Medieval town

Medieval town

Medieval townhouses were built from stone or brick and were several stories high.

History

Keywords

medieval, medieval city, city, dwelling, defensive wall, settlement, center, trade, lifestyle, marketplace

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Medieval homes

Rooms were lit by candles placed on wall sconces or chandeliers. They generally used tallow candles, beeswax was used only on festive days.

The furniture of rich citizens included tables, armchairs, beds and shelves, as well as carved and painted chests of drawers. Wardrobes were used instead of chests from the 15th century. Canopy beds protected people from insects.
Rooms were decorated with tapestries or carpets (carpets were also used on the floor).

Carved doors and window frames, and decorative locks enhanced the beauty of wealthy homes.

The kitchens of wealthy citizens were usually situated on the middle or top floor of their houses (the resulting smoke often caused problems in these kitchens). Pots were made of clay, wood or iron.
Kitchen tools were hung on the walls or shelves next to the stove. Spices were stored in cabinets. Garbage was poured onto the streets though the window.

In the garden, if there was one, people kept livestock and grew vegetables. Otherwise, they bought food from street sellers or at the marketplace. Wealthier citizens usually ate substantial meals twice a day (at 10am and 6pm). Meat (pork, beef) was the most popular food, but they often ate fish, vegetables and fruits.

Medieval townhouses

Medieval townhouses were usually built from stone or brick, on timber frames. Their roofs were covered with tiles or slate. Wealthier townsmen lived in two- or three-story buildings, while commoners lived in single-story houses.

Workshops or shops were situated on the ground floor of wealthy citizens´ houses. The kitchen or the rooms were situated above the workshops. The underground cellars were used for storage.

The doors to wealthier citizens' houses were decorated with iron ornaments. There were several windows on each story, providing fresh air and light for the residents. Only aristocrats could afford glazed windows, common people covered their windows with fabrics. The floors were covered with timber or stone tiles. Walls were whitewashed (in wealthy homes they were covered with decorative paintings).

Narration

The spectacular development of medieval towns began in the 10th century. At this time, a new social class of craftsmen and artisans appeared and trade was booming. Defensive walls were built around the towns, which enjoyed greater freedom than other communities. The unique character of medieval towns determined the daily life of town dwellers. Besides churches, town halls, guild halls and marketplaces, it was the streets that determined the image of a town. Houses were built tightly next to each other, streets were not paved and there was no sewage system. The street was the scene of most activities of everyday life: craftsmen and apprentices beavering away in workshops, merchants selling their goods in shops and tents, horse carts lumbering along, livestock and children scurrying along the banks of the stream that flowed through the town. Towns were noisy and dirty.

Medieval townhouses were usually built of stone or brick on timber frames. Their roofs were covered with tiles or slate. Wealthier townspeople lived in two- or three-story buildings, while commoners lived in single-story houses. Workshops or shops were situated on the ground floor of wealthy citizens’ houses. The kitchen or the rooms were situated above the workshops. The underground cellars were used for storage. The doors to wealthier citizens' houses were decorated with iron ornaments. There were several openings on each story, providing fresh air and light for the residents. Only aristocrats could afford glazed windows, common people covered their windows with fabrics. The floors were covered with timber or stone tiles. Walls were whitewashed (in wealthy people’s homes, they were covered with decorative paintings).

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