About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Barn Charm - Farm House on Kizhi Island

Yesterday I started a week's worth of posts about beautiful tiny Kizhi Island on the most northern point of Russia--in Karelia region on Lake Onega. Kizhi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an open air museum for northern Russian timber architecture that's from the early 1700s that uses no nails in the construction. Yesterday I concentrated on the centerpiece, the Transfiguration Cathedral (scroll back to Oct. 1 if you want to read). Today for Barn Charm I'll show you a unique farm house and other historic farm structures.

This farm house served a very useful function in the 16th century and many years beyond.  It was a combination barn and family dwelling.  The upper floors of this building could accommodate large families in a couple of multi-purpose rooms.  The livestock, farm implements, and grain were kept on the bottom floor.  A very practical arrangement for the farmer because only one house needed to be built, plus the livestock provided much needed heat from their bodies in Russia's bitter winters.  Here is an additional view of  the farm house and a closeup of the intricate woodwork on the upper family living level:

In the first photo above, notice the wide door to the right of the ramp going upstairs.  This door leads into the barn section where the livestock would have been kept, along with farm tools.  Since this building is now part of a museum, common tools are now displayed, including several looms for weaving wool and flax into cloth and various plows and wood cutting implements--and the family boat which would be used to take farm products to the mainland for sale and barter:

Now going upstairs you get into the family living quarters. Center stage belongs to the huge stove where meals are cooked, rooms heated and for a lucky few a sleep platform for the winter. In the other room, you see the first bunkbed--or would you say closet bed?

In the main room with the stove we saw displays of Karelian embroidery which is an old art form as well as family artifacts.  The dowry chest would be brought to the home by a new bride filled with hand-embroidered and more practical clothes and linens.  A young groom would be expected to provide transportation such as this sleigh or a boat to go with this fanciful oar:

In addition to the farm house there were several other structures that were important to family life such as the sauna handily situated on the water's edge so that after a good steaming and beating with birch limbs to get your blood up then you could jump into the lake for a final wash!

And here's a fine example of a windmill:

I mentioned before that Kizhi had some of the most beautiful water's edges that I saw in 13 days of cruising. Tomorrow I'll share some of those scenes with you for Wordless and Watery Wednesdays. Here's just a little glimpse that is most a part of the farm scene:

Now if you'd like to participate in the Barn Charm meme, or just see some interesting "barnery" from many different places, just go to Bluff Area Daily .


Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Faye, this is so interesting. I wasn't expecting the house to look so grand when I first started reading. It is a beautiful barn/house. Thanks for sharing!

Rose said...

Oh, my, I did enjoy this post. Wonderful photos...I hope people click to open them to a larger photo. Well worth doing.

TexWisGirl said...

not sure i'd enjoy living above the animals for heat because of the aroma that must go along with it. :)

Lois Evensen said...

What a wonderful place! This one is a special post, indeed!

Brian King said...

Very unique structures! I like the looks of the house/barn. The concept of using the rising heat from the animals is a good one, although I bet the odor wasn't very pleasant. Really interesting photos!

Saun said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing the photos are awesome.

Linda said...

How fascinating! You are sharing something that a lot of us will never see, Faye. I appreciate it - and the fine photographs to accompany!

Jan n Jer said...

So fascinating to see how another part of the world lives...the house is beautiful and it makes sense to have the barn connected. Great photos Faye..looking forward to seeing more!

Carletta said...

The first thing I did was scroll through the pictures! Awesome sights to see.
LOVE the windmill!
Not sure I'd like the animals underneath, especially in summer.
The bed reminded me of Harry Potter. :)

I knew Linky was acting up today. I didn't mind at all that you left your link - anytime.

Linnea said...

What an ornate and interesting barn! Terrific shots you're sharing with us!

Jori said...

Completely amazing! I have never seen anything like that! It's so detailed and beautiful. That windmill is wonderful!

Debbie said...

WoW, what an interesting place, I really enjoyed the read! Your first images is stunning but the detail in all the pictures is wonderful!

Very nice entry!

Living Life said...

How very interesting Faye! It seems to be a very good idea to build a house-barn. Although my main concern would be the smell of the animals.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine! Sounds like a wonderful experience to have visited this beautiful place... but, I think I have to agree w/ TexWisGirl in that I'm not sure I could handle the 'aroma' LoL! heheheee

Fantastic post & thank you so much for joining =)

Beth Edwards said...

gorgeous views. i love having the chance to look inside. lovely!! (:

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