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In het Hongaars openluchtmuseum staan twee "abora" afkomstig uit Noord-Oost Hongarije, Boven Tisza regio. Tegen de Oekraine aan. Er lijkt een band met Trans Sylvanië en de Karpathen te zijn.

Hungarian Open Air Museum - Pleasure of Tradition

Address:
2000 Szentendre, Sztaravodai út
Mail: H-2001 Szentendre, P.O.B. 63
Phone: 00 36 -26- 502 500, 502 501
Fax: 00 36 - 26 - 502-502
E-mail: sznm@sznm.hu , info@sznm.hu
web: http://www.skanzen.hu

The Hungarian Open Air Museum is Hungary's central collection of architecture. It is situated in a unique natural environment, being part of the Duna-Ipoly National Park, not farther than 20 km from the capital, Budapest.

 

A very interesting site with a lot of information on regional differences in Hungarian Architecture shows old haybarns with liftable roofs! The source is: Hungarian Ethnographic and folklore, by Ivan Balassa and Gyula Ortutay. Now follows some fragments from this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outbuildings of the Farmyard in Hungary

After having thoroughly examined the architecture and interior of the house, let us step out into the yard and get acquainted with the buildings there. Some of these were for the various animals, crops were stored in others, while these or other buildings were used for doing certain jobs.

Fig. 43. The ground-plan of a closed barn.
Göcsej, Zala County. Early 20th century.
1. Threshing ground. 2. Lean-to of barn. 3. Shed

 

The largest building of agricultural type is the barn, called pajta in the western part of the linguistic territory, and in the east csur. This type of building may be found in regions where, chiefly for climatic reasons, crops could not be kept outdoors for a lengthy time, and where formerly the grain was threshed with a flail, not trodden out. For this reason, barns were not built in the Great Plain, and were much less frequent in the eastern part of Transdanubia than in Western Transdanubia, and have been built in the Little Plain only during the last centuries. The real home for barns is the Palots area and the adjacent regions stretching south, Western Transdanubia, and Transylvania.

As the division and use of the barns differ by regions, we can only attempt to introduce a few types.

In the region of Göcsej, the barn called pajta is divided into three parts. Open, pillared and closed versions occur equally. Threshing with a flail was done in the central part, large enough for a loaded cart to drive in. The grain was stored in the loft (pajtafia). After the introduction of machine threshing, fodder was kept in the loft. The closed barn was built on the inner lot, usually of logs. The roof structure has a central arch which provides for better use of the loft. The hipped roof was covered with thatch, just as were houses earlier.

78. Cellar built of logs.
Vineyard in Csurgó-Nagymárton, Somogy County

 

Fig. 44. The ground-plan of a wooden barn with two compartments.
Nyíri, former Abaúj County. Late 19th century

 

The barns (gabonapajta) of nearby Somogy were placed around the {164.} settlement at 600 to 800 metres distance, in the threshing yard. They were built of huge foundation logs, approximately 12 to 16 metres long and 6 to 7 metres wide. Wicker was woven into the frame and this was sometimes plastered with a thin layer of clay. The mostly open inside area was shut off by means of two wicker gates turning on posts, located across from each other on the long side (see Ill. 10). The roof was covered with thatch. Formerly the sheaves were carried here after harvest and placed in such a way that space for the cart stayed open in the centre of the barn. Young men guarded the grain at night. In Somogy the grain was trodden out on the open area in front of the barn. This was usually finished by September, and from then on only chaff, straw, and thatch was left inside the barn. Threshing machines replaced the treading out of grain from the turn of the century, and from this time on hay and other fodder were stored in the granary, from which the quantities necessary during the winter were carried by cart and sled to the village stables.

79. Barn built on a structure of logs
Szenna, Somogy County

 

80. Grain bin
Magyarbóly, Baranya County

 

The barns general in the Bakony hills varied in length between 12 and 17 metres and the width between 7 and 8 metres. Smaller, more primitive forms are located in one line with the house, as if a continuation of it, but the larger ones closed off the back of the yard by lying at right angles to the house. The former were generally built on a wooden foundation, the latter on stone. The walls are wattle in the first case, while the larger barns often had walls and plank doors on both sides, so that the barn can be shut up completely. The gable of the roof often {165.} overhangs on the yard side, and the chaff is kept in the shed thus created. Sometimes the entrance is lengthened towards the yard, and carts are kept here, and farm implements of various sizes hanging on the walls. The area of the barn is used primarily for threshing and for storing grain, and only lately is fodder also put into it. The size and building style of the barn indicated the economic standing of the smallholder.

