Ancient Egyptian Houses | Ask Aladdin
Ancient Egyptian Houses
During ancient times Egyptians lived in houses made from mud bricks. The annual floods brought a lot of mud which made the construction process easier. Brick makers molded mud into square shapes using wooden molds after which these were dried and hardened in the sun. The houses of the poor were made from single walls which were one brick thick, while those rich were made from double thick walls to ensure increased security. Wood was not used much in the building due to its scarce availability in Egypt and much of it had to be imported from outside.
Most Egyptian homes had a roofed-in central room and smaller rooms attached. The central room was the most used room in the house and the kitchen was usually nearby. The house of a nobleman had some extra rooms but the presence of a central room was still almost always present. For a rich person or nobleman, the furniture was more ornate, and the flooring was made out of mud tiles and was covered with a plaster-like material. Roofs were usually used as living space as the interiors were not lit much and stairs leading to the roof were also seen in most homes.
Homes of the rich were bigger and contained at least 10 rooms also the walls were painted with a mixture of lime and water. The walls were usually painted in blue or yellow and the ceilings were colorful as well. The floors of the houses of the poor were made from beaten earth while those of the rich were covered with mud tiles.
Wear And Tear Was A Common Problem:
The use of common materials for building the houses of people in Egypt meant that the design of most houses in ancient Egypt displayed little variation. The houses in ancient Egypt were not long-lasting and in just a few years they usually began deteriorating and crumbling. The houses often needed to be repaired as floods were common, especially when the Nile River started to overflow. Some houses were built on platforms to prevent the damage caused by floods. Sometimes rats also gnawed through walls so they had to be fixed and repaired.
Houses Of The Rich:
Rich people in ancient Egypt owned big houses and most homes had gardens with swimming pools. Most gardens were very beautiful and peaceful. and had a path that was well constructed. The walls were higher to keep intruders out and guards often protected the property. Furniture commonly included a bed, a side table for books, and much more. The kitchen meanwhile had a few small tables and there were drinking vessels and dishes as well. Roof timber was covered with thatch and matting. In the houses of the rich, there was a guest room and a set of rooms for the owner. There was a separate room for the woman of the house. The shortage of available land to make houses due to the vast hot desert terrain meant that most townhouses were multistoried in order to accommodate the population during the ancient Egyptian era.
Ancient Egypt Houses
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Houses in Ancient Egypt
For the most part ancient Egypt houses were constructed using materials that were handy and plentiful. This meant that the design of houses in ancient Egypt varied little, even among the wealthy. This makes it very easy to imagine what Egyptian houses look like.
History and Description of Ancient Egyptian Houses
What were the ancient Egyptian houses made of?
Egypt’s intense sun and heat shaped how ancient Egyptians built their houses. The oldest houses were built of mud and papyrus. After a while, however, people realized that this combination wouldn’t work. The Nile River flooded for three months every year and literally washed these houses away.
This is when the ancient Egyptians discovered that they could create bricks out of clay and mud from the Nile’s riverbank. Mixing the clay/mud with water, they poured this mixture into wooden molds in the shape of bricks. Allowed to dry in the sun, mud-bricks lasted much longer than houses made of mud and papyrus, but rain still eventually eroded them. Wood wasn’t used to build the actual houses because of its scarcity. It was used to support doorways, ceilings and steps.
Slaves and children as young as four were left to the menial job of making mud-bricks. They would transport the clay and mud, make the bricks and also transport the dried bricks to the building site.
Almost all ancient Egypt houses were constructed with a flat roof. Not only did this most likely make the construction process simpler, but the flat roofs also offered a welcome respite from the burning Egyptian sun. Families often lounged, ate and slept on the roofs of ancient Egypt houses.
Photo by Iris Fernandez (2009). © 2009 Iris Fernandez (used with permission) photographed place: (El-Qasr)
Reused in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license – Recreation of a mud-brick house
Layout of ancient Egyptian houses
The layout of an ancient Egyptian house was largely determined by whether the family was rich or poor, and if they lived in the city or the country.
Houses for the Poor
Those without much money often had only a one room house. This room was used for storage and napping during the day to escape the excessive heat. Inside the room were woven mats made of straw, perhaps a wooden stool or even a wooden bed with string pulled across it. They used long grass and animal hair for the string.
A ladder, mud brick staircase or ramp led to the flat roof. People often slept on the roof at night because it was cooler than the enclosed room below. Sometimes these roofs had reed canopies to create shade.
All the windows and doors had reed mat coverings to help keep out the heat, dust and flies. Oftentimes, doors were built four feet or so up off the ground to prevent the dust from creeping in. A ramp was used to get into the house from the outside.
