Architecture of The Tarnovo Artistic School - Residential Architecture - Mass Dwelling

Mass Dwelling

From the Second Bulgarian Empire there are basically two types of mass dwellings: semi-dug houses (semi dug-out) and overground houses. The semi-dug dwelling can be also divided into two types: evenly dug in (around 150 cm) and dug in inclined terrain, in that cases the rear was fully under the ground and the front was exposed. The first type was built with timber and covered with straw or reed. Similar dwellings were known from the First Bulgarian Empire too. The second type of houses were built of stones soldered with mud (in the parts over the ground) and the roof was made of timber. The depth of dug-in reached two meters and the door was from the exposed part. The floor was covered with bricks or plastered up with clay. A furnace was used for heating and the smoke came out from an opening on the roof. Such dwellings are found in the western slopes of Momina Krepost and on the slopes of the Tsarevets hill. These houses had a very slow evolution, their root were from 8th to 12th century and continued to be used during the period of the Ottoman domination. A variety of that type are the semi-dug houses built entirely of stone which had a second floor. The most common type of houses in the Medieval Bulgarian towns were the overground houses. Their ruins have been found in Tarnovo, Shumen, Lovech, Cherven. They were usually with two storeys and one or two rooms. They were built on a previously leveled ground closely adjoining each other and were usually without yards. They were built of stones soldered with mud or plaster. The roof was probably made of timber. Their inhabitants were probably craftsmen or servants of the aristocracy. The ground floors were used for shops and workshops.

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