81. Barn with triple sections
Inaktelke, former Kolozs County

 

Most versions of the Palots barn (csur) were built of wood. Large stones were piled up for its foundation and the corner structure of logs was laid on them. Perpendicular beams were fitted on the corners which held up the cornice beams running around on top. The sides were made either from legs cut for insertion in a mortise or from thick planks. The thatched roof rests on rafters. The building consists of three divisions. The larger area is the threshing ground (széru), where the treading out or the threshing with flails is done. Both sides of the barn are open. Enclosure with a plank gate is a recent development. Beams reach across the threshing ground, called the szérutorok (“throat”), where the most valued fodder is stored. The other division is the csurág (“branch”), where the harvested grain is put. At some places further partitions are made and in such a fiók (“drawer”) the farmer fits up for himself a small workshop with a workbench and woodcarving tools. Wooden {166.} forks, rakes, and other farm implements are made here, and broken worktools of the house repaired.

East of the Palots area, in the Hegyköz of Abaúj, the majority of the barns have three divisions. The threshing ground is at the centre, divided on two sides from the fiók by the kármento (“rescuer of loss”), an approximately 150–180 cm high wall. Above the threshing barn stretches the csurtorok (“throat”), which serves primarily for storing fodder. The threshing yard of the barn is closed front and back by gates, which may be left off, if carts are parked there regularly. The barns stand at right angles to the house at the end of the yard; vegetable gardens and fruit orchards lie behind them. Ventilation was controlled by opening and closing the granary doors, and after threshing, they also winnowed the grain here. The barns were made of wood, with the corner-post construction, but there are barns with wattle walls, at times even plastered. Barns built on stone foundations gained ground later with walls made of wattle or perhaps of planks. The roofs are generally thatched, or only in some places covered with shingle, tile, or lately with tin. Here too, the three-divisioned barn is a sign of prosperity and larger holdings; the smaller farmers had a one side-partition fiók only.

Fig. 45. The construction of a barn comparable to a yoke.
Kalotaszeg, former Kolozs county. 1940s

 

The so-called jármos-csur (yoke-like barn) can be found in Transylvania, especially in Kalotaszeg. These barns got their name from the slightly bent beams that run parallel through the centre. Such barns consist of three parts. In the centre is the granary, built high enough for a stacked cart to drive into and yet so that hay can easily be placed into the lofts of the attics, hij, of all three parts. The barn is usually located in the {167.} section to the right of the entrance from the direction of the yard. They keep the stock here, while the other side, the “tent” (sátor), is suited for storing all kinds of produce or implements. The most important work in the barn is threshing and winnowing the grain. The barn's function is manifold: among others, Sunday afternoon dances are held here. The barn is usually built at the end of the square holding, at right angles to the house, so that its gate will be located across from the entrance of the holding.

However, if the holding slopes toward the back and is threatened with flooding after rain, they then assign it a place parallel to the house or perhaps even across from it. They put the entire structure on foundation logs and they fit the beams or thick planks into the notches of the pillar (sasfa), perpendicular to the foundation ties. The roof structure is of the rafter type. Sticks 60 cm long are beaten into the ends of the rafters, and these support the thatch which is held down on top by V-shaped timbers. Single-covered roofs also occur, though rarely. The roof may be lengthened on the yard side to form a chaff-pen, pigpen, chicken-coop, etc.

Fig. 46. A barn.
Kászonimpér, Csik County. 1911.
1. The “in-between” of the barn. 2. Stable. 3. Place for fodder, called odor. 4. Chicken-pen. 5. Pigpen

 

The barn of the Székely people is such a large-scale structure that it is an equal partner of the house. Here, amongst the many variations, we will mention a barn type from the district of Kászon. The length varied between 11 and 20 metres, while the width reached as much as 7 to 10 metres. The central area (csurköze), usually closed off, is at least four metres wide, because only then was it possible to work in it with a flail. Here too, the stable for the horses and cows was located on one side, while on the other side, the odor, they put the grain. Smaller buildings were attached to it on the outside, such as the pig-pen and goose-pen, etc. They built the barn, like the house, out of unhewn pine logs. The logs for the foundation were even larger and big stones were placed at the quarter ties. The central part of the barn had an attic made of planks 8 to 10 cm thick, chosen especially for this purpose, thus no seeds could get lost at threshing time. The height of the stable rarely reached two metres. The hay placed in its attic provided good warmth even during the winter. They tied the animals along the shorter, outer wall. The rafter construction of the roof was mostly covered by shingles. The granary door, made of wooden planks, turned on a wooden hinge and was locked with a large-sized wood lock, partly to protect the valuables kept there, partly to keep out children, who often caused damage or even fire.