Photo by Amheida Staff (2004). © 2004 NYU Excavations at Amheida Photographed place: Kellis (Esment el-Kharab). Reused in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license
– Remains of interior chambers
The single room led to an open courtyard with a wall around it. Here, people might have a vegetable garden, they cooked food on clay braziers (a type of portable grill), they spun flax into linen and the family’s stock of goats and chickens roamed the courtyard.
No bathrooms existed inside the poor person’s house. When people had to use the bathroom they had a few options. They could dig a hole, toss the waste into the Nile River, walk to the edge of the village, or use a chamber pot inside the house and then empty it outside. In some cases, people had an outhouse built in the corner of their courtyard.
No running water existed in these houses. The kids or slaves were required to go into the village for buckets of water and bring them back to be used for drinking, cooking and bathing.
If the person lived in the city, these houses were built very close together, much like townhouses today, with a shared wall. The downstairs room was used for the family business, such as a bakery or workshop. The upstairs room was reserved for the family. In towns where pyramids were being constructed, homes were provided for the pyramid workers.
Where poor people had one layer of brick to build their homes, wealthy people often used two or three layers of mud-brick. Still, the richest people had their homes made of stone that often boasted a granite gateway that could be locked from the inside. Keys have been found dating back to 1550 BC.
Houses for the Rich
The wealthy enjoyed building their homes along the Nile River. The outside of the homes was painted white to keep it cooler during the day. Sometimes, the very wealthy lined the outside walls with limestone, which caused their house to sparkle and twinkle in the sunlight. Artists were paid to decorate the inside walls with bright pastel colors to create a fresh and clean feel.
Some of the richest had houses as big as 30 rooms. Most of these rooms were used for storing sealed jars of food. Other rooms were used for the children, guest rooms and even bathrooms (though with no running water). These large homes had front and back doors with bars on the windows to keep out intruders and wild animals.
Raised up, at the center of the house, lay the living or family room. This room was raised up to keep sand out. As it was the center of the home, it was cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
A nobleman might have a master suite behind the living room complete with its own toilet. Pipes led from the bathroom to the garden, though there was no true running water as we know it today.
The rich had more items than the poor, including mirrors, shelves, pots and pans, beds, lighting, heat and fountains. Inside their bedrooms, they had cosmetic and perfume pots and even extra clean clothes.
Outside of the homes of the rich were gardens and pools. Some houses even had pools inside. Many stocked pools with brightly colored fish while the gardens were abloom with cornflowers and daisies.
Photo by Amheida Staff (2006). © 2006 NYU Excavations at Amheida. Reused in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license – Mud Brick Town Remains at El-Qasr
Ancient Egyptian Houses Facts
- Sometimes, people lived with other families in a house with many rooms and one shared courtyard.
- Sometimes, people shared one room with many families.
- Poor people sometimes had gateways made of limestone.
- Even though some people put bars on their windows, crime was very low in ancient Egypt.
- The braziers people cooked on were made of iron, bronze or clay and held charcoal wood fires.
- The first houses built in ancient Egypt date back to the Predynastic period in the Stone Age around 6,000 B.C.
- Very first ancient homes were built in wattle and daub style, meaning that sticks and twigs were interwoven and then covered with clay or mud.
- The word “adobe” comes from the Ancient Egyptian word “dbe” and means “mud brick.”
Egyptian houses • Architecture – ideas and history
The great Nile River influenced the Egyptian dwelling to a large extent. The inhabitants of this country have long built adobe structures from reeds and coastal vines. Silt and reeds made excellent raw bricks.
From the Nile silt with the addition of sand or small pebbles and chopped straw, the Egyptians made mud bricks 14×38 cm in size and at least 4 cm thick.
Clay and sun-dried brick replaced all other materials. The stone was rarely used. Even during the construction of rich houses, only columns, floors in courtyards and pools were made of stone.
Wood was used only for the most important elements: supports and beams of ceilings and galleries, roofs and door frames. The tree was highly valued. Wooden elements were decorated with rich carvings with floral motifs. Most often, wooden lattices or walls made of palm trunks and bundles of reeds or reeds, placed vertically, were arranged between brick pillars.
The Egyptian dwellings reflected the Egyptians’ ideas about the temporality and fragility of human life, so houses, unlike places of worship, were built from less durable materials. Palace buildings can serve as some exception, where high-quality wood (cedar) was used not only for all elements of the post-and-beam structure, but also partially for lining and decorative finishing of buildings. Even baked bricks and terracotta tiles could be used here. During the construction process, the Egyptians used axes, chisels, later they recognized saws, drills and tongs.
INTERNAL COURTYARD AND FLAT ROOF
The entire estate was surrounded by a wall of stone taller than a man, the outer side of which was sloping so that it was impossible to climb on it. Points of wood and metal were planted along the edge of the wall.
