Predominantly Lemko people built farmstead consisting of one building (called 'chyza'). It means that under one roof there are all farm buildings: stable, pigsty, threshing floor, coach house and a living part which is seperated from the rest of the house with a kind of a hall. In many poor houses the living part was separated from the farm part with threshing floor which functioned as a hall and a place for threshing. The living part depended on people's wealth. It usually consisted of one room with a chamber, sometimes there was another room with another chamber. Lemko people did not build a barn because they had a big attic with this function.

The house was long, wooden with a high four-slope or two-slope roof with side eaves, covered by straw or shingle. Because of the climate, lower edges of the roof formed wide eaves leaned on 'okrenty'. They were upper framework beams and logs supporting ceiling, pushed out for 1 metre outside the house's framework. The space including the roof's eaves performed important communicational and storage functions.

Lemko people used half-logs (mainly fir) called 'szwale'. They placed them on the framework with the oval side outside. With time they were replaced by square logs but at the end of 19th century they used chamfered logs. As a result, the log had multilateral shape. The first beams of the framework called 'spidok' were tied in complicated fastening called 'kaniuh'.The others were placed on 'fish's tail'. The endings were often long and irregular. For building a house they usually used 9 logs, considering robust trees. (On Pogorze - 11).

The space between the beams were sealed with clay soil painted white (with lime). In some regions they painted the house's framework black with post-distillatory waste of crude oil. The border around windows and doors were decorated, depending on wealth, with lime or more expensive indigo dye. The patterns were often geometrical - dots, sun, herringbone or unspecified abstract patterns.

An interesting sulution in chyza's design was a narrow hall called 'pryczyna' which was situated in front of the stable, along the front wall. It connected the main hall with threshing floor. It also protected the stable from frost and snowstorm. Moreover, it was possible to reach to every room in the house without going outside.

Another feature of Lemko buildings, which you cannot see in neighbouring Pogorze, was boarding formwork called 'zahaty' . They were situated along the roof's eaves, mainly by side and front walls, sometimes they were around the house. They protected the house from cold and were used as a storeroom for hay and chaff. There were holes in the walls of 'zahata' as windows and doors of the house.

In the period of interwar there appeared houses with central recessed arcade. Later they started to screen it with a plank wall as in houses with the hall, mentioned above.

A granary was the seperate building. It was called 'sypaniec' and came from the region behind the Carpathians. It had a barrel vault in the form of half-cylinder made of fir logs. The granary's walls were impaled outside to hold a thick armor made of clay and chaff. This protected the building from fire. Two-slope roof made of shingle was put on the granary without any connection with the rest of the building. In the case of fire it could be easily knocked off with 'osek'.

Webmaster: Bogdan Matała