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Fortified Homes

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: General History
Forum Name: Historical Pictures Gallery
Forum Discription: Post and discuss images of historical places, arts and maps...
URL: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=22800
Printed Date: 27-Feb-2021 at 17:16
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Topic: Fortified Homes
Posted By: Theodore Felix
Subject: Fortified Homes
Date Posted: 12-Dec-2007 at 04:04
Kulla/Ž comes from the Turkish word kule meaning tower. It was a house built high and principally made up of stone. It contained few windows and small ones, built ideally as close to the ceiling as possible, so as to protect from attacks, which was a constant worry in lawless Albania. In essence it was a fortified home suited for a people living on the edge of society. The houses were originally intended for higher mountainous territory of northern Albania. Their origin lay in the decentralized life of that country, which carried such things as the blood-feud. They would be built high instead of wide so as to prevent the attackers from reaching the windows.

These kullas were generally expensive and usually reserved for the more wealthy members of Albanian society; and, even then, Kulla's would be passed down from one generation to another, often inheriting the name of either the family or the original owner. Although they were small in space, Kulla's supported large families(numbering in generations). The men occupied the principal part of the Kulla, while the women, in a safer position, lived in an annex. This meant that there were usually two living quarters: one for the women and children, the other for the men. The ground floor was kept for the horses and the upper ones were used by the men. The stairs of the house generally did not attach every floor but rather provided direct access. Since Kulla's generally had 3 floors, it means that there were two doors and two staircases. The walls of the Kulla were thick, about a meter thick, making them ideal for the weather changes/extremes(the house is cool in the summer, while warm in the winter).

In time the Kulla's came to represent the power of the Albanian aristocracy; while also becoming resting areas for rebels and bandits fleeing from Ottoman authorities or Albanians fleeing blood feuds. The result was that they became the center of attack by Ottoman authorities looking to put down Albanian revolts, this was especially so in Kosova, where the Kulla's were built on low ground and thereby easier to attack; while in northern Albania, the mountainous landscape made it difficult, ihof often next to impossible. During the various Serb attacks on Kosova, Kulla's were often attacked for similar reasons.

Kulla's are common throughout Albanian inhabited areas and among the Arvanites of Greece, who followed the typical Albanian method of dispersed homes rather then centralized ones.


Kulla's near central Albania



another


The Pasha's Kulle. An urban kulla showing a mixture between the modern urbane and the traditional.


Theth, north Albania. A kulla that retained its purpose as a fortified home.




Kulla of a wealthy family in Istog, Kosova


kulla of Gllogjani, Kosova (I believe)


Kulla under renovation (hundreds of Kulla's were purposely destroyed by the Serb invasion of Kosova, both in the eary 20th century and in the later 20th century.)


And lastly, the birthplace of Albania's dictator was also in a fortified home(how fitting, if you knew what he turned the country into):


This last one was from an urban and quite wealthy area of s. Albania: Gjirokaster. The kulla was built to keep with tradition, but, as you can see, its highly flavored.



Replies:
Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 23:34
Fortified homes in the Svaneti, Georgia (Caucasus)
 
These are from a village named Mestia, pictured in the late XIXth c.


Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2007 at 17:32
And another one from Redondela, Galicia (NW Spain). Its now used as a Pilgrin hostel in the Portuguese route to Santiago de Compostela (St James).
 


Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2007 at 20:27
very interesting, thanks


Posted By: Menumorut
Date Posted: 15-Dec-2007 at 22:28
In Romania too, in Oltenia, there have been preserved some cula (less than ten, I think). In past it have been more.

Maldaresti





Cerneti



Siacu









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Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 06:23
Mani, Greece:






Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2007 at 13:34
Other examples, from Portugal:
 
Torre das Ńguias (Tower of the Eagles), in Moura. It used to be a noble's resting place but now, as you may see, is badly erroded.
 
 
 


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 18-Dec-2007 at 22:59
Very nice pics thanks!!!!!!!!!!!Smile

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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 05:03
















The 1st one is in Kozarac, BiH, the 2nd one in Bihac, BiH. 3rd Prijedor, BiH. 4th Jajce, BiH, part of the Castle compound, seat of Medieval monarchy, contains the Coat of Arms above the entrance. 5th Coat of Arms from 4. 6th Entrance Tower / Gate of a Castle in Banja Luka, BiH.





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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 05:35
This is the Old Town quarter and Castle in my mom's home-town of Velika Kladusa, BiH.





















A good example of Ottoman architecture.



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Posted By: Menumorut
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 06:08
A good example of Ottoman architecture.


Actualy, the 'Ottoman' architecture is Byzantine architecture. It was found in Minor Asia and Greece for centuries before the coming of Turks.