Residences of nobles and priests occupied a large area, often more than a hectare, well landscaped, with ponds and running water. The estates of the nobility were surrounded by powerful walls. Around the front part of the dwelling, testifying to wealth and nobility, barns and storerooms were arranged. Such estates had not one, but several entrances, a passage to the garden and to the household part. Columns in the form of papyrus stems were erected in front of the facade. Flowers and trees were planted in front of the entrance. Palms and sycamores, planted in earthen brick boxes, shielded the front door from the sun.
Egyptians built doorways in the form of a portal, reminiscent of a temple. The portal had simple architraves and sandriks – characteristic details above the door to protect against rain. Sandriks were small cornices or pediments supported by columns or pilasters.
In front of a rich house, a portico was built with columns in the form of bunches of reeds, papyrus, or palm trunks. The Egyptians arranged the entrance to the houses quite high above ground level due to the summer floods of the Nile. You had to climb a small ladder to get to the entrance. Doors with one or two wings locked the dwelling. Their cladding was made of wood or stone; for the rich, on a relief stone lintel, the owners of the house and their names were depicted.
Locks in Egypt were very rare, the door was locked with an external bolt. Pin locks were used. A box with wooden pins was attached to the inside of the door above the lock, the pins went into the holes of the lock located across the door frame. To unlock the lock, it was necessary with a wooden key with the same teeth to get exactly into the holes and push out the pins, and then move the lock. The key was shaped like a large toothbrush.
All houses belonged to the so-called palace type, which was typical for oriental housing in general. It was a series of closed rooms that open directly or through a common corridor to the courtyard, which is a source of light and air.
The residential building had a regular rectangular plan with long corridors and a number of rooms and halls with internal columns. The main task was to shelter the dwelling from the scorching rays of the sun, so the courtyard was surrounded by galleries, which could be reached from the courtyard by stairs. The galleries protected from the sun and heat the halls and rooms following them, as well as the walls of the house. In ancient times, the rooms were located around the courtyard and galleries, later the rooms began to be grouped around the main hall.
The living quarters were in any case oriented to the north, towards the refreshing winds, and often overlooked the garden. Most often, the house was two-story, the floors were connected by side stairs that led to the roof. Living quarters could also be located in tower-shaped outbuildings, also connected by stairs.
According to Herodotus, sleeping quarters were arranged in them, where the inhabitants of the houses escaped from mosquitoes. On the first open floor it was impossible to sleep because of insects, in the closed rooms of the second floor it was very stuffy for relaxation, so the tower was a characteristic feature of the house of a wealthy Egyptian.
In a one-story house of a simple Egyptian, there were only four rooms: a kitchen, a pantry, a living room and a bedroom, which could also be located on the roof. The average dwelling in Egypt in two floors had 6-7 rooms and was divided into three groups of premises – residential, front and utility. The house was divided into personal and service parts.
The vaults in utility and storage rooms were made of raw bricks. The service part included a wide hall with a ceiling resting on one or more columns. The columns increased the space of the hall, but the lack of wood for intermediate supports did not allow expanding the spans of the premises. All other rooms connected to the hall.
Designed for the hot climate, Egyptian houses had not only open galleries, but also cool corridors. Galleries were built around the roof and along the facade of each floor, corridors were made between rooms, and they all went out into the courtyard. The main hall of the house served both as a dining room and a reception room during the cold season. The walls and ceiling of the central hall were higher than the walls of other rooms, so windows with wooden bars were arranged under the very roof. Through them, light and air penetrated into the hall.
There was no ventilation in the house, so the inhabitants of the house often spent time in the galleries, on the roofs or in the garden. Ventilation and lighting of the house took place through doorways and narrow vertical additional openings from floor to ceiling, covered with curtains. Only in very rich houses did a ventilation hole in the roof communicate with one of the upper chambers.
The roofs of all Egyptian houses were flat. They arranged kitchens, pantries for grain, but more often rest rooms with open galleries and fences along the edges. Sometimes flower beds were even planted on the roofs. Flat roofs were obtained by overlapping from a continuous flooring of palm trunks, on which mats were laid, and then a thick layer of clay.
To prevent the heat from penetrating the house, the windows were always facing north, they were made small and covered with wooden shutters, wooden or reed gratings, fabrics or carpets. The Egyptians also used special techniques to cool their homes. Porous jugs of water were placed in drafts, the water in them cooled during evaporation and cooled the air.
PAPYRUS AND SCARABS
On the ground floor, the visitor entered the vestibule or reception rooms. They were spacious rectangular rooms with light wooden columns with stone bases. The Egyptians built three types of columns – palm-shaped, lotus-shaped and papyrus-shaped.
