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The log house culture

A unique cultural environment

The log house culture is Dalarna's main contribution to the world's unique cultural environments. It is geographically represented throughout the landscape and historically all the way back to the Middle Ages. Today, about 165 log houses are dendrochronologically dated to the Middle Ages, while another sixty are estimated to be from the same period. The oldest dated house is the firehouse on Zorn's old farm in Mora which has been dated to the year 1237. During the 1600th century, an increase in prosperity took place among the peasants, which is noticeable in the building condition as many timber buildings with very high quality remain from this era. From the 1700th century onwards, the first red-colored timber buildings of the peasants appeared. The development of sawing technology in the 1800th century also affected the timbering technology with simpler and more uniform knots. The construction of log houses did not die out with the growth of industrial society, but was transformed and instead became popular among the category of summer entertainment and sports cabins. During the second half of the 1900th century, it was not at all unusual to have one's own home built in the form of a log house, especially in the Siljan area.

The hallmark of the log house culture in Dalarna is above all the red-colored densely populated villages and the gray-colored buildings on the mountain huts. For hundreds of years, the square-built farm was the ideal for the peasant family in the village. Each individual building in the courtyard had a function, it was a multi-storey system.

The craftsmanship and building skills of the Dalfolk became known outside the landscape as well, and especially from the 1500th century came to be in demand over ever larger parts of the Swedish kingdom. Timber structures, foundations, bridges, churches, belfries, residential buildings and castles, barns, foundries, industrial buildings and floating facilities in many different places have been built in whole or in part by men and by women from Dalarna. Furniture and carpentry have been made by skilled carpenters. Iron was forged for use in construction works. Interiors have been decorated by wandering valley painters.

Read more about the Timber tradition here