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this page, Houses, frontages.. Basque Country, Brittany.

Basque Country

One of St Jean de Luz curiosities (Basque Country).

This window of the first floor is framed by two guns (one on each side). The building is indicated by a plaque, for having received "the Infanta" in 1660.   "infanta" : Title given to the younger children of the kings of Spain and Portugal
Saint Jean de Luz is a city of celebrities, and not least, since the marriage of Louis XIV with Maria Teresa of Spain was celebrated there.. hibis

Parmi les immeubles récents, plutôt soignés, en voici un qui sort du lot, avec son look Espagne du sud, un rien maure.hibis
The other side of the building on the left. Small openings and large glass balconies, shops. Curious.
(years 2010); The Basque style endangered ? It is a fact that recent villas now have a modern appearance, with some traditional elements sometimes recalling. Throughout France, the trend is cubism (is it to facilitate isolation?); square blocks juxtaposed, terraces, flat roofs, various colors; the large bay window is generalized, if not an entire facade or even two opposite facades.

Basque country (euskaldi)
The etxe or etche (pronounce eytshey , le "x" = "shey") is the Basque house; it is also the farm which shelters families, animals and harvests. A surname such as Etxegarai means "the house of Garai" in the sense of the family.

Ainhoa : typical village Basque, amid greenery and banana trees, but under the rain, as it is frequently. So much the worse, it is worth going there. hibis
the roof of the Basque houses, symmetrical, not very sloping and overflowing with the manner of the country cottage (hood), lay on one or two strong projecting walls. The dissymmetry of the roof meant in the beginning a later extension. The frontage, facing rising sun (sheltered from bad weather), receives the main part of the openings and the balcony .

Lands and fields were also shared and allocated beetween inhabitants and villages. hibis hibis
All of the old houses have a familly name, because it belong to the whole family (collective property).
Note the pieces of wood which are always placed vertically or in vertical-horizontal squaring.

Some of them were built in the middle of XVI century, but what really remains of this era to testify? hibis

Village and town houses..

Besides the large independent family homes, there is another architecture that is hidden behind typical village or town façades. Quite widespread is a all length plan of house , said bayonnais, which defines a double dwelling whose two parts seen in section, the frontal one and the back, are separated by a central inner courtyard with stairs of access for the floors. This courtyard is also a skylight because these blocks are contiguous to each other as in any city street, with no possibility of side windows.

By "all in length", it is necessary to understand everything in depth when looking at the rather narrow facade (example, 5m x 15m)

The rooms are in a row, that is to say in a straight line towards the bottom to the inner courtyard for the first part, then from the court to the clearance or the back street for the second. There must be no corridor to serve the rooms, according to a model that is found on farms, in a water mill, or old apartments called precisely "longères". In New Orleans (Louisiana), in poor neighborhoods where many houses were demolished or abandoned during a devastating cyclone, they are called "shotgun" because of a shot on the facade, the bullet would cross all the rooms in a row. The dispossessed inhabitants regret this configuration which, they say, is very friendly and learns to live in community.

Red basque. The red basque ("rouge basque"), looking a bit maroon, would come from the blood of ox used in the beginning to dye the wood of frontage.
Until the XVI century, houses, mainly farms, probably like everywhere in Europe are built by carpenters (tne mason does not exist), with a structure of wood and half-timberings (*) ; they are built directly on the ground or a bed of stones (without fondation).

It is only at the end of the XVI century that the side pinion walls appear, as well as the bases (to the first floor), just as are stone around framings and doors.
(*) half-timbering : says houses built with assembled pieces of wood and whose vacuums are filled with ground or hardcore bricks mixed with straw..  hibis
Typical village house with wooden balcony.

hibis Urban houses can be very long (15 m) with a frontage of only 5 meter. they are sometimes separated by a very narrow space or a narrow alley (see right hand). The construction is actually interrupted in the middle by a wide staircase which serves two apartments in stages, one towards the back and the other in frontage.
Bastide. It is a fortified city. There would be two, including the Bastide Clairance, from which this photo. In a fortified city (bastide), the adjoining walls were proscribed; a space necessarily separated the houses. A generally narrow space in the city.

In specific villages, one can see sometimes a construction that link them (one can pass under it). A hole always open it but I couldn't get any infromation on this subject (ventilation, closet, passage ?) here is the best made one, with a windows.. . The white part is the end of the sky between the two walls. hibis

Si le le "rouge basque", tirant sur le marron, provient du sang de bœuf, dans le bordelais, les vignerons utilisaient la lie du vin pour teinter leurs murs.
Basque flag : a red background, for the representation of the people, on which is superimposed a green cross (the oak), for the assertion of the law, then a white cross diagonally, for the superiority of the morals of Christ on the people and the law.

  White, red and green : seven stripes for the seven basque regions (provinces).
A short Basque story: at the time when farms were the main part of the country, when there was a death, the animals were raised and announced. We would then see the hives to announce it to the bees.

Spain Basque.  . The little village of Funtarrabia (or Hondarribia) can be proud with its both flowered and coloured houses.
Abundence of flowerpots give them a "charme fou", like these ones, among the most beautiful.hibis A short walk make us discover charming areas..

Its medieval city inhabited is also a marvel, due to a fantastic restoration. hibis

Vannes (Morbihan). Old town of Vannes (Morbihan, France), perfectly restored with its superb and large typical houses with half-timbering, whose beams are painted of vivid colours, which is not so usual. hibis
Charms of Brittany. Authentic, and well restored. hibis

Smaller, but so nice.
The staircase was outside. Quite common a this time, this plan is more simple and gives more room inside. hibis
Austère et riche demeure, en bordure de mer.

Rich niche for this Breton piety which one never can sees very. Miracle of photograpy and the enhancement..
Simple and very delicate, she natural and full of grace.

Saint Joseph, holding an axe and a hammer.

At a corner of a street.. Saint Yves.

So big stones as a frame for a so small window. Northern island of Brittany. île bretonne du nord.hibis

Piriac. A few steps away this house stands another house, whose owner was the comte Walewski, said to be a son of Napoléon I, but in reality, depending of the story, nephew of the comtesse Waleska, love of Napoléon. alliance de la comtesse Waleska, une conquête de Napoléon.

Chimneys are placed against the pinion wall, supporting the end of the ridge, which is not triangular as usual at the top but square shaped.

Un bien modeste phare au regard du service qu'il rend. hibis

Is this the English invasion announced in this beautiful area of France ? it is true that in addition to "the housing reasonnable price", it appears that the climate is soft here and not too rainy. hibis

(années 2010)
(years 2010) What audacity this roof white, supposedly painted on slates. A traditional house, located in the bottom of the beach, which has been generously remodeled and completed (including a huge verandah under terrace running on the entire facade of the building, two outdoor access ..).

The Breton style is endangered? ? It is a fact that recent villas now have a modern appearance, with sometimes elements recalling the past..

Throughout France, the trend is cubism (is it to facilitate isolation?); square blocks juxtaposed, terraces, flat roofs, various colors; the large bay window becomes widespread, if not an entire facade or even two opposite bay windows.

  maisons, façades.. Provence

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