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A homestead, which included an interconnected house, a cowshed, and a barn, which formed a single long building, was a characteristic element of the Żuławy architecture. Interrelations between different homestead sections provided a basis for the classification of homesteads. O. Kloeppel proposed three main types of homesteads[1]:
- a longitudinal homestead, in which all buildings were lined up,
- an angular homestead, in which a barn was added perpendicularly to a side of a cowshed,
- and a cross shaped homestead, where two barns were attached to a cowshed on both sides.
J. Stankiewicz[2] noted that the above types occur in many variants. For example, in some homesteads only a house and a cowshed were connected, in others, farm buildings were connected and a house was erected separate or a cowshed was added later to a longitudinal homestead protruding on one or both sides forming a layout that resembled a cross-shaped type. O. Kloeppel's drawings show different sizes of individual sections depending on the size of a homestead. In a longitudinal homestead, a house was quite small, had a 3-axial side façade, only two rooms, and was separated from a cowshed only by a hallway, while houses in cross-shaped homesteads were relatively larger. Naturally, an owner of a large farm had large outbuildings and could afford a larger house. However, looking on preserved examples, it becomes evident that the size of a house was not clearly related to the homestead layout. Terrain conditions and density of surrounding buildings were much more influential factors. The location in relation to a road, on a terp, a distance from water, as well as other factors (currently unidentifiable) were also important. Contrary to appearances, these relations are uncertain and their clarification would require a more detailed study.

In densely populated settlements, such as linear, Waldhufendorf, and Zeilendorf villages, where the road was an essential element of the layout, homesteads faced it with either their ridges (ridge set up) or gables (gable set up). In homesteads with the gable set up, a house was always located close to a road, while in the ridge layouts, a homestead could be located between a road and the yard with an entrance usually by the barn. In this case, the main entrance to the house was located on the street side. The homestead could also be located behind the yard, which was separated from a road by other detached outbuildings, such as a granary, a coach house, or a cowshed. In this case, the main entrance was always situated on the farm side and thus also from the street side. In homesteads with the gable set up, the main entrance was located on the yard side.
In cross-shaped homesteads, the house always faced a road with its gable. Angular homesteads are characterized by the largest number of variants. Interconnected house and cowshed had either the ridge or gable layouts and the building were located in front of a yard or behind it; the perpendicular wing either enclosed a yard or was open towards a field (the second wing of a barn might have been demolished, and in consequence, a cross-shaped homestead was reduced to an angular homestead). Surveyors have not find an angular homestead with a barn wing parallel to a main road. An entrance to a yard was located by a gable of a house.

In dispersed settlement layouts (modular and linear single-homestead villages), houses were located on eastern, western, or southern sides, but the farm section was always located on the northern side. An entrance to a yard led from a driveway leading towards the main road. In this case, there are no clear rules; an entrance was located either by a gable or by farm buildings.

In colonial villages, homestead vegetation - an orchard or a park - played more important role than in other village types. A driveway was often located by farm buildings or led around a homestead, along an orchard border and to a house entrance.
An entrance gate was a common element of a homestead with gates from Jasionno (transferred to Kmiecin from a homestead demolished in 1960s) and from Karczwiska Górne, (known from iconographic materials) being the most impressive examples[3]. Brick gate posts or even forms resembling palace gates are still common (e.g. in Jazów), but metal leaves have not survived. Gates or their fragments can be found in densely built-up villages. It is highly probable that all homesteads were fenced, but the form of fences remains in the sphere of speculation. Pastures located in polders were also fenced (probably with poles) to prevent animals from destroying draining ditches.

During their existence, the majority of historic houses in the Żuławy were modernized or modified, and after 1945, many were converted into several separate apartments. This was primarily the case in large buildings, but many smaller houses met the same fate. Owners often rebuilt the interior erecting new walls, moving old ones, cutting out new door and window openings, and closing off other entrances or windows. With the exception of arcaded houses, the historic buildings examined on the occasion of preparing their record card were not analyzed in terms of their pre- or post-war modifications; as a result, formulating clear conclusions is quite difficult. Therefore, the below discussion is based solely on plans included in record cards and in-situ observations. The examination of an architectural structure of a building was additionally hindered by the fact that the majority of buildings are inhabited.

Due to their extraordinary architectural form and significance for the cultural landscape of the Żuławy, arcaded houses were extensively, but still insufficiently, described in scientific publications. In contrast, regular houses without an arcade and those connected to farm buildings have been neglected. Surveyors limited their description to general characteristics providing information about the structure and interior layout (repeated with several variants)[4].

Irrespective the building size, we can distinguish two types of a house interconnected with a farm section: houses with the main entrance in a gable wall and those with the entrance in a ridge wall. The entrance location determined the interior layout.

In the Żuławy, there are two forms of houses (different origin and period) with the entrance in the shorter wall: the arcaded house from the 17th and 18th centuries, which was not associated with farm buildings and a house from the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, which was connected to a cowshed and a barn or was erected separately.