The barns introduced from different areas relate to each other according to a basic floor plan, even if their material, shape and roof structure differed from each other according to local conditions, economic demands, and customs. Their basic function is the storing of grain, its threshing and cleaning. Beside this, the more valuable, better quality fodder, especially hay, was also stored here, and this function, after the mechanization of threshing, gained more and more ground. In the eastern part of the linguistic region, but sporadically at other places as well, some were turned into stables, while the pens outside under the eaves provided for the smaller animals.

82. Barn built of logs with a thatched roof
Székelyvarság, former Udvarhely County

 

The next buildings of the farmyard are the buildings providing {168.} protection for the animals. Originally most of these structures were designated in the Hungarian language by the pre-Conquest, old Turkish word ól (stable, pen). This was later replaced by the word akol (fold), of Slavic origin, and the newer Italian–German derivative, istálló (stable). In general usage the latter is applied in regard to livestock, while ól is heard in regard to pens for pigs and small animals.

A most simple form is the so-called állás (stall), a roof standing on poles, which primarily gives protection against rain. The stock stood around and ate out of the manger placed in the middle, and often circular in shape. For the winter fodder, perhaps manure and reeds were packed around such a structure, especially if they feared that the young animals might freeze. The ól, a structure with sides, might have developed in this way.

One characteristic form, widely spread in the Great Plain, is the tüzelos ól, a pen with a fireplace. This structure, without an attic, survived longest in the farmyards (ólas kert) and farmsteads (tanya). Its side was usually built on some version of the earth wall, while the roof was covered by reeds, plastered underneath as protection against fire. Usually the animals were not tied up, only separated by rails. An open fire was lit inside, where the men who would work out-of-doors in the yards could warm themselves and gather in the evening to talk. (See Ill. 36.) Among the Matyó people the fireplace was dug in a corner of the pen, to the left or right of the door, and was lined with stone or brick. This was the best place for making a fire since the smoke could leave {169.} quickly through the door. They made clay benches or a bed resting on poles hammered into the ground (dikó) in these stables, where the gazda, his unmarried son, or maybe a farm hand spent the night.

Fig. 47. A pigpen built on logs, bridgelike, called hidas.
Bény, former Esztergom County. Late 19th century

 

Today stables are much more developed structures with an attic and gables, and in the majority of cases, are located as a continuation of the house. The stables for horses and cows are almost identical in appearance, the only noticeable difference being simply that a wider door is left in the latter, so that the big-horned Hungarian cattle can get through comfortably. If the unit is large enough, a manger is built at both ends, thus separating, at least in this way, the horses and cows. But, if it is at all possible, they are kept in separate buildings, because horses prefer warmth and are fed more often. They set up a dikó in the stable, where the unmarried son gladly slept, since in this way his night wanderings could be less controlled. Amongst the more prosperous farmers this was the place of the farm hand, so that he could be near the animals.

The pigpens were not as uniform. In some places they were attached to the barn, in the Great Plain we find them under the maize loft, and at other places they are independent structures with runs of various sizes. In the timber-rich areas of Transdanubia and Upper Hungary, one of the most beautifully raised carpentry buildings is the hidas (pigsty), which implies with its names (“bridge-like”) that its bottom was lined with thick planks. It was built on a foundation into which as many poles were placed as needed for the partitions they wanted to have in the building. The lath-frame or corner-post construction was used. They chiselled mortises into these and cut tenons into the planks for insertion into the mortises, then lowered the planks onto them. Consequently it was possible to take the pen apart and transport the structure very quickly. A feeding trough was built into it with a fastened swinging board (leppentyu); this they could raise from the outside and so pour the swill and maize into the trough.

Only in recent times were pens for the small livestock built attached to the barn, sometimes in a form similar to the pigpen. Earlier in the Great Plain round, reed-walled chicken-coops could be seen, resembling in shape the herdsmen's hut, although smaller in size. Otherwise the poultry spent the night on trees, in the cartshed, and in sheds. Dovecotes occur all over the linguistic region. A tin collar is fastened to the perpendicular supporting pole, to prevent the cat from climbing up it.

Fig. 48. Barracks for sheltering hay with a liftable roof.
Upper Tisza region. Early 20th century

 

Here we must also mention the various hay-holding structures, the significance of which must have been much greater formerly, when no hay was put into the barn, or only rarely. The majority of these consist only of a roof on wooden or brick pillars. The hay holders, called sop, are made of wood in Upper Hungary, and the sides of some among these are built from logs or planks. Among the hay-holding structures, we must also mention the abora or barracks, frequently found along the upper region of the Tisza. A sliding square-based roof is mounted on four thick poles, and as the fodder decreases, they lower it so the rain cannot splash under it.