All architectural motifs were based on stylized plant forms. In all types of columns there was a stylized reproduction of the trunk, bud or flower of plants, which was reflected in the capitals, base and trunk of the columns. The trunk was round or consisting of a bunch of stems, while the capital reproduced the shape of a closed bud or an opening cup of a flower that rested on the ceiling.
The columns were usually painted green and covered with symbolic ornaments. They looked great against the traditional blue background of the front rooms of the Egyptian house.
On the first (in wealthy houses – the third) floor, the Egyptians arranged pantries with provisions and soft drinks and dressing rooms with drawers for linen and clothes. On the second floor there was always the owner’s office with special cabinets for storing manuscripts and writing materials.
The papyri were rolled up, tied up and bundled, the bundles were placed in leather bags, and the bags in cabinets.
The walls inside the houses were plastered and painted red, blue or yellow, sometimes just whitewashed. The walls of the halls were covered with paintings, painted reliefs or glazed tiles. A linear pattern was applied to the previously polished surface, the contours of which were deepened. Then a layer of gypsum was applied to the relief, which was painted. The Egyptians pressed faience tiles into wet plaster. Graphic motifs were also placed on ceilings or floors. Doors were often decorated with tiles, and the walls were painted like sarcophagi.
Initially, floral ornaments were used in soft, pastel colors, while contrasting, bright colors were used in geometric patterns. But over time, the walls and interiors in general became more and more colorful: red, blue, green, yellow, white and black colors with underlined contours.
The decoration of the paintings included lotus flowers, papyrus leaves, vine, branches of fruit trees, the sun in the form of a disk. The Egyptians depicted sphinxes, bull heads, lions, snakes, scarab beetles, fish, kites and doves. Of the geometric motifs, meanders, spirals, rosettes, braided nets, and stars were used. The compositions were of a ribbon-like nature, the ribbons were located one above the other, closing one with the other.
The person was depicted as follows: head, hips and arms in profile, chest and eyes – full face. The height of the depicted person was determined by his social status, rank and material condition. However, this also applied to the interior of houses.
At a later time, columns with lotus leaves were painted on the walls, which supported the rich ceiling cornice. Wooden panels bordered with colored stripes were inserted between the columns.
CONCEPT OF COMFORT
The Egyptians did their best to make their homes comfortable and pleasant. To protect the house from rats and snakes, they used various medicinal plants. They believed that the fat of the oriole got rid of flies, dried fish or frog caviar – from fleas. Cat fat saved from numerous rats and mice, because the rodents were afraid of its smell.
If you anoint sacks of grain with cat lard, rats will not come close to them. Gazelle droppings were burned in barns or diluted in water and sprayed with mortar on the walls and floor of the house. It kept out the insects. Fumigation with incense and turpentine resin freshened the air.
In the living rooms, the Egyptians smeared vessels – braziers into the brick floor, which, if necessary, heated the dwelling in cold weather. Hearths were made of fired bricks, refractory clay or stones. Wealthy nobles even used cylindrical furnaces with a door at the bottom to extract ash. Metal braziers were used in temples, but not in homes. They heated all these devices with dried tree branches and animal manure. The Egyptians gathered drinking water in cities in stone tanks or wells lined with stone.
Egyptian houses had bathrooms and toilets. The bathroom was only drenched, but its walls were protected from water by stone or limestone tiles. The floor was specially made with a slope so that the water flowed into a large cauldron installed under the floor. There was also a chair for a massage after bathing. Egyptian toilets were either a seat with a hole under which a vessel for sewage was placed, or a wooden board on brick stands with a recess for sand, which was periodically thrown away and changed.
FURNITURE AND Utensils
During the period of the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians made do with the bare necessities. Later, crafts began to develop, but still luxury goods were imported to Egypt from Asia as a tribute. The Egyptians knew simple looms, a spindle, they knew how to burn vessels and blow glass using long reed tubes.
They used an axe, a saw, a hammer, an adze and a drill to make furniture, but they did not know the planer and turning. They polished rough surfaces with a stone. The surface of the furniture was covered with mastic, then it was usually painted white. The panel was nailed to the frame, not inserted into it. They used primitive veneering – facing with expensive wood plates, inlays with faience, mother-of-pearl, stones, ivory, tortoise shell and gold overlays, carving and varnishing.
The seats were fastened with transverse drawers – plank frames placed on the edge. Curved wooden spikes and simple locks were used to connect the corner pieces of furniture.
Sycamore, olive, cedar, yew, ebony, Nile locust, fig or fig tree have been used for furniture. In very rare cases, individual pieces of furniture were made of ivory or metal. Alabaster and colored faience were used for household utensils.
