Kammerzell House, Strasbourg, France


Strassburg. Kammerzell’sches Haus.
On back:
Kammerzell’sches Haus.
Die alte freie deutsche Reichsstadt Straßburg hatte eine wechselvolle Geschichte. In der ersten Blüthezeit der Stadt, im 13, Jahrhundert, zählte diese bereits ca. 50 000 Einwohner. Von der hohen Entwicklung der Kunst in dieser Zeitperiode zeugen u. a. in. die Werke des berühmten Baumeisters Erwin von Steinbach, welcher die herrliche Fassade des Münsters schuf. Trotz vieler Kriegsverheerungen und Brände, die Straßburg in dem Wandel der Gieschichte heimsuchten, sind noch etliche Holzhäuser aus dem 15, Jahrhundert übrig geblieben. Das sehenswerteste unter diesen altertümlichen Privatbauten liegt nahe dem Münster am Münsterplatz und ist allgemein unter dem Namen : ”Kammerzell’sches Haus” bekannt. Es dient jetzt dem schönen Wein-Restaurant ‘”Zum Stiftskeller” für den Ausschank rein elsässischer Weine.
[From Google Translate:
Kammerzell house.
The old free German imperial city of Strasbourg had an eventful history. In the city’s first heyday, in the 13th century, it already had around 50,000 inhabitants. Evidence of the high development of art in this period of time is e.g. in. the works of the famous master builder Erwin von Steinbach, who created the magnificent facade of the Minster. Despite the many devastations of war and fires that have ravaged Strasbourg throughout history, there are still a number of wooden houses from the 15th century left. The most worth seeing of these ancient private buildings is near the cathedral on Münsterplatz and is commonly known as the “Kammerzell’sches Haus”. It is now used by the beautiful wine restaurant “Zum Stiftskeller” for serving pure Alsatian wines.]
c.1910
Publisher: Ortmann & Co

Google Street View.

The Kammerzell House is one of the most famous buildings of Strasbourg and one of the most ornate and well preserved medieval civil housing buildings in late Gothic architecture in the areas formerly belonging to the Holy Roman Empire. Built in 1427 but twice transformed in 1467 and 1589, the building as it is now historically belongs to the German Renaissance but is stylistically still attached to the Rhineland black and white timber-framed style of civil (as opposed to administrative, clerical or noble) architecture.
Wikipedia.

Strasbourg. Vieille maison Strassburg. Altes Haus”, Library of Congress

Strasbourg is proud to present Maison Kammerzell as one of its most charming building, an authentic and traditional symbol of the city’s age-old values. The original architecture of the building, somewhat come straight out of a fairy tale, is a great example of the region’s traditional artistic past. Wooden sculptures, frescoes, spiral staircases and view angles are just some of the details that reveal the richness of the past of this monument. The late Gothic foundations date back to 1427. Later on in 1467 and 1589, three upper floors of timber panelling were added, increasing the originality of Maison Kammerzell. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Renaissance humanistic ideal mixing Roman antiquity with the middle ages. The 75 bottle bottom stained glass windows give an extraordinary lighting to the rooms.
Maison Kammerzell

Although this house bears the name of the grocer Kammerzell, its owner in the 19th century, it actually owes its current appearance to Martin Braun, a cheese merchant who acquired it in 1571. He kept only the stone ground floor, dating from 1467, and rebuilt the house with three corbelled out storeys and three floors in the loft in 1589. The rich decoration on the façade, both secular and sacred, was inspired by the Bible, Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Visit Strasbourg

House of Denis Papin, Blois, France


BLOIS. – Maison de Denis Papin
1900s

Google Street View

Google Street View from other direction

The construction at 13 rue Pierre de Blois, known as Hôtel de Villebresme, or more recently, and for no justifiable reason, as the house of Denis Papin, in honour of the city’s inventor of the steam engine (hang on, wasn’t that James Watt?) and the pressure cooker, were built in the 15th and perhaps early 16th centuries. The two buildings on either side of Rue Pierre de Blois, constructed for a member of the Villebresme family, owners of Château de Fougères sur Bièvre, are linked by a wooden footbridge above street level, with prismatic mouldings, gothic decor, monstrous heads and acrobat.
Loire Daily Photo

Via Google Translate:
15th-16th century: entire construction for a member of the Villebresme family (the name Denis Papin’s house is recent and fanciful), two buildings located on either side of rue Pierre de Blois connected by a wooden footbridge spanning the street, prismatic moldings, gothic decor, engoulants, acrobats; 19th century: reduction of the property (part of the north building integrated during the construction of number 7 place Saint-Louis, building is annexed to number 16 large degrees Saint-Louis), resumption of the windows on the ground floor and the distributions (corridor, staircase).
Ministere de la Culture


Ground floor plan, Hotel de Villebresme known as Denis Papin’s House, Ministere de la Culture

Daprès une tradition locale Denis Papin serait né dans une maison iselée, située sur la place Saint-Louis . . . Aucune pièce décisive, à notre connaissance, ne vient confirmer expressément cette tradition; mais plusieurs circonstances la rendent vraisemblable. La façade orientale de cette maison la seule qui soit à peu près intacte, annonce une construction du xvi e siècle; et, d’autre part, un acte de 1661 (2), nous apprend que le père de Denis Papin demeurait dans la paroisse Saint-Solemne (aujourd’hui Saint- Louis).