In buildings with a frontal gable (3 or 5 axes), the entrance was located in the center of the facade and was preceded by a decorative porch. The interior of such buildings had 2.5 or 3 longitudinal bays with the main hallway, which led from the gable wall to a black kitchen and separated two rooms of similar sizes or the main room on one side and two smaller spaces on the other side. A utility hallway was located in the central bay behind the black kitchen. It had a door to a cowshed, a staircase, and a utility entrance to the yard in one of the side walls. In some of the more impressive houses, one of the bays, southern or eastern, was occupied by large rooms: a living room and a dining room with a row of doors and numerous windows, while the bay on the other side of the hallway could include a kitchen, a utility room, an office, and small rooms with a single or, at most, two windows

The majority of the buildings constructed in the Żuławy countryside had the entrance located in the ridge wall; those were wide-front buildings with 4 (rarely less) - 7 axes; most frequently, however, their number ranged from 5 to 7.
The interior layout determined the location of an entrance. In the majority of the examined buildings, the door was situated asymmetrically, closer to a cowshed, or in detached buildings, closer to the "cooler" side or farm buildings.
A centrally situated entrance was characteristic of larger buildings with 5 - 7 axes. Those were usually detached houses. In terms of the interior layout, the main difference between a detached house and a house interconnected with farm buildings was the presence or absence of an entrance to a cowshed.

Mixtures of both types were also common. Such buildings had a main hallway between two rooms on the gable side, a second entrance in a side facade leading to a rectangular hallway in front of a black kitchen separated from the third (utility) hallway, and a third entrance on the opposite side.

An axial symmetry and a gable structure are important indicators of the house type and often its age. Bays of houses with 2 or 4 windows in the gable are usually of similar widths, while an odd number of windows indicates bays of different widths. In such asymmetrical gables, two windows that are close to each other reveal the location of the large room and consequently, the location of the wider bay, a black kitchen, and a main entrance.

Żuławy houses had rectangular or rarely square-like layouts, which was the case only in small buildings. The square layout could have been also a result of subsequent modifications.

Due to their characteristic, varied layouts, building interiors presented in the below catalogue are described in relation to the gable wall section, which, with an exception of rare buildings with an entrance from this side, always had two rooms. In terms of the relation between the bay sizes, houses in Dutch homesteads were classified as even bay, wide bay, very wide bay, and 1.5 bay buildings. In this last type, one of the bays was almost twice as wide as the other one. The bay width was a consequence of the location of a black kitchen, which was situated either in the large room bay or in the case of even bays, more or less in the center.

A typical layout of a Żuławy house and functions of its spaces have been described in numerous publications[5]. Based on the known layouts of houses from Dutch homesteads, we can conclude that they all have a similar arrangement, which however, does not indicate whether they were associated with a population of Dutch (Mennonite) or German origin[6]. The majority of houses were associated with arcaded houses of the type III[7], but we can look at the problem from a different perspective and say that the arcaded house of the type III is a Dutch house with an arcade, particularly because owners of such houses often had Dutch surnames.

A large corner room (Stube) was the main and the largest space of such a house. Depending on the size of a house, it had a rectangular or almost square shape with two windows in the gable side and two windows in the side wall Small houses had only one window in the gable wall, but a single window in the side wall was quite rare and can be found in small buildings. In a typical layout, the large room was located on the southern side (any of the walls) and could be accessed from the main hallway. Family life was centered in the large room; it functioned as a dining room and all presentable furnishings were kept there (a table, chairs, a cabinet, a clock, trunks, and a hanging corner cabinet).

The large room was adjoined by two smaller rooms: a corner room (Ecke Stube), which usually had a single window in the gable and side walls, and a second room with a window in the side wall. Those rooms functioned as bedrooms and were connected with the large rooms by doors. In smaller houses, the white kitchen was adjacent to the corner room. In houses with similar bay widths, the corner room was usually shorter than the large room, but had the same number of gable windows (1 or 2). Although, it was not evident from the external appearance of a gable wall, the large room was always located on the more elegant or lighter side; however, there are exceptions from that rule.

A hearth with an open chimney located in the black kitchen (a centrally located square, bricked room) was used to prepare meals and also created a draft necessary to ventilate the kitchen. When stoves with a cast iron plate and tiled stoves became common, the kitchen was closed at the top with a brick vault; chimney and stove ducts were located inside.

The black kitchen was adjoined on the yard side by a separate, lit room. The room had the same width as the kitchen or was wider by a part of the large room wall. This was the white or light kitchen. It became more important when stoves with cast iron plates were introduced; cooking was partially moved out of the black kitchen. In many cases, inhabitants demolished a wall to the white kitchen and used that space as a single kitchen.

The hallway was another important element of the house interior. In smaller houses, the hallway was formed by a space with two entrances on opposite sides of a building and had doors to rooms, black and white kitchens, and a cowshed. Older houses usually had a single-space hallway, but later, it became divided by a door located by the black kitchen wall or, in the case of wider houses, by a wall with a door. Currently, it is difficult to determine if these modifications were original or were introduced later. More recent houses had bipartite hallways. The hallway (Vorhaus), which stretched behind the main entrance, was more elegant and usually had a rectangular layout with the longer side adjacent to a wall of a house. The main entrance usually had a double-leafed door situated between windows; smaller houses had a single-leaf, narrow windows. The wall between a hallway and a black kitchen almost always had a window, which lit the kitchen and had a view towards the entrance. The hallway provided an access to the large room, a small room (a summer room often called, parents' room), and to the utility hallway (Hinterhaus). The utility hallway separated the living quarters from the rooms located by a cowshed: a servants' room, one or two pantries, a staircase to an attic, and a passage to the cowshed leading through a separate room or through an open corridor. The main hallway always had a rectangular layout, but the utility hallway could have many variants. When describing the Żuławy house in relation to the location of those two spaces, we can distinguish an L-shaped form, in which the main hallway was the main section, and the utility hallway separated all rooms located by the cowshed wall with a single wall situated by a summer room, a Z-shaped form, in which the utility hallway touched the cowshed wall by the servants' room, a C-shaped form, in which the black kitchen was shifted back towards the utility hallway, and a T-shaped form, in which there was no summer room and the main hallway reached all the way to a cowshed wall.