The furniture was decorated with simple ornaments depicting a sun disk, a scarab, a snake, a kite, a lotus, a palm tree and papyrus. The ornament could be painted with red, yellow, black, brown, blue and green paints on a white background.
First seating furniture made in Egypt. At first, these were low benches and chairs, then ceremonial chairs with backs. The invention of the Egyptians were stools with a concave seating surface. During the period of the Old Kingdom, massive cubic-shaped chairs made of wood or tied reed were dispensed with.
Then the Egyptians began to use low stools brought from Asia, chairs with cushions and figured legs (including folding ones), and finally, high-backed chairs. The latter was used as a throne for the owner of the house. There were also armchairs with a back only a palm high, decorated with a pattern on the sides. More elegant chairs had four legs in the form of lion paws, a high back and armrests in the form of walking lions.
In general, the legs often ended with images of paws and hooves of animals or duck heads pointing forward. The backs of the chairs were usually decorated with through carvings of a symbolic nature, embossed leather, chasing on metal, inlaid with colored enamel. The armrests of the chairs were also covered with carvings. The sides were shaped like walking animals.
The furniture was upholstered with beautiful fabrics, leather and animal skins. Reed and reed bindings were inserted into the seat frames. On chairs and armchairs, the Egyptians sat with a straight back and tightly closed legs. This position was not very comfortable and was used in the ceremonies of receiving guests, so the Egyptians quickly fell in love with stools. Some had vertical legs and were simple, while others had legs that crossed in the shape of an X and ended in duck heads. For convenience, the upper part of the stool was bent and covered with a mat or pillow.
Three types of tables were known to the Egyptians: a dining table, a work table, and a table with lintels, uprights and spacers. The dining table was made with a central support in the form of a column and a round top. Stone tables were massive, wooden and metal tables were small and light.
In the period of the Old Kingdom, low tables were used on a low stand. Subsequently, tables began to be made of ebony and ivory. They got taller. The dining room was usually decorated with small tables and coasters for food, which, if necessary, a change of dishes was quickly taken away.
Wealthy Egyptians slept on beds or couches with or without backs. The Egyptian bed consisted of a frame covered with straps, which rested on four legs in the shape of animal paws, with the front ones at the foot of the bed and the back ones at the head of the bed. A small back was made at the head. Headrests were used instead of pillows. They were made of stone, wood and metal with leather lining. The beds were high: they climbed up the ladders. From mosquitoes and midges used canopies. In addition to ordinary beds, there were also folding ones – like modern folding beds.
A huge number of boxes and caskets were kept in the houses. The cabinet furniture of the Egyptians was richly decorated with bright colors, geometric patterns with hieroglyphs and inlays of white and blue faience and smalt glass. The chest resembled a sarcophagus, had a convex movable or gable lid and large locks. The bedrooms had wooden wardrobes for linen and clothes, chests and chests for toiletries. The latter consisted of frames with transverse boards and partitions inserted into them.
Cosmetics were stored in ivory vessels and chests. Here they put ointments, wide razors in cases, wooden and bone combs, metal mirrors, boxes of eye paint, bottles for ointments and incense. The mirrors were cast, slightly convex, with a smoothly polished metal surface.
The Egyptians decorated vessels and utensils with images of sacred animals and plants – a ram, a bull, a cow, a snake, a fish, a crocodile, a palm tree or a fig tree. Flower-shaped toilet boxes, lotus-shaped faience bowls, dishes depicting lotuses and swimming fish appear.
Wicker utensils – boxes, baskets, mats – played an important role in the Egyptian environment. Carpets, decorative fabrics and linen curtains with simple patterns gave comfort to the house. The most valuable thing for the Egyptians was a thin white linen. The Egyptians lit their dwellings with lamps in the form of a flat cup on a stand and small hand-held lanterns.
Ware was divided into front – from alabaster, marble and granite – and everyday – from clay. Pottery was fired and covered with colored glaze. Gold and silver utensils were used only for rituals. Most often, the vessels were made in the form of an ostrich egg or a round pumpkin. The Egyptians gave spoons and ladles the appearance of a flying or swimming bird, the neck or head served as a handle.
Thus, Europe owes Egypt the creation of the basic forms of furniture. The Egyptians gave us tools and woodworking technology. However, the set of pieces of furniture was still limited, there was no balance in the proportions of objects and a close connection between structure and decor. Egyptian furniture will be remembered after the Egyptian campaign of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798-1800, when the Empire style appears.
All Egyptians, from the pharaoh to the common man, were in awe of the gardens, considering them a gift from heaven. The gardens at the residential houses of the Egyptian nobility were extensive – about a hectare. The entire section of the Garden was surrounded by a high adobe wall, the entrance to the garden was decorated with pylons, obelisks or figures of sphinxes.
