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HISTORY TALKS...

Hruštín’s timbered houses

THE SOMEWHAT hostile environment of the Orava region was settled later than other parts of Slovakia and the site where the village of Hruštín now stands was covered by dense forests as late as the mid 16th century. It was not until after the forests had been cleared that people built the first settlements here.

THE SOMEWHAT hostile environment of the Orava region was settled later than other parts of Slovakia and the site where the village of Hruštín now stands was covered by dense forests as late as the mid 16th century. It was not until after the forests had been cleared that people built the first settlements here.

The very first mention of Hruštín comes from 1584 and it is likely that the first settlers were shepherds, as a notation from 1615 states that 700 sheep were bred here. Local people also engaged in importing salt from Poland and wine from southern regions. But Hruštín’s poverty made its residents wander far and wide to find work .

This 1920s postcard by famous photographer Karel Plicka shows that all the houses in the village were wooden, and this remained the case for decades more as wood was the cheapest and most widely available construction material.

Houses of timber were built everywhere in Orava, even in its bigger towns. But they differed from one another and those from Hruštín had their own specific style with a unique façade – more specifically, the area between the roof gable and the window.

Today, one can see a whole row of original timber cabins from Hruštín in the open-air Museum of Orava Village in Zuberec-Brestová. This open-air museum will fascinate anyone wanting to learn more about folk culture as its beautiful site at the foot of the Western Tatras includes buildings brought from all corners of the Orava region.


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