Some houses had different designs with completely separate hallways, where the communication between two sides of a house was carried out through the black kitchen or utility rooms.

In addition to churches, arcaded houses were the most representative buildings of the Żuławy village. In villages established under the Chełmno law (oval, street/square, and probably also linear villages), those houses constituted a bulk of the village architecture. According to iconographic sources, houses were located along a street, facing it with their arcades, which formed an impressive frontage. The earliest type of the arcaded house was a building with a gable arcade. An arcade functioned as a part of a building structure in the Żuławy since the early Middle Ages and was also adopted by Mennonites. The development of the arcaded house has been analyzed in great detail; however, its relations to the Mennonite colonization have not been clearly identified. The oldest preserved or examined arcaded houses date from the 2nd half of the 18th century and currently it is difficult to determine whether their owners (e.g. Wilhelm Klaassen - a house in Nowa Kościenica, Claasen - a house in Parszewo, Peter Conrad - a house no. 52 in Nowa Cerkiew) or builders with Dutch surnames belonged to the Mennonite sect. It is certain, however, that some of them were descendants of Dutch settlers. The question whether this was the first generation that lived in arcaded houses, or it continued an earlier tradition still awaits an answer. The fact that carpenters included an inscription with a surname or initials on a beam confirms that an arcade (sometimes with multiple windows) not only functioned as a storage but also was to advertise owner's material status. Having a large, and in consequence, opulent granary was very prestigious in an agricultural society. According to the analysis of some buildings, an arcade could also be added later, often to a cowshed. We can assume that, in general, Mennonites lived in arcaded houses (type 3 - with an arcade added by the longer wall) situated within homesteads of the Dutch type; however there were exception from this rule, for example, the house in Klecie with a gable arcade was owned Mennonites for many generations until 1945.

In the Vistula delta villages, we can also find wooden buildings with recessed arcades. However, this design was clearly a replica of a suburban, Classical patrician villa or a nobleman manor house, and due to the absence of source materials, it is difficult to determine whether that design was accidental or it was an adaptation of the fashionable style, which was to reflect the nobleman or bourgeois aspirations of an owner.

Materials and structure
Wooden buildings

Disregarding arcaded houses, identified wooden houses in Żuławy can be divided into two main types: - a single-floor house and a single-floor house with a pointing sill (the term "z tremplem" is sometimes used). In both cases, the house had an attic room usually located on the front side. The Żuławy attic room was higher than a dormer in wooden houses built in the Kociewo region or in the area to the south of Kwidzyń. Some buildings also had a second storey wing added at the end of the 19th century to a wooden house. Unfortunately, this house type has not been fully researched; hence, at this point we cannot formulate any conclusions.

The majority of wooden houses had a corner-notched log structure with corners joined by dovetail halvings; corners without protruding log ends were almost always covered by boards. Sporadically, the structure had protruding log ends, which may suggest that this was a common design until the mid 1700s. Up to date, no detailed research has been conducted on types of timber used for the wall structure, but according to some authors, these were primarily pine logs. In oldest preserved houses, a wall was made of 4-6 wide logs (hewn in older houses and sawn from mid-19th century onward) supported by dowels and sealed with clay. A wide weatherstrip was fitted between the logs in the grooves carved in external sides of logs. After the mid 19th century, the number of logs in walls increased to 8 and after 1880, to 10. This modification was related partially to the utilization of machine sawn logs, which had standard sizes and were used widely in typical house designs not only in rural areas but also in small towns and outskirts of cities, and partially to increased height of the house interior.

The wall was topped by a top plate, which either rested on wall logs or, protruding, was supported by ceiling beams. And similarly, the roof structure of older houses rested on a top plate or went through a top plate and was supported by ceiling beam ends.
The gable section was shifted beyond the wall face and usually had a half-timbered structure with windows fitted between posts. The structure was vertically boarded (a single level) with board joints covered by slats. If the building did not have a decorative cornice on the top log, decoratively carved board ends constituted the main decoration of the wall. In smaller houses, a gable was often constructed from boarded two- or three-collar beam trestles of the roof structure with windows attached to collar beams and planking.

The houses from Żuławy Dutch homesteads with half-timbered walls and brick filling were not very common and were usually constructed later, at the beginning of the 20th century. There are, however, numerous examples of detached half-timbered houses, which of course, could also be owned by descendants of Dutch settlers. The half timbered design was often used in gable, attic room, and arcade structures and also was not uncommon in pointing sills. The half-timbered, upper section of a house was erected on both corner-notched log walls and brick walls. The design of the half timber structure of gables, attic rooms, and the majority of arcades included a simple grating usually with 3-4 posts; the structure was sometimes reinforced with braces in corners and struts in triangular fields and finials. Impressive Fachwerk can be found only in houses erected in the 18th century. It is difficult to determine when wooden house plastering was first introduced. Apart from the post-war facade plastering, which in many cases is difficult to tell apart from older plaster, it seems probable that some wooden houses were plastered following their construction. In some houses, corners were covered by imitation of rustication carved in boards; in plastered houses, corners were rusticated. It seems that houses with boards carved into arches or column profile were plastered later, in houses with boards imitating rustication or Tuscan pilaster, plaster was added at the beginning.

