BOROLVA HOUSEHOLD

Borlova, Caraş-Severin county, 1897

The village of Borlova is located in the Cerna-Mehadia depression, an elongated depression surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and the Banat Mountains in the Sebeş valley, 13 km away from the town of Caransebeş. This mountainous area of ​​Banat is represented in the museum by a household transferred in 1936.
The systematizations imposed by the Austrian administration, together with the geomorphological characteristics, have generalized a rural typology highlighted by the orderly grouping of households with dense houses and long and straight streets.
In 1775, the hearth of Borlova village moved from the water of Borlova to that of Sebeş. The new hearth is not too far from the old one, and the Borlovians had increased their herds of sheep and goats and needed a higher flow of water than what came on the Borlova river for wool processing. Their brewhouses for processing the postavul (panura) were numerous, but they also had other technical installations, which worked by applying hydraulic force. The phenomenon of setting up such extremely useful constructions (breweries, mills, sawmills) is widespread in the northwest of Banat and in the Mehedinţiu mountain region.
Another component element of the village household that knew the technique of raising in stone is the gate, respectively the bearing system. The pillars and roof of round, hewn stone, which is sometimes unplastered, support wooden beams for the roof frame and tiles for the cladding. The type of house chosen represents the moment when burnt brick began to be used in the residential architecture of the area, first in combination with wood, which had been predominant.
The household consists of: house, well and shack, all surrounded by a brick fence, provided with a monumental gate. The house is a construction positioned with the narrow side facing the road, with a pitched roof and tile cladding. Through construction materials and techniques, the house represents a typical example for the transition phase from the traditional wooden house to the one made of brick wall; the balustrade with the stile posts are made of masonry, and the wall behind the house is made of round fir beams. The facade facing the street is equipped with a pediment decorated with stucco motifs - wheels and leaves - bearing the year of construction: 1897.
The cellar under the house and the window in the form of a brick "gang" are constructive details that will characterize the typology of the house for a long time.
The living space is divided into more rooms than the one with three units: the living room ("the back house"), the guest room ("the front house") and a median tent ("the wedge") from which access is made in the two rooms as well as in a pantry for food and tools. The arrangement of the living space (furniture, household items, tools, decorative fabrics, ceramics, etc.) illustrates the aesthetic conception of the inhabitants and the technological achievements reached by the peasant craftsmen in the area. The porch is limited by pillars, also made of brick, this porch has a door that communicates directly with the street.
This type of access is adopted by the Romanian architecture under the influence of the Swabian one, thus obtaining a continuous front of facades, doors, gates, brick enclosures.
Another characteristic that brings Romanian architecture closer to that of the Saxons and Swabians, with whom the Romanians lived in the Transylvanian and Banat areas, is the decoration of the house with reliefs in plaster. The same motifs found on the pediments of houses made of woven reeds or rammed earth from the Banat, are also found on this structure. The sun, in various representation schemes, the tree of life, the birds, the vine and the cross are organized in symmetrical compositions, which also include the name of the owner, along with the date of construction. Many times when renovating the house, the date is updated, although the building may be older. The color emphasizes the plaster reliefs applied on the facades, as well as on the massive masonry of the gates.
The change in the geometry of the roof with the adoption of another constructive technique of the walls than the wooden one, generated the appearance of the pediment that offers surfaces for decoration. The frames of the windows and of the roof dormers begin to be emphasized by plaster profiles, then by geometrical webs and semicircular garlands of branches. The tympanums, in a first form - triangular, exhibit decorative compositions, in which the solar motif and that of the tree of life, in various representations, have priority.
The plaster relief decoration was greatly developed by the architecture of woven sticks or earth, from the Banat region.

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