The garden was divided into geometric sections and had a regular composition. Separate areas also had fences that served as protection from the winds. In the center at the back was a house, and in front of it was a pool or gazebo. The Egyptians were the first to build pergolas – galleries of columns and a wooden lattice frame for climbing plants. Usually these pergolas were covered with grapes.
Several ponds and pavilions were placed symmetrically in the garden. Around the perimeter of the entire garden, protective plantings of trees and shrubs were arranged. The Egyptians planted plants in orderly rows. Larger trees were placed closer to the walls of the fence, then – medium in height, and the lowest – in the middle of the garden around a square pond.
Wood has been considered a symbol of life since antiquity.
The Egyptians gave preference to trees with a dense crown, providing protection from the wind, shade and coolness on a hot summer day. Not the last place in the gardens was occupied by fruit and olive trees, which provide fragrant oils for sacred rituals.
Coconut palms, pomegranates, fig trees, peaches and jujubes were grown in Egypt. Palm trees, as the Egyptians believed, provided joy to the owner; fig trees – wealth, ebony – happiness. These trees were considered sacred. Of the tree species, a significant place was occupied by the date palm, which gives fruit and shade.
They grew fig and pomegranate trees, as well as acacias and willows. Sacred in Egypt was the tamarisk shrub, which has a transparent crown and surprisingly flexible branches. From Persia, the Egyptians brought myrtle and castor beans, from the seeds of which they obtained oil for ritual actions. Fragrant oils were prepared from lilies.
The lily was a symbol of hope and the brevity of life.
The walls of houses were decorated with flowers. Large bouquets in vases were placed in the houses. Wreaths of flowers adorned the heads of feasters and festive tables. The Egyptians loved cloves and poppies, mignonette and jasmine.
During the reign of Cleopatra, roses were grown in Egypt.
Papyrus, blue and white water lilies and lotus were bred in the ponds.
Entire “water fields” of white, pink and blue lotuses adorned the reservoirs. This flower was called the “bride of the Nile”. It was dedicated by the Egyptians who were very fond of pets. They kept greyhounds and dogs resembling dachshunds (ket-ket), cats and monkeys. Egyptian greyhounds were long-legged, with long tails and muzzles. Ket-ket were short-legged, with straight and long ears.
The hound or greyhound was called Sirius in Egypt. Unexpectedly, this name was also given to a bright star in the sky, the appearance of which always warned the Egyptians about the impending flood of the Nile. In the minds of people, a connection was formed between the sacred star, which warns of a spill, and the dog, which, with its bark, warns the owner of the appearance of enemies. Since then, the dog has become a sacred symbol of vigilance.
The Egyptians bred long-legged greyhounds with a long, woolly tail, an elongated muzzle and floppy ears. They also bred large, lean dogs with impressive jaws and erect ears. This breed was called pharaoh. Instead of dogs, the house was guarded by geese. The goose was called “smon”: he always screamed at moments when the house was in danger.
Every family had a figurine of a cat-goddess — Bastet
The Egyptians revered cats and kept them in their homes. Egyptian kosh si were similar to modern Abyssinian cats.
Egyptian dogs: greyhound and dachshund and procreation and received the name Basta or Bastet. The cat was considered the sister of the sun god Ra. The Egyptians saw a direct connection between the cat and the sun: the higher the sun, the narrower the pupils of the cat, in the dark they dilated. The cat was revered as the good spirit of the house. Many Egyptians considered cats to be their ancestors. Women dressed up as cats. The cats, together with their owners, took part in the hunt for wild animals in the swamps and took care of the grain in the barns. The Egyptians called cats the affectionate word “miu”.
The Egyptians took care of cats, hundreds of mummies of which were found during excavations. Diodorus relates that a mob in Egypt literally tore a Roman diplomat to pieces for killing a cat. If a cat died in the house, then, according to Herodotus, household members shaved their eyebrows as a sign of grief. The Egyptians bred mongoose and special monkeys – hamadryas.
They were taught to gather figs from fig trees, Osiris, the god of the setting sun, and Isis, the goddess of fertility. Pools and ponds were lined with stone, water lilies bloomed and ducks swam in them. Ponds with papyri, water lilies and lotuses laid the foundation for the so-called “water gardens”. The Egyptians cultivated irises, poppies, marigolds, jasmine, delphinium, oleanders, bindweeds, chrysanthemums and lilies.