The internal walls usually had a tenon-post or half-timbered structure, but this matter still awaits further investigations and currently it is difficult to propose any clear conclusions. The walls in attics always had half timbered structures that were either filled with bricks or only boarded. Rooms were usually plastered or covered with wall paper. Initially, pointing sills were constructed by adding 2-3 logs to the wall structure and were also connected to logs in the gable wall usually by a simple joint with log ends, which were often decoratively carved. More recent, pointing sill structure was made of small posts that supported a ceiling purlin and were part of a queen post - collar tie roof structure. The posts reinforced a trestle brace leading out from a footing beam in a roof truss of a rafter framing. The pointing sill was usually vertically boarded with slats or overlap. Some houses had half-timber pointing sills with clear outline of the structure, in which the fields were filled with bricks arranged into decorative patterns or were covered by panels, which provided a background for beveled edges of beams. Pointing sills had small windows which lit the attic spaces. The form of pointing sill windows sometimes resembled the form of side windows in a gable. Those were rectangular windows with straight, segmented arch, or triangular tops or rhomboidal or even circular windows. They usually were aligned with the ground floor windows and locations of pointing sill windows in different facades were almost always the same.
Originally, all ceilings had beam structures with uncovered beams often with beveled edges (on the entire length or only partially); on the top, beams were covered by boards overlapped or butt jointed. Butt-jointed boards could also be beveled (half-circle or quarter-circle), especially in the large room and/or in other rooms and sometimes in the hallway. In utility rooms, the boards were usually butted. Ceilings with a sound boarding, false ceiling, or hidden beams were introduced at the end of the 19th century and also were added during renovations after 1945.

Initially, roofs had rafter - collar beam or, in larger buildings, two-collar beam structures (reinforced by wind ties) made of hewn beams (sometimes only on one side) connected by dados or splice joints. Collar beams were connected to rafters by splice joints. The post - purlin construction was introduced later, ca. mid-19th century. In that structure, two rows of posts supported purlins, which in turn, supported rafters. Collar beams were placed above purlins. A structure, in which purlins placed on two rows of posts supported collar beams, was also common. The subsequent type of roof frame was the queen post - purlin structure with an angle brace introduced in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. In this case, an earlier collar beam was replaced by collar ties, or collar ties were used in the bottom section of a trestle, and collar beams above. Beams were usually connected by tenon-mortise joints and less frequently by dados or scarf joints.
In the Żuławy, the vast majority of houses had steep double-pitched roofs. In earlier houses, the slope angle could even reach ca. 70o, but 45o was more common, and in some houses with a pointing sill, the roof slope could be only 30-35o. Houses with partially-hipped or gambrel roofs were rare. Originally, all houses had reed thatching or, in several cases, rye straw thatching; some of those roofs have survived to the present day. Shingled roofing was not used. It is difficult to establish when tiles began supplant thatching, but it was associated with reinforcement or modification of the roof framing. It is possible that in the majority of old houses, thatching was replaced by tiles after 1945. From the 4th quarter of the 19th century onwards, the erected buildings were covered by tiles.

The majority of preserved houses from Dutch homesteads had plank floors. However, in some larger houses built after 1880, the living room had parquet floor arranged in a herring bone or parallel patterns. Hallways and black kitchens usually had brick floors, but after 1945 in the majority of examined houses, floors in those spaces were covered by concrete slabs. Several preserved examples of floors covered by cobble stones or square stone slabs prove that this was the original flooring of Dutch houses[8]. Clay pug floors have not been found; they were probably replaced by the mentioned flooring types already in the 19th century.

At the end of the 19th century, in the majority of wooden houses, the foundation was either raised or replaced by brick structures with hewn or crushed field stone facing, which was more presentable. At this time, ceilings in cellars were replaced by segmented-arch vaults supported, or possibly, builders dug out new cellars under some houses or extended existing basements so that they spread under the entire house or its large part. Several preserved original cellars were quite small and included only the area under the white kitchen, a part of a hallway, or the space under a utility room and were accessible by a trap door. The construction of a cellar was associated with lifting a house and adding a more convenient entrance - usually brick stairs or a separate entrance from outside. At this point, carpenters would also replace the ground sill, so the preserved ground sill beams - usually oak and, according to the residents' reports, pine or spruce logs connected by scarp joints and steel braces - date primarily from that period. The renovation of the underpinning was also related to the erection of porches, and almost all porches that survived by the Żuławy houses were added after 1880, which is confirmed by their design and decoration. It is evident from the house layout, that two entrances provided a convenient access to the yard through stone, brick, concreted, or wooden steps; the last type can still be found in preserved arcaded houses. Weather conditions in the area can be quite harsh, so owners often sheltered the entrances with decorated verandas and porches, which in the majority of cases were probably built at the same time as houses. The entrance to the attic (also described in the interior layout chapter) was a very important element of the house - much more essential than for example in village houses in Poland. The staircase could have many forms: open ladder stairs, located in the hallway by the cowshed wall or very rarely in the cowshed, stylish stringer stairs, double stairs, or even spiral stairs with profiled steps, decoratively turned balusters, and a decorative post at the lower landing. Usually, the angular or winder built-in staircases (separated by planking) were located in one of the rooms adjacent to a hallway (in the upper section above the adjoining summer room); the winder built-in staircases were situated in a corner next to the yard entrance, by the white kitchen, a summer room, or, in small houses, by the cowshed wall (lit by a window located by the entrance). The stairs could also be located by the masonry wall of the black kitchen, in the utility hallway and were often connected to the cellar stairs forming a quasi - two-span set.

