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Roman kitchens – houses in ancient Rome

By |2018-04-24T23:37:49+00:00August 27th, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

Roman cooking braziers - Picture thanks to VROMA Poor Romans in the countryside most often lived with their whole family in one room of a small apartment building. So they didn't have a separate kitchen. Instead, they cooked over a small fire or on a charcoal brazier, either in the courtyard or in their room (if [...]

Roman houses – Ancient Rome

By |2018-12-04T13:02:33+00:00August 27th, 2017|Architecture, Romans|

A model of a typical house (from Egypt) Living in one room Most people in the Roman Empire lived with their whole family in one room of a sort of small apartment house. These were built, like many cheap apartment houses in the United States today, around two or three sides of a courtyard, one or [...]

What is a cloister? Medieval architecture

By |2018-03-14T09:21:41+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Cloister at Moissac (ca. 1100 AD, southern France) Cloisters were a medieval kind of building that developed out of Greek and then Roman peristyles. A cloister is a courtyard garden inside a building. Often people grew herbs or fruit or flowers in the garden. Around the sides of the courtyard there is a covered walkway, with a waist-high wall between [...]

Ottoman architecture – Topkapi

By |2017-07-23T08:13:44+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Architecture, Islam|

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul (Turkey, 1400s AD) By the time the Ottoman sultans conquered Constantinople from the Roman emperors in 1453 AD,  the old palace of the Roman emperors was really very, very old. The Roman emperors had not been rich enough to build fancy palaces for hundreds of years. So the Ottoman emperors immediately started to build themselves [...]

Nasrid palaces – the Alhambra

By |2017-07-23T08:04:16+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Architecture, Islam, Medieval|

Court of the Lions, Alhambra (1200s AD) By 1250 AD, the Christian kings of Spain had pushed the Almohads south so that they only ruled just the city of Granada, far in the south of Spain. Because they were such losers, the Almohads in Granada were soon overthrown by new Islamic rulers called the Nasrids. There in [...]

Vedic architecture in India

By |2017-07-19T17:15:33+00:00July 19th, 2017|Architecture, India|

A barrel-vaulted thatched house in rural India today. After the collapse of the Harappan civilization about 2000 BC, for hundreds of years there were no more cities in India. Instead, people lived in small villages with wooden palisade fences around them. The fences kept their sheep in, and wild animals out. People's houses were different too. They built one-room cottages [...]

What is a peristyle? Greek architecture

By |2017-07-02T01:15:33+00:00July 2nd, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Peristyle in the House of the Vettii (Pompeii, 79 AD) A peristyle is a courtyard with a covered walkway all the way around it, with columns holding up the ceiling so you can see out into the garden. Peri means "around" and style means "column", so a peristyle is a place with columns [...]

Egyptian houses – Ancient Egypt

By |2018-04-09T23:55:19+00:00June 13th, 2017|Africa, Architecture, Egypt|

A model of an Egyptian house found in a tomb from the First Intermediate Period (about 2100 BC) Most Egyptian people lived in small houses like this one. The house was built out of mudbrick, with wooden beams holding up the flat mud roof. Our word "adobe" for mudbrick comes from the ancient [...]

Houses – History of Architecture

By |2018-04-13T17:02:44+00:00May 24th, 2017|Architecture, History|

History of houses: Sibudu Cave, South Africa, from the Stone Age Living in caves The first people lived without any kind of shelter, huddling under trees when it rained. They didn't have houses. After five million years of that, though, they started to make fires and live in caves or rough shelters built [...]