The Egyptians collected exotic plants. They brought frankincense and myrtle to Egypt. Gardens were irrigated through canals. Water was pumped from wells into movable gutters, and from there it spread through small grooves throughout the garden and the entire estate. Flowers were watered from watering cans. Water was pumped into the gardens with the help of shaduf. This device consisted of a pole, a pole and a rope with an earthen vessel: with its help, water from the reservoir was lifted up and poured into the gutters of the garden.
What is an enfilade layout and what are the features of an enfilade of rooms in apartment
What is an enfilade layout
The term “enfilade” goes back to the French verb enfiler , which is translated into Russian as “to string on a thread. ” At first, the concept was widely used among jewelers and only later found its application in the architectural environment.
In architecture, the term has been assigned the meaning of a set of spatial elements presented in a row. In the corridor layout, adjacent rooms serve as a set of such elements, and a corridor acts as an imaginary thread, the openings in which are located on the same axis.
The apartment on the embankment of the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg is a vivid embodiment of the enfilade planning
How the enfilade of rooms appeared
The layout, which is still found in the interior of an apartment and a house, is more than one thousand years old. History takes us back to the era of Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian architects built palaces for the ruling dynasties according to the enfilade principle. Such an arrangement of the rooms was due to the fact that upon entering, visitors should immediately look at the royal throne.
Enfilade planning found its second wind in the Baroque era. Rooms located opposite each other were a frequent occurrence in European residences of royalty and nobility. The ancient Egyptian canons were also embodied in the architecture of St. Petersburg in the 18th-19th centuries. The most striking embodiment of the corridor layout in the northern capital is the front suites of the Catherine and Winter Palaces, in which most of the rooms are adjacent to each other, and the doorways are on the same axis.
The Catherine Palace impresses not only with its luxurious finishes, but also with the prospect that opens up due to the enfilade layout
According to architectural canons, the first enfilades included three rooms. First, there was an entrance hall, where visitors were waiting for a call. Then came the audience hall, which was intended for holding solemn ceremonies. And only in the last – the throne – the monarch held personal audiences with visitors.
It is noteworthy that the enfilade principle was widely used not only in the construction of residential buildings, but also in the design of streets and park areas. The development of landscape architecture in the era of classicism led to the appearance of enfilades in the open air. Green hedges and passages with openings, forming a perspective of tens of meters, were characteristic of many luxurious parks in Europe. The main attributes of the street version of the corridor layout were the enfilades of columns and arches that accompany many walk-through courtyards of St. Petersburg.
The large Gostiny Dvor, located on Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, was designed according to the enfilade principle
What types of enfilades exist
Enfilade planning both in the interior and exterior of the premises can be implemented in one of three varieties – side, central or double. In side layout , doorways are offset from the center to the end wall or windows. In spacious rooms, openings are located at a distance of 2-3 meters from windows or walls. The shift towards the window openings allows you to solve another problem – to create a play of light in the rooms.
The side suite is most often preferred if there are internal load-bearing walls in the room
The central suite divides the rooms into two even parts and requires doorways strictly in the center of the room. To implement such a layout, it is necessary that all rooms are located on the same internal axis and have an equal area.
The central suite is the most popular type of layout in modern interiors
With double enfilade , the main doorways are duplicated by additional ones, which form a bypass corridor. This layout allows you to equip impassable rooms indoors and isolate entire residential areas.
Double enfilade is the most successful solution in the interior of residential premises, but at the same time the most difficult to implement
What are the requirements for creating an enfilade layout
Features of the architectural technique affect the possibility of implementing a corridor layout in the interior of modern apartments. The requirements for the creation of a suite of premises relate primarily to number of rooms – there must be at least three. The size and shape of dwellings also play an important role. In spacious rooms of the correct form, it is much easier to comply with the enfilade principle.
The difficulty of implementing such a layout lies in the fact that such an arrangement of rooms is more typical for museum and palace premises, as well as for Orthodox churches and cathedrals. It is for this reason that the enfilade layout is easiest to recreate in historical house , which has spacious interiors, high ceilings and huge windows.
In museums and galleries, enfilade planning is designed to solve another important problem – to organize the movement of a large number of people. Due to the doorways that go into the future, it is easier to indicate the route of movement and prevent the accumulation of visitors in one place.
In one of the main art galleries of the world – the Hermitage – there are suites of loggias of Raphael, which are a copy of the famous Vatican gallery of the XVIII century
The principle of enfilade arrangement of rooms can also be implemented in the interior of a private house . At the same time, the larger the area and the simpler the geometry of the premises, the wider the possibilities for creating an enfilade layout. In two- and three-story houses, the room for maneuver is even more impressive – each floor allows its own kind of corridor layout. For example, a central enfilade can be made on the ground floor, and side suites on the upper ones.