The black kitchen was usually a square room, which supported a chimney. Originally, the chimney had an open structure, and from the 2nd half of the 19th century onwards, builders added barrel or segmented arch (with braces) vaults. The preserved chimneys are of two basic shapes - a truncated pyramid with an even wall slopes running from the attic floor up or a pyramid with uneven wall slopes occurring higher. Sometimes, when the kitchen was not located exactly in the house axis, one of the walls had a greater slope in order to set the chimney in the roof ridge. Such a chimney resembled a bottle and was called a "bottle chimney". There was a smoke box located in the chimney duct; smoke boxes found currently are its contemporary equivalents. The earliest chimneys had a half-timbered structure, which can be observed during renovations. On the outside, the chimney had a typical four-sided shape with a base. A topping in the form of a "crown" has not been found; such forms are common in villages of the neighboring Pogórze region. The chimneys in the arcaded house in Orłowo have a round cross section.

Windows in Żuławy houses had forms typical of the entire construction style. Originally, these were stretcher casing, multi-field windows with panes fixed in lead. Several examples of this window type were recorded in 1990s in Krzewsk. Those windows were used throughout the wooden architecture period in gables and pointing sills as single-leafed, single-section, 2-3-section, bipartite, 2-, 4-, or even 6-field windows. Stretcher casing windows were sometimes located in the black kitchen wall, on the main hallway side. A leaf was divided into fields by profiled mullions. It is quite probable that in spite of the affluence of Żuławy farmers, membranes were sometimes used in place of glass panes. Windows in the oldest houses are square and in large rooms have a form of a flat rectangle. In the 19th century, frame (Polish) windows were the most common. They had a bipartite, 2- or 4-field structure with leafs fixed on angular plates. A post, a transom bar, and a cross-shaped division of window fields were introduced later. Houses that have survived to the present day are equipped primarily with 4- and 6-field windows; larger buildings are fitted with 3-field leafs in "under-transom bar" windows and 1- or even 2-field leafs in "above-transom bar" windows. Mass produced half-casing and casing windows were also used. They had decorative posts with Corinthian or composite capitals, elaborated volutes, and stylized herms. Those were, however, borrowings from urban styles. Skylights in gables usually had the stretcher casing structure with a single field, rarely more. Some semicircular, quarter-circular, and fan-shaped skylights had small bars that separated them into smaller fields; the bars were placed from outside on a pane. In the case of more elegant buildings, wooden bars formed lace-like, Classical, or Neo-gothic decorations, in accordance with the current fashion.

Windows were always equipped with external shutters. Initially, these were made of boards on jaws on wrought hinges closed from outside by a wooden bar or staple, and later, a wrought hook. More impressive houses or, later, all houses were equipped with frame - panel shutters, often with fancifully carved panels. At the end of the 19th century, framed, louvered shutters were introduced. Shutters were hanging on plate hinges or hinges with whiskers, and from the 2nd half of the 19th century could be closed through the window post. Large houses were also equipped with internal shutters. Some windows, particularly half-windows in the farm section, were fitted with grating mounted in wall beams. They have a form of 1-2 vertical bars, but often are made of wrought iron with additional superfluous side bars and teeth. Theft was very uncommon in Mennonite communities and the accidental localization of those bars did not provide protection of the entire building, but at the most prevented animals (foxes or fowls) from entering the house.

Unlike the windows (which were typical), doors of Żuławy houses have quite original forms. The most common were simple, single-leaf doors made of boards connected by tongue and groove or loose tongue joints tied together by braces or slats, sometimes reinforced with an angle brace. Doors were mounted on wrought strap or angular hinges or on oval, octagonal plates with whiskers and were closed primarily by ratchet locks (in older houses made of wrought iron) and also by latches, staples, and wrought door handles (cast iron in more recent houses). This type of doors was primarily used in cowsheds, black kitchens, cellars, and attics; they were rarely used as outside entrance doors and never as doors of living quarters. Often, the entrance door to a house from the yard side had a characteristic construction with independent upper and bottom halves. The main form of the house door was a panel - frame structure with various designs of panels fitted between wide frames, which formed the leaf structure. In this case, strap hinges were rarely used; plate and angular hinges as well as hinges with whiskers were more common. The majority of doors were equipped with ratchet locks, but mortise locks were also used. The form of the frontal door also served as a display of the owner's status; therefore, this door was often richly decorated. Doors with increased number of panels can still be found. Formerly, they were covered by zonal polychrome or, like shutters, were decorated with vases with flowers, fruit, birds or architectural motifs, which included rustication, angular rhombs, even fluting, overlaying posts or slats in the form of stylized columns, and low relief carvings (sometimes meticulously crafted) with flower, plant, antic plate, festoon, and banner motifs. Decoration was complemented by lock plates formed from wrought or cast brass into profiles of a vase, a sword, a flame, a Prussian eagle, a rooster, or wreath and door handles, which were initially wrought in forms of connected cones, cylinders, and spheres, and then imported from cities in forms of cast sphinxes, lions, griffins, genii or plant twigs. Motifs from the most exquisite doors of arcaded houses - leaf or radial circles, glyphs, or grids on the bottom - were copied in less elaborate forms on doors of smaller houses. The entrance was a very important element of a house; inscriptions with owner's and carpenter's initials and the date of erection were usually placed above it, often in the form of a family emblem or fancifully decorated letters. When the height of the house interior began to increase, a fanlight appeared above the door, which was to additionally light the hallway.

The internal door in the main hallway and the large room were also decorated (less exquisitely than the entrance door) with ornamented panels and door handles. In larger houses, the large room was equipped with separate doors leading to rooms in the second bay. They often had a common frame, suggesting a double-leafed form emphasized additionally by common binding with doors between these smaller rooms. Houses from Dutch homestead had quite a few doors. The cowshed wall was equipped by a row of doors, which were only separated by a single door post.

