Orchard Homestead, Vlădeşti, Vâlcea County

Unknownmiddle 19th century - 2008

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA
Sibiu, Romania

In the hilly area of Wallachia, the house with a tower looks like a two storey house because it stands on a high stone base. Inside the pedestal, the house has a basement as big as the entire area of the living quarters.
The house has two rooms and the tower. There are two access ways: through the tower in the living room and via stone stairs set in front of the house and through the door in the southern wall. The two rooms communicate through a door. The room with no direct access from outside was considered the living room where they used to receive guests.
The walls of the construction are built on a wooden skeleton entwined with wattle known as a grid, a construction system specific to the foothill area of Vâlcea County. It is similar to the „paianta” used in southern Wallachia. The system consists of fixing some hornbeam poles, with 6 to 8 centimeter diameters, in the down foot (in carved orifices) and in the parallel „cosoroaba” (sili). After fixing them, the constructor started the process of entwining the wattle around them. The distance in between poles is fairly small (approx. 15-20 centimeters) and the process wouldn't allow for the use of just any kind of wattle. They used only nut tree and hornbeam wattle with 1-3 centimeter diameters. In order for the wattle to have a longer durability and to be more flexible (not to break when bent around the poles) they would be cut in the period from November until February. This was the optimum cutting period, seeing as they do not have a large quantity of sap in their composition at this time.
They entwined the wattle around the poles. They used yellow clay mixed with wheat chaff to plaster the walls and it was pressed against the grid by hand. The walls were whitewashed once they were properly dried.
The tower is on the right side of the facade. It is an element of adornment as they felt it necessary to cover the entrance to the basement, but it is also useful to the house. It enlarges and completes the living quarters establishing a permanent and natural link between house and yard, between man and nature.


  • Title: Orchard Homestead, Vlădeşti, Vâlcea County
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: middle 19th century - 2008
  • Physical Dimensions: w5.85 x h7.94 x d6.86 m
  • Provenance: ASTRA Museum
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • External Link: ASTRA Museum

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