukrainian Houses
Folk architecture of the Ukrainians was rich in structure types and original in structure forms. It was the successor of traditions formed in the Ukrainian lands during previous millenniums. And although formation of folk architecture, the character of constructions and their location was greatly influenced by natural conditions, building materials and construction methods, the Ukrainians managed to create original and characteristic types of a village khata (house) and a Christian church that were common for all lands inhabited by the Ukrainians (that refers to ethnic lands as well as the Diaspora).
One of the old Ukrainian kolyadka (Christmas carol) has such lines: "I will build a church with three domes, with three windows". And as a matter of fact, church type most widely spread among Ukrainian religious constructions was mainly three-domed. The majority of examples of wooden church architecture originating from the XVI - XX centuries are as a matter of fact churches consisting of three log cabins - solid-timber units (towers), centrally counterbalanced. Or in other words, the higher and wider tower was located in the middle between the narthex ("babynets") and the altar. Each tower had several recesses and was topped with a dome that had a light and a cupola with a cross. (A slightly different correspondence between the size and the height of towers can be observed in Ukrainian churches in Lemkivshchyna. A square log cabin (tower) with a tent-like roof (square or octagonal) was the foundation of the building structure of wooden church architecture of the Ukrainians. In case when the tent-like roof was only above the middle log cabin, it was a one-domed church, when each of the three log cabins had tent-like roofs - it was a three-domed church. In case at the southern and northern side one more log cabin was annexed - a five-domed church was created. In case the curved-inside corners of the latter were also filled with log cabins, a construction of nine solid timber units (log cabins) was formed. In all variants the tower of the central log cabin was the tallest, the towers of the side log cabins were lower and the towers of the corner log cabins - still lower. Now only one vertical-centric church with nine towers is preserved - the Cossack wooden cathedral of the XVIII century in the town of Novomoskovsk.
From the second half of the XVI century in Ukrainian timber construction hexagonal and octagonal log cabins were used; that distinctly emphasized plastic expressiveness of the construction. That was also the time when formation of aesthetic principles of church building begun. For instance, principal points often form a equilateral triangle or equilateral cross.
The exterior walls of Ukrainian churches were covered with board sheathing; the roof was often made of shingles. There were no strict rules of location of windows, it can only be said that they were situated quite high from the ground. They were of a rectangular, square or round form. Churches did not have an accentuated facade as the main attraction. Constructions were planned in such a way that an architectural composition produced equal aesthetic impression when viewed from each side. Most wooden churches had an original overhang or arcade (opasannya) around them. Great attention was also paid to decoration of doors that led directly to the church, and to crosses at the top, which were decorated with exquisite forged ornament.
In the interior space of the churches one interesting characteristic regularity can be traced. By eye the Ukrainian church always looks 20 per cent higher from its real forms. That effect was achieved by special (but deliberate) combination of internal space of log cabins and roofs (domes). That construction regularity, first scientifically grounded and confirmed by mathematical calculations of Professor V. Shcherbakivsky (1913), was also used by folk craftsmen in architecture of iconostases, as well as in architectural principles of church construction (properly speaking, in that branch of church construction that inherited the traditions of folk timber construction (for instance, the Voloska Church and the Chapel of Three Consecrators in Lviv).
The indispensable feature of the church ensemble in Ukraine was the belfry. The height and forms of the belfry depended on the architectural composition of the church. When the belfry was constructed straight near the church, its form closely copies the forms of the church towers. The belfries, as well as the churches, could be one- or multi-tiered, with galleries and overhangs around the construction, or without them (more rarely), built according to a layered solid-timber technique known as "log-cabin" style of building, or built as framed constructions (in Galychyna), or on church log cabin over the babynets (narthex) (in Lemkivshchyna).
The church interiors were noticeable for the iconostases, made of well-dried timber (aged up to 30 years), carved all over and gilded. Iconostases had 5, 6 or even 7 tiers. Icons ("obrazy" - sacred images) were distinguished for their carved columns. Sometimes icons were sculptural and carved.
The rhythm was another peculiarity of Ukrainian folk churches and church ensembles; it played the same role as in musical and song compositions. All spaces, construction lines, details and decorative elements of the church were united by a single rhythm and created a unique architectural symphony.
Chapels were also a widely spread type of buildings; they were built on road crossings and roadsides. They had a rectangular form, gable or hip roofs. The entrance was situated in the narrower wall; very often the entrance had eaves supported by two posts.