The permanent furnishings were also characteristic elements of Dutch houses. Among them were closets (sometimes with doors repeating the entrance door forms) located in partition walls. In the large room, those closets were probably used to store tablecloths, a dresser, and also religious and accounting books. It should be emphasized that Żuławy residents tried to imitate lifestyle of Gdańsk or Elbląg burghers and that their material status was much higher than that of residents of other regions. Some houses with living quarters in the attic had closets that stretched along the entire wall. These spaces were probably used for storing wardrobes and bed linen. In some houses, closets were also built in walls of staircases to the attic or cellar, or sometimes, the entrance to a cellar was located in a decorative wooden "cabinet".

The Żuławy houses were meticulously crafted, and the quality of workmanship was not limited to the house structure, but also included its decoration. At the current stage of the research, it is uncertain whether the external walls were originally white washed, tarred, covered by boiled oil with a dye (cattle blood), each architectural element was painted separately and included geometric, plant, or zoomorphic motifs, or were left unpainted with visible wood, brick, or half-timbered (with plastered filling) structures. Gloger describing his journey through the Żuławy mentioned colorful inns/shelters along waterways1[9]; currently, it is difficult to say if colorful walls were characteristic only of inns or were also associated with other buildings. Even though Mężyński maintains that Mennonites, unlike German farmers, avoided using bright colors even in painted pictures1[10], the preserved paintings, embroidery, or furniture decorations contradict such a conclusion. Painted walls also provided protection against insects or moisture. It is certain that shutters and doors were painted, and probably also door and window frames. Shutters and doors were coated with protective paint of the same color or frames and panels were covered by different paints. The remains of polychrome (flowers and fruit) in shutters of a house in Przemysław demonstrate that some decorations were quite elaborate.

The most important elements of the house decoration included carpentry ornaments, for example, decorative notching of ceiling beams ends. They were formed into a simple quarter cylinder, a quarter cylinder with a plinth, cyma with a plinth, or a composition of quarter cylinders, or concaves and plinths (almost ogees); at the end of the 19th century, the beam ends assumed a form of a vertical Gothic profile. Rafter ends were usually carved into a long ogee or a composition of long and short ogees. Beams and top plates covered by a profiled board, or beveled surfaces of crowning beam were other forms of wall crown decoration. In wooden Żuławy houses, walls were connected with dovetail joints, but corners were always covered by boards. At the end of the 18th century, the inside edge was carved into a sinusoidal shape, Parthian arch profile, or a column profile with emphasized enthasis, pedestal, and capital. However, in the majority of houses, corners were covered by boards imitating Tuscan pilaster. Some boards, in the area of the capital were decorated with, for example, circles, rings, or 6-pointed stars. The corners of an arcaded house in Bystrze are covered by complete columns. The gable was separated from a wall by a protruding beam. or sometimes a profiled cornice carved into a low trapezoid in the center. The ends of gable planking were also carved - triangular, sinusoidal, scale, or clover profiles sometimes also with carved circle, heart, arch motifs. Windows were fitted in board frames often with triangular tympanums upper sections; side frames went through the window sill and sectioned off a window breast, or their ends were carved into glyphs or tear and circular shapes. At the end of the 19th century, triangular pediments with openwork plaiting or plant motifs were introduced. The turn of the 19th and 20th century witnessed an explosion of fretwork decorations. Ornaments of this type were placed in gables between wind ties and a pazdur and also between wind ties and ends of the roof purlin, and as purlin end supports. In new arcaded houses, fretwork decorations replaced angle braces fitted between a support and a footing beam of the extension (above arcade). Primarily, however, fretwork ornaments were placed in gables and side walls of porches. Fretwork decorations had various forms from simple grids and coiled plant motifs to elaborate interwoven plaiting with distinguishable grape, chestnut, and linden leaves, flower motifs, circular plates, stars, birds, griffins, or lions. It is probable that the star motif, especially the six-pointed stars was directly associated with Mennonite religious orientation of a house owner.

Due to the absence of any remaining evidence, the interior decoration remains in the sphere of speculation. In the most splendid arcaded houses, the interior was decorated with Dutch tiles with genre scenes or other decorative motifs, which could be located in a kitchen, a main hallway (Przemysław), in a summer room (no-longer-existing house of the Wiehland family in Marksy, in Żuławki), or in a large room (Palczewo) 14.i), or in the largexisting house of the Wiehland family in Marksy, in Żuławki), or in the large___________________ According to scarce preserved examples (e.g. in Kazimierzów or Giemlice), wooden walls were painted with floral motifs or colorful patterns running around the room or main hallway under the ceiling. However, this type of decoration could have been associated with the fact that those buildings functioned as inns. The original polychrome was almost always covered by layers of wall paper that began to appear in living quarters in the 2nd half of the 19th century. The wall paper designs reflected the current fashion and tastes of residents. The walls of hallways, utility rooms, and pantries were covered uniformly with oil paint.