Fig. 49. Underground pits for storing cereal.
1–2. Pereszteg, former Sopron County. 3–4. Bottle-shaped pits (general). 5. A well-like pit dug in sandy ground, its opening narrowed with wooden beams

 

The storing of crops for possible bad years was thought to be one of the most difficult tasks of peasant farming. The smaller farmers and poor farm labourers solved the problem easily, because the pantry and the {170.} attic provided sufficient room for them. In the pantry the grain was kept in corn bins (szuszék or hombár) until the new harvest. Barrels made of soft wood, and plastered wicker corn bins of a square shape were also used for storage. All this, however, was not sufficient for the farmers who worked the wide fields in the villages and towns of the Great Plain, and also produced for the market, because they preferred to keep their grain until spring in the hope of a higher price.

The pit (verem) is one of the most general forms of grain storage, which was used in basic form with varied intensity in the entire Carpathian Basin, although its real home is the Great Plain. There were two versions: the square grave pit, which can be dug only into perfectly dry soil, and the pear-shaped pit, which offered a great deal more safety. The former was used for short periods, and only in the case of a large harvest, because it could not be shut off from the air.

The pit cutters, who usually came from Upper Hungary in the spring, dug out the pear-shaped pits. For a stipulated price they scooped out the earth with buckets, then burned the inside with straw until it became similar to earthenware. They thoroughly aired it and lined it with straw, after which grain could be poured into it. The seed kept in it for years, sometimes for decades, unless the ground water came up. On the large estates they even made pits lined with bricks, plastered and smoothed. They closed off the mouth of the pit with straw, sand and ashes to keep out vermin. In some places a thick layer of grain was spread over the pit and water. The germinating roots formed such a thick layer that no air could get through.

Grain pits were dug in the yard, across from the entrance of the house, perhaps on the street right under the window, so that they could be guarded more easily against thieves. In some places they were grouped together outside the village on one spot and a field guard looked after the pits night and day. In parts of the Great Plain, where the ground water comes up high, they built, from the end of the 18th century and on the analogy of underground pits, above-ground structures of adobe and mud, which resembled large stacks up to 4 or 5 metres high.

Fig. 50. An elevated pantry called kástu.
Szalafo, Vas County. 19th century

 

In many parts of the linguistic region pantries (kamra), separate or attached to the house, were general and were equally used to store grain and other food staples. The different versions must have developed when the second room, opening from the kitchen, which formerly had been a pantry, was used as a second living room. In such cases an extra pantry was added to the building, with a door opening into the yard, and from there on it fulfilled the function of a storage room. In many places, such as Southern Transdanubia, Palócföld, and in certain parts of Transylvania, the pantries are separate buildings, located on different parts of the yard, but always clearly visible from the house.

The pantries of the Ormánság, called kamra, in accordance with its southern links, is placed opposite the house and served first of all as the sleeping place of the young couple and also as a storage room. Later on the latter function generally gained ground, mostly articles of clothing being kept here. At one time the Palots pantry was probably a separate building, as examples show in the neighbouring Slovak areas. Its function developed as above, but it was attached to the house.

83. A storehouse (kástu)
Szalafo, Pityerszer, Vas County

 

{171.} The characteristic granary structure of South-Western Transdanubia is the kástu. This is a detached one-level, or rarely two-storied structure, which is the granary for the farmer. Here he keeps food staples to be used later on. The word itself is Slovenian in origin, and the building has Slovenian and Austrian links. The kástu was always built in a part of the yard that could be observed from the window. Its basic material is wood, and its method of building is similar to the log houses of which it is a smaller version. It is equal in area to a room in the house, or a second-floor version of it. They stored the grain and food in the upper storey, approachable by a wooden ladder, while tools were stored on the ground floor, which also doubled as a workroom where in bad weather the farmer could repair the tools. The building has no window, only a door. Earlier the roof was exclusively of thatch, later of shingles. The kástu generally did not survive into the period of tile roofing.

In the Danube–Dráva region a type of grain bin occurs which has {172.} sledge runners (szántalpas hombár). We can follow its links south, and very likely it was the descendant of the similarly designed herdsman's huts on sledge runners. These were earlier made of wicker, plastered on the inside, and covered with reeds. At the beginning of large-scale grain production, it was made in similar form but out of planks, and roofed with tiles. It needed to be mobile, and thus could be moved away from a dangerous area in case of fire. This type could be found, first of all, in mixed ethnic areas where Hungarians, Croatians, and Catholic Serbians lived together, and can be found even today in Sokác settlements.

