Saturday, June 20, 2015

Is it English Tudor, French Half Timber or German Fachwerk?

Many people in the U.S. confuse Half-timber architecture with English Tudor.  When if fact the Half-Timber method of construction was used throughout many countries in Europe, as you can see below.

It is a method of construction with timber frames. The spaces in-between the structural members are then filled in with brick, plaster, or wattle and daub. Traditionally, a half-timbered building was made of squared oak timbers joined by mortises, tenons, and wooden pegs; the structure is usually strengthened at the corners with braces.  

Below are some examples of English Tudor detailing.

In Germany and Austria it is known as Fachwerk.  In fact we once enjoyed having dinner in a restaurant which was built in the village of Bacharach on the Rhine in 1368 (see below).  Everything in this restaurant appeared to be handmade, the furniture, the beams the glass.  Even the wine was from the vineyard which one could see on the slopes just outside the window.

The Alt Haus Restaurant built in 1368

German Fachwerk in the town of Bacharach on Rhine.

Gate House to Hornberg Castle belonging to the "Knight with the Iron Hand", Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen
Turret of Hornberg Castle

A view looking down on Hornberg Castle 
A view from the tower of Hornberg Castle and the Nekar River Valley 

Maison des Compagnons, a fine example of French Half-timber work as well as a school for ancient French construction techniques in Suamur

The Gate House de Château de Chenonceau
An example of French Timber Work along Route D-952 in the Loire Valley

Fonternay de Cher, west of the Village of Blere, a French Half Timber house outside of Tours on the River Cher

The Village of Sarlat in the Dordogne region


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  4. This is fantastic!! Thank you so much for posting. My whole life I've been referring to half-timbered, etc. buildings as "Tudor style"... thank you so much for clearing it up! Going to check out more of your blog!

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