The Middle German home (German: mitteldeutsches Haus) is a typical German farmhouse type found mostly in Central Germany. It is also known by a number of other names, many of which reflect its geographic distribution: Ernhaus (hall house, hall kitchen house) Oberdeutsches Haus (German House) Mitteldeutschlands Haus (Central German house) Norddeutsches Haus (North German house) Süddeutsches Haus (South German house).
The Middle German house style evolved around 1000 AD in the area now occupied by Germany and Switzerland. It was widely adopted throughout Northern Europe during the 11th century, replacing the Roman villa. The house remained largely unchanged until about 1700, when major reforms were introduced by Peter Paul Rubens in the Netherlands. The German house was then reinvented by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Prussia and later by Ludwig Persius in Bavaria.
The Middle German house has a ground floor with living room, dining room, kitchen, one or more smaller rooms such as pantries and maids' rooms, and a first-floor master bedroom with an adjoining sitting room or study. The main entrance is through a large wooden door on the side street side, usually featuring glass panels or a fanlight above. There may be further entrances from the rear or side lanes - sometimes via stairs, but often simply by opening a gate.
It is a "all-in-one" home (Einhaus) that houses both living quarters and animal stalls under one roof. This rustic kind of farmhouse may still be seen in numerous communities throughout Germany's central and southern regions. Its distribution area's northern edge is about where the Central Uplands meet the North German Plain.
The Einhaus house was originally designed to store grain. It consists of two rooms: a lower room used for storing grains and an upper room used as a living space. The door between them has a small window which allows light into the room but doesn't allow animals out. There is also a small loft above the upper room where farmers could sleep during hot summers days.
In addition to its use as a storage facility, the Einhaus house was also used for dairy production and meat curing. Today, these functions are performed in separate buildings called betten (lofts).
The Einhaus house had many advantages over traditional farmhouses. It is larger, easier to heat, and less prone to damage from wind or water. A disadvantage is that it cannot be easily disassembled or moved if needed.
After World War II, when most farmers no longer had access to their former farmland, these housing units began to disappear from rural Germany. However, they continue to be found in smaller communities where land is cheap and there is a demand for rental property.
In the following photographs, we can see how traditional German architecture evolved through time into a modern design that, despite its current lines, does not stand out from the surrounding architectural scene, but rather completes it. Listed below are a few German-style house plans: Half-timbered houses were the most common form of housing in medieval Germany. They were built using timber frames and covered with sheets of lath and plaster. The walls were often left unplastered to show the wooden frame underneath.
The half-timbered house was gradually replaced by the gabled roof house as early as 1550. It had stone foundations and a thick wall with a flat roof made of wood or tiles. The gable roof house became popular among the wealthy since it could be easily painted in different colors. As you can see from the photograph, these houses have quite large windows which allow plenty of light into their interiors while still providing some privacy for its occupants.
In northern Germany, around Hamburg, Berlin, and Kiel, there are many neo-Gothic buildings including churches, schools, and town halls. These designs are based on the French Gothic style which became popular in the late 11th century. They feature tall spires, pointed arches, stained glass, and murals.
The photo below shows one example of a neo-Gothic building in Hamburg.
Haus. More terms for the dwelling in German. Das Haus is a word that means "the house" or "the building."
Nachbar means neighbor and in German is also the word for "household appliance." So nachbar is like "neighborhood appliance."
Wohnung means apartment or rooming house and in German is also the word for "university lecture." So wohnung is like "lecture on neighborhood affairs."
Keller is the German word for "cookhouse."
Bauruß is the German word for "dairy farmer."
Landschwein is the German word for "wild pig."
Esel is the German word for "donkey."
Weideweibach is the German word for "sheep farm."
Bäckerei is the German word for "bakery."
Kasten is the German word for "chest or box."
Shared flats and homes (Wohngemeinschaften, or WGs) are quite prevalent in Germany, particularly in larger cities. These are usually flat shares that can be found in buildings with several floors, but also as stand-alone apartments. Generally, there are between 3 and 8 people who share the expenses of renting the place. The group chooses members who will pay a certain amount each month, which determines the number of people who can live there. This model is very popular with young families because it's cheaper than buying a house and allows them to move around more easily while keeping their costs down.
In Germany, houses are referred to as "Gärten". This word can be used for both single family homes and apartment buildings with several floors. They are often but not always located in leafy suburbs or town centers. In larger cities, you may also come across "Stadtviertel" (districts) or "Ortschaften" (neighborhoods), where only single family homes are located.
It is important to understand that these are just names given to different types of housing, they do not necessarily describe their construction type or appearance.
There are cellars in German apartment buildings. This is useful since it allows you to keep items that no longer fit in your flat downstairs. Even rental residences often include a secure storage place in the basement. Many Germans see their flats as private havens. They do not want anyone else walking around in them so there are no entryways for strangers to come in.
Basements are used for many purposes. In new construction, the basement is where the laundry room, utility rooms, and other amenities are located. An older house may have a renovated basement where the most popular ones are home offices or playrooms for kids. A converted garage can be used as an extra bedroom or bathroom too.
In Germany, houses do not have basements. Cellars are found in apartments but they're not used for storing anything valuable. The only time people store things in cellars is when they're cleaning out their apartments before moving out. Then all the useless junk that nobody wants goes down there so it can be thrown out later at a recycling center.
Cellar doors are usually found in old houses that have been remodeled. When these houses were built there was no need for storage space so they didn't include any basement or attic. If you look inside most of these doors you will find boxes and bags of trash that have been removed from inside the walls.
The majority of Germans live in multi-family houses with up to 10 units. One-quarter of the population lives in major housing developments or high-rise structures, while one-third lives in single-family houses. According to statistics, each household consists of two persons. One in every six Germans lives alone. Half of all Germans over 65 years old do not have any family members living in close proximity.
In general, German houses are similar to American houses in size: one room on the first floor, two rooms on the second floor, three rooms on the third floor, and so on. But German houses are generally simpler and less expensive to build than American houses. In addition, German families tend to be smaller: usually only two people live together. This is different from America where four people often live under one roof.
Also different is the fact that there is no such thing as a landlord-tenant relationship in Germany. Instead, there are only residents and owners. If someone wants to leave his/her house and move out, then the owner has the right to sell it. It is also possible for more than one person to own a house together; however, only one person can live in it at a time.
There are some other differences between German and American houses. For example, in America, most new homes are built with three bedrooms per house, but in Germany, this number is usually only two.