The architectural character of dwellings and farm buildings was greatly dependent on natural and climatic conditions of the locality, and accordingly, the construction materials used. In regions rich in timber buildings were always constructed out of timber, in the steppe area - out of clay, thatch and stone, in the forest-steppe area - out of clay, thatch and timber. But the type of the Ukrainian khata (village house, dwelling) was in fact uniform in all territories inhabited by the Ukrainians (although there were some local peculiarities in details). Everywhere a tripartite plan dominated with the entrance on the elongated southern wall. Coming into the house, people always came into the siny (entrance hall). On the one side of the entrance hall there was properly the house - "svitlytsya" (living quarters), which was sometimes separated into the "khata" (house) and the so-called "kimnata" (room), on the other side there was the komora (storeroom), which sometimes was transformed into another house. Rooms separated from the entrance hall by partition were called "vanykr", and rooms annexed to the entrance hall - "khytya" or "khytka". More complex types of village houses had a tripartite way of partition.
The interior plan of the house was also uniform practically for the entire territory of Ukraine. On the same side as the entrance from the hall stood the stove, on the other side of the door - the "mysnyk", or in other words - "shelf" for dishes. In the opposite corner from the stove and extending towards it there was the pil - a wooden shelf for sleeping or a bed. In the pokut (a corner formed by eastern and southern windows) under obrazy (sacred images) stood a table with benches along the walls (in western Ukrainian lands sometimes there was a wooden plank bed - "bambetel") and one bench in front of the table. In the corner near the stove at the door stood "kocherga" or "kotsyuba" (popkers), near the mysnyk - a bucket ("zrizok") with water. In the pokut - on shelves or on the walls there were obrazy (home icons) decorated with flowers or plants, sometimes with an icon-lamp and embroidered towels. When separated into the house and the room, obrazy were also hung over the bed in the room. The traditional furniture items were also lavishly adorned skrynyas (chests) with girl's or woman's belongings and perches above the pil used for hanging clothing. When an infant was in the house, a cradle was hung above the pil.
The doors in houses were always single-leaf and on metal hinges, the roof - pyramidal. The house had an earthen, clay or wooden floor. The stove was faced with stone, clay or ceramic tiles (in the Gutsul Region). The clay or brick place in front of the stove opening was called "prypichok" and the place behind the stove was called "zapichok". The smoke came out through the chimney, although in the Carpathian region smokehouses were also preserved.
Plans of farmsteads differed depending on the locality. In the Carpathians the house with farm buildings were joined under one roof (in Lemko and Boyko Lands they were elongated and formed the row, in Gutsul Land living and farm buildings were joined by a high fence with a roof ("grazhda") and formed a closed ensemble, a kind of a fortress). Fences could be wattled ("tyn", "plit", "lisa"), wooden ("parkan", "chastokol"), or made of stone or in the form of a mound, planted around with blackthorn (in southern lands). Separately from houses "komora", "stodola", 'klunya", "staynya", "khliv" (different kinds of farm premises) were built. In the courtyard there often were "pogrebnytsya" or "lyokh" (vaults). Big agricultural instruments were often kept in "shopa", "vozovnya", "koleshnya" (storing premises).
Among the traditional farm premises that are especially interesting are water mills
Interior of a House. Poltavshchyna.
Interior of a Podillya House.
A Ukrainian stove.
Interior of a House. Cherkashchyna.
A Wooden Church. Lvivshchyna. XVIII century.
A Wooden Church. Ivano-Frankivshchyna. XVIII century.
A Water-Mill. End of the XIX century.
A House with Galleries. Zakarpattya. XIX century.
Mykolayivska Church. Lvivshchyna. 1763.
A Well. Lvivshchyna.
A House. Lvivshchyna. 1910.
A Wooden Church. Zakarpattya. XV-XVIII century.
St.Yura's Church. Drogobych. XV-XVIII century.
A Windmill. Chernivtsi Region. Beginning of the XX century.
Grazhda's Interior. Ivano-Frankivshchyna. Middle of the XIX century.
A Defensive Tower. Village of Letychiv. Khmelnitsky Region.
Church of the Holy Spirit, town of Rogatyn. 1620.
Three Consecrators'Chapel in Lviv. 1578-1590.
Types of Ukrainian Houses: 2, 4 - Kharkivshchyna, 1, 3, 5-7 - Poltavshchyna. End of the XIX century.
Types of Ukrainian Houses: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 - Vinnychyna, 3, 6 - Cherkashchyna. End of the XIX century.
Types of Ukrainian Houses: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 - Khmelnychyna,
5 - Vinnychyna. 7 - Chernivtsi Region.
Types of Ukrainian Houses: Podillya.
Types of Ukrainian Houses: Podillya.