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Traditional Wooden Architecture of the Lublin Region – Exhibition of photography from the collections of the National Museum in Lublin


It may be hard for us to imagine now, but until the 1960s, wooden architecture was the predominant style in the rural areas of Lublin. This type of architecture had unique regional features, which were shaped by various factors including living conditions, economic opportunities, and the aesthetic preferences of the residents. In fact, it was even possible to identify distinct  zones of residential architecture. 

In the southern part of the province (Biłgoraj, Janów, Zamość, Tomaszów districts), older and more primitive houses prevailed. They were mostly single-room dwellings with spacious entryways and storage areas.  In Biłgoraj and parts of Zamość districts,  houses were constructed using thick half-logs or rounded logs, with prominent gables on the corners. 

They were topped with high-pitched four-sloped roofs that were often more than twice the height of the visible part of the structure. Northern parts of the region featured compact ranges of wide-fronted houses. They were asymmetrical and had separate alcoves in the main room, while chimney roofs were a prominent characteristic of older buildings in this region. The buildings in this region also included more elaborate decoration, not only in the form of paintings but also various wooden decorative elements placed on the ends of ceiling beams, corners, doors, above and below windows, on porches, and in the gable walls.

Furthermore, in the northeastern part, particularly in the Podlasie region, Jan Górak identified a specific type of house with a representative corner porch as well as a corner porch and a niche in the utility section. 

Aside from the architectural forms mentioned earlier, houses with central niches were found in two specific clusters: Podlasie and southeastern areas. Plow-transom barns were also discovered in the villages along the Bug River. Gable porches were common in the western parts of the province, as were longitudinal porches in Urzędów-style houses. In the eastern part, some houses and farmsteads extended beyond the border and reached as far as Polesie and Volhynia.

Throughout the region, various architectural forms were scattered rather than concentrated in specific areas. These included individual buildings in certain localities or clusters of houses unique to particular settlements. Examples of these architectural forms include Dutch-style homesteads, houses of German settlers, “Aleksandrów” houses, “Tatar” houses, small gentry cottages, and small-town artisan houses.  In the southeastern part of the Zamość region, half-timbered buildings were constructed using clay, with the wooden frame filled with wattle and daub, which is typical of Podolia. Similarly, in Włodawa, brick-filled half-timbered houses were also constructed.

Only a small portion of wooden architecture remains today, but we can still appreciate its diversity and how well it blended with the rural landscape. The Ethnographic Section of the National Museum in Lublin has a collection of photographs that showcase this harmony. These pictures were taken between the 1920s and 1980s by photographers, regionalists, and employees of the Ethnography Department of the Lublin Museum during their extensive field research in the Lublin province. Many of the buildings captured in these photographs no longer exist, some have been altered, and only a few remain in their original state. The exhibition presents just a fraction of the structures that were once common in the Lublin area.

Polish text: Dr. hab. Mariola Tymochowicz


When: 7-31 August 2023
Where: The Hartwig Alley
Admission free

Exhibition is part of Re:tradition – The Jagiellonian Fair Festival

Photo: courtesy of The National Museum in Lublin


07 - 31 August 2023


All Day


Kowalska 3 / The Hartwig Alley
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