Brick houses

Changes that occurred in Żuławy villages, particularly the introduction of brick buildings (associated with appearance of numerous brickyards) resulted in a trend to replace old buildings. Erected were both large houses/palaces of owners of large estates and small houses, also in Dutch homesteads, and from the beginning of the 20th century, entire Dutch homesteads were made exclusively of brick. Brick buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries have been researched even in lesser detail than their wooden counterparts. Their documentation is quite scarce and little can be said about their design and structure. As in the case of wooden houses, the relation between brick buildings and Mennonites or their descendants lacks solid evidence, but it is quite obvious that Mennonites erected and inhabited brick houses the same as their German, Lutheran, or Catholicted bs erae same Mennonites or their descendants lacks solid evidence and it is quite obvious that Mennonites _CaCadkd neighbors. In the 19th century, the construction of brick buildings was based on official guidelines, standards, and financial estimations and shows few features that are distinctively Żuławian. Based on the investigated examples, we can conclude that some of those houses replicate the layout of wooden houses and that they were built by replacing wooden walls of a former buildings and preserving the internal structure with the large room, black kitchen and hallway. However, the design of new manor houses is different: the large room was replaced by a salon with a dining room, the main centrally located hallway was separated from the utility hallway (gable side), two similar rooms were located on both sides of the main hallway, and a stylish estate office was also added. Those were detached, 1.5-storey buildings with lowered, double-pitched, usually symmetrical roofs, 7-axial facades sometimes with added multi-storey projection, a porch in front of the entrance, a recessed arcade, or a balcony. Houses were richly decorated with cornices, friezes, pilasters, arches, stylized frames, gable finials, and terracotta friezes or sculptures placed in alcoves. Elements of Art Nouveau, motifs from Swiss villas, resort styles, and regional styles appeared in architecture at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Żuławy regionalism tendencies were particularly well pronounced after the WWI. The designs of single colonial houses or entire homesteads would directly allude to the traditions of the Dutch colonization. Homesteads of the Langhoff type (e.g. Stobiec, Such Dąb) were erected at the time, and the half-timbered arcade supported by posts was readily used in public buildings during the Third Reich (e.g. Zwierzno), which could have been a reason that after 1945, this form was considered an example of a typical German style.

The number of preserved wooden farm buildings in Dutch homesteads is even smaller. The process of replacing wooden livestock buildings began before 1945, while the original half-timbered cowsheds (according to several documented examples) were being replaced by brick cowsheds for over 50 years, between ca. 1880 and 1940s. This process was particularly intense after 1945, especially in the 4th quarter of the 20th century. Wooden cowsheds were replaced by brick structures, brick cowsheds were modernized, modified, or plastered and finally old buildings were completely replaced by buildings with different structure and materials, but often traditionally connected to a house. Barns from functioning farms were replaced by grain silos; unused buildings deteriorated and eventually were taken down.

Based on scarce existing examples and archival photographs, we can conclude that wooden cowsheds usually had half-timbered walls resting on a brick or brick/stone foundation. The walls were vertically boarded and were equipped with narrow, horizontal windows located between a header and a top plate. If a cowshed was higher than a house, then the section of the gable wall that protruded above the house roof was covered by diagonal planking. The question whether the fire wall appeared when wooden cowsheds began to be replaced by brick ones or it was introduced earlier still remains open. Fire walls have different heights from a simple barrier that barely separated a cowshed from a house to fire walls that were higher then both a house and a cowshed (occasionally higher than a house). In Żuławy, in Dutch homesteads, brick filling of half-timbered cowshed walls was extremely rare, but in detached buildings, this solution was used quite often. It is probable that the structure was boarded. The tenon-post and corner-notched log structures were rare and were used only in small buildings.

Due to the fact that modification of a cowshed not always coincided with modification of a barn, a new cowshed was often set transversely in relation to the homestead axis, thus creating secondary variants of angular or cross-shaped layouts. A similar phenomenon occurred when the entire farm section was modified; new barns not always were arranged in accordance with the original layout. Modifications sometimes resulted in a transformed shape of the entire homestead: the heights of common or separate roofs (higher above a cowshed) of different homestead sections were modified. Higher roofs (with a common ridge) above a cowshed and a barn appeared. Even though in the examined examples, the roof heights above a cowshed and a barn almost always were the same, the roofs differed (primarily) in structure and slope. The height of the cowshed ridge was related to the presence of a storage space located above the livestock section, and in this case the roof structure (queen post - purlin with an angle brace) rested on two rows of queen posts set on ceiling beams, while in a barn, the design of a roof structure was followed the construction of the entire building. In some homesteads, the cowshed attic was left open to a barn, while in others, it was separated by a board or brick wall. Currently, it is impossible to identify premises of these designs and which elements were original and which added later. Originally, the entire roof was covered by thatch (reeds or rye straw), but today after the roofing of preserved buildings have been replaced multiple times, it is difficult to formulate clear conclusions; nonetheless, we can say that thatched roofs of barns and houses were the last to be replaced and tiles first appeared on cowsheds. This was related to the fact that this section was modified most often and was considered the most important for the agricultural production.

The interiors of cowsheds usually remained unchanged and often retained the internal wooden structure of an original cowshed in the form of two rows of posts supporting summer beams and ceiling beams, providing that the modification was limited to replacement of external walls. Concrete troughs constructed during the renovation imposed the same layout of boxes in the post-war period. Single examples of cowshed interior layouts presented in publications do not provide an answer to whether the arrangement of animal boxes was associated with the orientation of a farm (livestock breeding or agricultural production farm), work schemes in the cowshed or was governed by other individual reasons, for example, the location of a pasture or a yard.

We can distinguish three main types of livestock buildings in the Dutch homestead. The first type is a single storey building and two other types are 1.5-story buildings: - a building with vertically boarded, post-frame walls of the second storey and a building with a brick pointing sill, which sometimes constituted a full storey and basically formed a single wall with its bottom section or, at the most, was indicated by architectural elements with attached ceramic or concrete decorations in form of animal heads - a horse or a cow (sometimes with a number, owner's initials, and a date) Bottom sections of such buildings were occupied by animals, while the high loft was used for storing straw and sometimes animal feed or grain. In some cases, a cowshed had a ramp, which allowed animals to be transported to the higher story of a building. Arcades in front of cowsheds in Balewo, Różewo, or Krzewsk demonstrate that attics of some of those buildings may have served as granaries.