Enfilade of rooms in country houses is also facilitated by enlarged door and window openings
Enfilades of rooms are not uncommon in Russian estates of the classicism era. In the film adaptation of the novels of Tolstoy, Turgenev and Chekhov, one can often meet heroes against the backdrop of a spectacular perspective of many openings.
Applying the enfilade principle of arranging rooms in modern apartment buildings is extremely difficult due to the many load-bearing walls and uneven lines of the facade. Small areas, systems of window and door openings hinder the implementation of the architectural technique. However, if the room meets the stated requirements or redevelopment is possible in the apartment, then the interior may well be represented by enfilades of rooms. How to recreate the palace layout in an ordinary apartment and what pitfalls are possible along the way – we will tell further.
What are the features of modern interiors with a suite of rooms
A modern interior with a suite of rooms implies a consistent arrangement of living areas . Usually the enfilade begins in the hall or corridor, from where doorways lead to the kitchen, living room, bedroom and office. Bedrooms, children’s rooms, dressing rooms and other private areas are usually located in the far blocks. For each residential area, its own type of enfilade can be used.
All rooms in an enfilade layout are combined with a central room, which is most often the living room
A modern enfilade of rooms is also characterized by division into zones . They can be represented by children’s, bedroom, dining, work, etc. For example, a children’s area may include a bedroom, play, sports and school corners. In rooms of a large area, the zones can be arranged in parallel or in a cross.
The dining area can be implemented through a side suite and include a kitchen, dining room and living room
In the process of creating an enfilade layout, experts recommend, first of all, to pay attention to the principle of connecting rooms . Rooms must be adjacent and have doorways on the same axis. However, the modern enfilade allows for additional doorways that are not located in line with the main ones. Special attention deserves design of doorways – since the enfilade layout implies a wide view, the doors should be in the same style and preferably the same size.
If there is roomy space, it is recommended to give preference to a double enfilade of rooms. As we have already mentioned, due to duplicate corridors, it is possible to isolate not only individual rooms, but also entire zones. At the same time, the central enfilade is the most common in the interior of modern premises. What are its advantages and disadvantages?
What are the disadvantages of the enfilade layout
If the room has a side or central suite, then all rooms are walk-through. That is, residents are deprived of opportunities to retire . Walk-through rooms also prevent from fully using the rooms for their intended purpose. So, the living room, where household members constantly move on their way from the kitchen to the bedroom, is hardly suitable for a business conversation between the head of the family and colleagues.
Another serious disadvantage of through rooms is insufficient soundproofing . Noise and sounds in one room can easily reach the limits of another. In addition, this layout implies linear arrangement of rooms , which for many can be a big minus. Since all windows face one side, the apartment is either shady or sunny.
The best option is the orientation of the windows to the east or west, since in this case the rooms are provided with dawn and sunset rays of the sun. What are the advantages of the enfilade and in what new buildings in St. Petersburg it can be implemented – read below.
What are the advantages of a suite of rooms? In addition, bright rooms look more spacious. Therefore,
the ability to visually expand the space of is also an indisputable advantage of the enfilade layout. This effect is especially well seen when placing mirrors in the rooms.
It is also possible to visually increase the area of rooms and make the room brighter due to light finishing materials
Another advantage of the architectural technique is the ability to maximize the usable area of space. Due to the lack of low-functional corridors and lobbies, you will agree that the losses will be minimal. At the same time, it is extremely convenient to move around a house or apartment with an enfilade arrangement of rooms. The through layout guarantees quick access from one room to another .
Since the enfilade of rooms provides a wide perspective, such a layout makes it possible to evaluate the entire interior of room . Therefore, to demonstrate your taste and status to the owner of such an apartment will not present any particular difficulty. Open spaces are also great for uniting households . An apartment with a suite of rooms has an additional advantage for young parents – due to the wide view and good audibility, children can always remain in sight.
Where to buy an apartment with an enfilade layout in St. Petersburg
The advantages of the architectural technique, of course, speak in favor of choosing a suite of rooms. Fortunately, there are more than enough opportunities to implement the palace layout today. Many leading developers of luxury residential complexes – “business” and “elite” – provide for a similar arrangement of rooms. We bring to your attention premium-class properties that offer unique housing options.
On Petrovsky Island, a residential complex from LSR deserves attention – Neva Residence (“Neva Residence”). The elite class new building includes five multi-storey buildings with enlarged window openings, high ceilings and a variety of design solutions. On the upper floors there are apartments with terraces and a winter garden, from where a stunning view of the landscaped embankment and the city center opens. The inner territory of the complex includes modern playhubs and furnished lounge areas, which are prestigious and comfortable recreation areas.
Residential complex “Neva Residence” is located in a picturesque location, which is considered the historical, sports and park dominant of St.