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 15:50
Originally posted by Menumorut

A good example of Ottoman architecture.


Actualy, the 'Ottoman' architecture is Byzantine architecture. It was found in Minor Asia and Greece for centuries before the coming of Turks.


It is still a good example of Ottoman architecture because it was built in the 1600s Smile not in the 1200s. And yes Ottoman architecture incorporated Byzantine architecture, however it was a seperate movement. Byzantine architecture incorporated older Greek, and eastern styles as well.Wink History is fluid and not a series of lines with a beginning and an end.






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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 15:53

Galata Tower: Istanbul, Turkey.




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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 15:56
Dolamahce Girisi
 

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Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 17:11
Well, I guess the thread was intended to present fortified houses, not fortresses or castle towers Wink
 
That coat of arms... isn't it Tvertko's coat of arms (don't remember in Tvertko I or II)?


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 19:00
Yes it is.

Well not all of them are towers either that I posted, but a Kule-Kula is a tower as well.




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Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 19:39
I'm in the habit of thinking that the tower-houses were something that started under the Byzantines and further developed under the ottomans. Many of the more urban 'Kulla' started to get more oriental features exemplified in the Gjirokaster Kulla.


Posted By: Menumorut
Date Posted: 19-Dec-2007 at 20:34
It is still a good example of Ottoman architecture because it was built in the 1600s Smile not in the 1200s. And yes Ottoman architecture incorporated Byzantine architecture, however it was a seperate movement. Byzantine architecture incorporated older Greek, and eastern styles as well.Wink History is fluid and not a series of lines with a beginning and an end.



Sorry, I made a confusion.

I was refering to the houses, not to that castle. That type of houses, wrongly called "Turkish", is not Turkish. It is found in Balkans and Northern parts of Turkey but is not a tradition brought by Ottomans or created by them.



I'm in the habit of thinking that the tower-houses were something that started under the Byzantines and further developed under the ottomans. Many of the more urban 'Kulla' started to get more oriental features exemplified in the Gjirokaster Kulla.


The tower-home is not of Byzantine origin, is found since Bronze Age - the Sardinian Nouraghi, or perhaps even older. It is found in different forms and techniques in many parts of the world.

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Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 07:11
Im not saying that tower homes in particular, but the Balkan culture of it. To make what inhabitable what would normally look like a guard tower.


Posted By: Theodore Felix
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 07:14


Another one. This would normally look like some castle, but in fact its just a private house.


Posted By: Sikander
Date Posted: 20-Dec-2007 at 21:17
Yeah, but quite some private house!
 
Tower houses are probably found everywhere in the World, as long as conditions dictate it. In Medieval Iberian Peninsula it would be constant raids by enemy forces that would lead both nobles, richmen and the clergy to erect that sort of defences.
 
Unfortunately I don't have my pictures from Bulgaria with me, but in Koprivshtitza there are some fortified houses as well. They don't have towers though.


Posted By: edgewaters
Date Posted: 02-Nov-2008 at 11:23
Those are some really amazing pictures. Very interesting.

I think the Italians in the medieval era used to have something along these lines, too.

There are also a bunch of fortified houses on the Scottish borderlands, called bastle houses, which were farmhouses built for defense against the Border Rievers and Tories. Here is an example:



Plus there are fortified manor houses throughout the UK, for instance, Stokesay "Castle" ("Stoke" means "dairy farm"):




Some of the early settlements here in North America were also little more than fortified homes or a small group of fortified homes, for instance, Port Royal:




Posted By: Yiannis
Date Posted: 02-Nov-2008 at 20:42
http://www.samosin.gr/imagesJtS/Photos/PhotoLLogothetiTower.jpg - http://www.samosin.gr/imagesJtS/Photos/PhotoSarakinh.jpg -    
Fortified homes in Samos/Greece (East Aegean). Of course these types exist all over the world in different versions, they're not Albanian, Greek, Ottoman or Scot alone....
 
(My pictures) ;-)
 
 
Umm, cannot post picture for somereason.... I'll post links instead:
 
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1071914191034771184oPYcbW">
 
http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1041889232034771184RLPFKn%5d%3cimg%20src=">[/URL]"> http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1041889232034771184RLPFKn">


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The basis of a democratic state is liberty. Aristotle, Politics

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin


Posted By: Byzantine Emperor
Date Posted: 02-Nov-2008 at 20:50
Fascinating and beautiful pictures everyone.  Are any of these late Byzantine fortified houses?  I know that the both the Byzantines and the Serbs built fortified houses and monasteries in the 14th and 15th centuries as the Ottoman advance increased.


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http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=12713 - Late Byzantine Military
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=17337 - Ottoman perceptions of the Americas



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