Like livestock buildings, barns have not been sufficiently researched and unlike still-functioning cowsheds, their role became marginal as a result of changes in farming technology; they are being demolished in large numbers. The documentation describing the barn structure is not as thorough as that of residential buildings; hence at this point, we can include only a general description. The replacement of the barn structure and boarding had to be completed every several dozen years and it is uncertain how the later modifications were related to the original form. Barns with affixed signatures are quite rare and it is not clear if the mark was associated with the entire structure or only with the element it was attached to (e.g. a barn in Izbickie). The structures and sizes of barns vary considerably including barns in the form of simple, wooden, boarded, single-mow extensions of cowsheds, barns with a single threshing floor that separates one mow with one or two cubby holes from a cowshed (longitudinal homesteads), barns with two mows separated by a threshing floor, and barns with two mows and two threshing floors; this last arrangement was common in angular layouts. Cross-shaped homesteads had two single- or double-mow barns, one on each side of a cowshed; they could be of the same or of different sizes, which could be associated with later modifications. According to archival village plans, where sizes of individual homesteads are shown, some farms had barns with even more mows.

In addition to interconnected farm buildings, a Dutch homestead also had detached buildings, such as, additional cowsheds, barns, coach houses, and granaries.
Unlike the interconnected cowsheds, their detached counterparts had a gable façade, which was often decorated with stylized architectural elements (Neo-Gothic) and often included casts of cow or horse heads, owner's initials, and the completion date. Often, such buildings were decorated with symbols associated with owner's religion - the star motif (usually six-pointed) made of plaster or bricks, for example, buildings in Palczewo and Mirowo. Sometimes the frontal section of a cowshed was used as a granary, for example, the half-timbered granary in Jeziernik or brick granaries in Brzózki or Kmiecin.

Detached barns from, for example, the former small-holders' homesteads (adopted by Dutch settlers and their descendants), in which they were located across the house closing the yard or parallel to the house, differ from those from interconnected layouts by their sizes, in some cases reaching significant lengths. At the beginning of the 20th century, a new barn type with a lowered roof was introduced to the architectural landscape of the Żuławy village.

Granaries and coach houses have survived to the present day in large numbers. Such buildings often combined those two functions. Those were usually single- or 1.5-storey buildings and had a tenon-post structure resting on a brick underpinning. They were vertically boarded and have double-pitched roofs covered by pantiles. In general, they had one or two entrances in the gable wall from the yard side, or directly, from the homestead driveway, or even from the street, for example, in Stogi or Nowy Staw. Smaller buildings had single-space interiors sometimes open on both sides. Larger buildings had a walled-off staircase leading to an attic often with a separate entrance between gates or in a different wall and additional (sometimes interconnected) spaces on the ground floor. The structure of multi-storey granaries was reinforced by rows of posts supporting summer beams under the ceilings of upper stories.

There were also granaries with the gate in the longer wall without the passage, for example, a granary in Karczowiska Górne. In some cases, for example, in Brudzendy Wielkie, a granary/coach house was connected to a barn and had rooms in the attic for seasonal workers.anary/coach house was contnnecfor example a granary in Karczowiska Górne. modifications wre______________________________ In Gniazdowo, a half-timbered granary was attached to a brick cowshed, which probably replaced the older one at the end of the 19th century.

Buildings were decorated with S-shaped braces or gate slats, for example, in Orłowo 1, carved bottoms of planking, notched ceiling beam and purlin ends, window frames (in the form of a board cut into a low triangular pediments, as in houses), and frame-panel or louvered shutters. The buildings erected or renovated from the end of the 19th century onward were decorated with openwork ornaments in gable finials and between wind ties and a pazdur. Some also had wrought flags and weathercocks.
Surveyors have found only one small, arcaded granary (heavily modified); it is probable that such buildings were more numerous.

Brick granaries and coach houses erected from the 2nd half of the 19th century onward had typical designs similar to that of livestock or industrial buildings rarely rivaling them in their artistic workmanship.

[1] Kloeppel, fig. 74 - 81
[1] Stankiewicz , p. 523,
[2] R, Jantzen, J. Jantzen, op. cit., fig.67, p.67.
[3] Stankiewicz , p. 523,
[4] Schmid, p. 259, 291, 304; Kloeppel, fig. 82, p. 185; R. K. Janzen, J.M. Janzen, Mennonite Furniture, 1991 Good Books Intercourse PA 17534, fig. 2, p. 18, fig. 7,8, 37 - was related to Mennonite houses in America, which had the same, traditional layout as the Żuławy houses.
[5] The documentation of the majority of the "regular" wooden houses was rarely and randomly prepared and included no information regarding their Dutch provenance. A "Dutch" homestead is a type of building and it is not associated with a nationality of its inhabitants. Due to the fact that the majority of the preserved buildings date from the 19th century and rarely from the 18th century, we should take into account the religious orientation of their owners. Until the 4th quarter of the 19th century, Mennonites primarily leased their farms and were uncertain whether their contract will be extended. Therefore, they kept using old wooden homes, and for that precise reason, their houses lasted the longest. However, this hypothesis cannot be proven.
[6] Stankiewicz, op.cit.
[7] This type of flooring is also mentioned in memoirs of Poles living in the Żuławy.
[8] R. Morcinek, Pamiętnik Karola Glogera, p. 270 - 271,
[9] Mężynski, p. 231
[10] Stankiewicz, fig. 38

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