On the larger peasant farmsteads, separately standing buildings were erected as a granary (magtár), for storing large quantities of grain. Such buildings of mud and brick occur all over the linguistic area but chiefly in the Great Plain, where these buildings succeeded the pits as storage place. In the areas of peasant farmsteads the granary is erected in the yard of the village or town house of the farmer, because it was more secure there. Here, too, it was generally built across from the house, on the opposite side of the holding, with its end towards the street, so that people could keep an eye on it. The interior was partitioned with planks. The sides of these reached to the roof, while in front the planks were slipped into grooves. The grain was let out into bushels at the bottom through an opening that could be closed up, and from the bushels the grain was poured into sacks.

There is no point in listing further the numerous varieties of granaries because most types repeat each other and are not always typical of a certain region. Let us turn instead to the maize storing structure, most significant in the Carpathian Basin. We can trace it only to the 18th century, when the production of this new plant increased significantly. The oldest form seems to be the one woven from wicker around four poles, which were dug into the ground and placed 100 to 150 cm apart from each other in width and 3 to 4 m apart in length. It was put in an area sheltered from the wind, because this narrow structure toppled over easily. However, it was not made wider, because then the cobs inside would not have dried out. On the maize bin (kukoricakas or góré) usually a lower and upper gate were cut. This was filled through the top and emptied through the bottom opening. At some places the top was fastened on in such a way that it would be easy to take off and pour in the corn cobs or take them out through the opening. Such maize bins were in general use until very recent times in the southern part of Transdanubia, in the Upper Tisza region, and in Transylvania. Earlier they could be found in certain parts of the Great Plain.

84. Wicker-work maize bin
Berzence, Somogy County

 

More recently maize is stored in wooden framed bins, also called góré, with lath sides. The first reference to these comes from the last decades of the 18th century. Such bins stood on 120 to 200 cm high wooden or stone legs, on which the quarter ties were laid. Perpendicular pillars were wedged into these and held together on top by a cornice beam. They put sufficiently tight lathing on the sides to keep the cobs from falling out and to prevent the birds getting at the maize. Its width varies between 120 to 200 cm. On big farmsteads they built two of them under one cover, and these were divided inside by a gangway. A chicken-coop, or a pig-, duck- and goose-pen, was put under the raised {173.} structure, which made use of the grain that fell out through the cracks. The place of the maize bin in the yard is not determined exactly, but it is usually placed across from the entrance of the house, often in such a way that its longer side is built toward the street. This is one of the most widely used farm storage buildings in the yards of Hungarian peasants.

Pits designed for various purposes are also numerous in the yard. In the Great Plain (at Derecske in Bihar County), a so-called stack-pit (boglyásverem) is known. It is usually 150 to 200 cm deep, somewhat more in its width and 3 to 4 m in length. A low plastered wicker wall is raised in front of it and acacia beams are placed on it. Then on top a 3 to 4 m high haystack is put which keeps the pit quite warm. Parsnips, potatoes, and cabbage are stored in these pits.

Cellars are dug under many houses, especially in mountain regions, with doors located at the narrower end of the building, facing the street. Temporary pits in the yard and garden are also frequent where from autumn until spring beets and potatoes are stored. In Transylvania, in Székelyland, they dig a pit or cellar under the pantry inside the house, so it is directly approachable from the house. In other regions they can get down into the smaller-size cellars from the porch.

Besides the above, other different sized buildings can be found in the yard and garden, such as the various sheds (szín), among which the largest and most important is the cartshed (szekérszín). The name of the wood cutting shed (favágószín) shows its function. Chaff is kept in a separate building. Usually around the manure heap is the place for the wicker and walled or plank privy (budi). The wood carving shed (faragószín) {174.} is an ever present structure, especially in forest regions. In many places, they built a summer kitchen opposite the house to protect the home from heat and flies. The shed for beehives, and a plum drying oven, are mostly placed in the garden.

A well is present in every yard. Its most characteristic form is the sweep-pole well (gémeskút). (cf. Ill. 14,50.) This form occurs everywhere where the ground water is not far from the surface, from Transdanubia to Székelyland. Its real home is the Great Plain, because here water wells up at a depth of 4 to 5 metres. This form of well, the origin of which must be sought in the south, cannot lift water out from much deeper. The other form is the draw well (kerekeskút), popular throughout Europe, in which a rope or chain wrapped around a cylinder pulls up the bucket. In regions rich in springs, most wells are lined with large tree trunks, bodonkút, with their inside hollowed out. There is a trough along the well, longer or shorter according to the number of animals. Such troughs used to be hewn out of a single tree.

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