[(Google Translate) According to a local tradition, Denis Papin was born in an isolated house, located on the Place Saint-Louis . . . No decisive piece, to our knowledge, expressly confirms this tradition; but several circumstances make it probable. The eastern facade of this house, the only one which is almost intact, announces a construction of the 16th century; and, on the other hand, an act of 1661 (2), tells us that the father of Denis Papin lived in the parish of Saint-Solemne (today Saint-Louis).]
La famille de Denis Papin, Louis Belton, 1880

Letitia Street House, Philadelphia


Wm. Penn’s Mansion, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: Philadelphia Postal Card Co.

Google Street View.

Library of Congress: Drawings (plans)

Until the 20th Century, this small unassuming brick townhouse on Letitia Street (now relocated to Girard Avenue) was assumed to have been built in anticipation for the first arrival of William Penn in the New World. Instead, the story of the Letitia Street House is indicative of the power of rumor, myth and the urge to preserve a historical legacy. This legend seems to have gained popularity in the early 19th Century when Philadelphia historian John Fanning Watson examined records from Gabriel Thomas, one of the first Englishmen in Philadelphia. Before Penn’s arrival in 1682, Thomas described a cellar being dug for the use of the new Governor. Thus, many had theorized on scant additional evidence that the cellar which Thomas was describing was a similar cellar beneath Letitia Street House. When Watson published his Annals of Philadelphia in 1830, the idea spread so far that in 1846, when Penn’s great-grandson Granville John Penn, visited Philadelphia as a guest of honor, he was treated to a reception at Letitia Street House. . . . We now know that the home was constructed not in 1682, but in 1713 by Thomas Chaulkney, a Philadelphia merchant and Quaker preacher. The land had been previously owned by William Penn’s oldest surviving daughter from his first marriage, Letitia Penn Aubrey, for whom the street is named after. However, the house was never intended to be the residence of any member of the Penn family.
The Constitional Walking Tour

Letitia Street House is a modest eighteenth-century house in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. It was built along the Delaware riverfront about 1713, and relocated to its current site in 1883. The house was once celebrated as the city residence of Pennsylvania’s founder, William Penn (1644–1718); however, later historical research determined that he never lived there. . . . It was well documented that Penn had rented the Slate Roof House as his city residence during the 1699-1701 second visit — John Penn was born there. But despite that building’s direct associations with the Penn family and Pennsylvania’s colonial government, and despite desperate calls by antiquarians to preserve it, the Slate Roof House was demolished in 1867. Every other building associated with Penn, including his country house, also had been demolished. As the two-hundredth anniversary of Pennsylvania’s 1682 founding approached, there was a desire to honor Penn with a monument. The Letitia Street House became that monument. The Bi-Centennial Association of Pennsylvania was formed to raise funds through subscription to relocate the house, and to organize a week-long anniversary celebration for October 1882. The parades, historical pageants, athletic events (including a regatta on the Schuylkill River), concerts and fireworks went on as scheduled. But relocation of the house wasn’t begun until June 1883, with restoration completed in October.
Wikipedia.

William Perm (“Letitia”) house, on its original site. 1682-1683 From an old photograph in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, “Domestic architecture of the American colonies and of the early republic”, Fiske Kimball, 1922

Toward 1680 there appeared for the first time certain brick houses built from the start with a depth of two rooms in each story: the Sergeant house, the Tufts house, and the Perm house, all built within a period of five or six years. The Perm house is even deeper than it is wide. In it the door opens directly into the chief apartment, which must be traversed to reach the rear rooms; but in the other two a central hallway for the first time gives privacy of access. This doubling of rooms and introduction of passages which marked the post-Renaissance dwellings of the continent and of England in the seventeenth century, was, in America also, a symptom of the onset of a new style.
“Domestic architecture of the American colonies and of the early republic”, Fiske Kimball, 1922

Maison du Tisserand , Clamecy, France


CLAMECY (Nièvre)
Maison du XVe siècle, dile Maison du Tisserand
c.1930

Google Street View (approximate).

The medieval centre of Clamecy has been classed by the French government as a “Secteur Sauvegardé” (protected sector) in entirety; the only such protected area in the whole of the department of the Nievre. The town has evolved in the typical concentric French manner, with a town centre consisting of 13th- to sixteenth-century houses (still remarkably intact), surrounded by nineteenth-century houses and buildings with 20th-century developments forming an outer ring.
Wikipedia.

(Via Google Translate)
The house of the Weaver (or of the Artisan)
Many half-timbered houses, mullioned windows and corbelling have been preserved in the city center, rue de the currency , rue du Puits Marande , rue du Marché and place Saint Jean. The most famous is the “Maison du Tisserand”, listed as a historical monument in 1923. It was the first half-timbered house restored in Clamecy in 1921 by the care of its owners, Mr and Mrs Neveu Lemaire. It comprises on the ground floor, two windows and two semi-circular arched doors, one of which, that of the cellar, is placed under the bottom of the lamp supporting the engaged turret, containing the spiral staircase. The stairwell is completely clad in wood and is sheltered by the cantilever of the second floor. During the whole month of September of the year 1921, visitors admitted to enter this house were welcomed by charming hostesses dressed in long dresses with wide sleeves and wearing the hennin. “The Morvan and the Nivernais”, edited by the Federation Morvandelle of Tourism in 1926, mentions ” a curious little 15th century Weaver’s House, where the weaver’s workshop has been reconstructed at his work, as well as his residence, with period furniture, which can be visited.”
Quelques maisons du vieux Clamecy

(Via Google Translate)
Opposite, at the corner of rue Romain Rolland and rue du Pont-Châtelain, is the Maison du Tisserand, undoubtedly the most picturesque in the city. Dating from the 15th century, classified as a Historic Monument in 1923, it has on the ground floor windows typical of the stalls of the time.
The semi-circular cellar door is placed under the cul-de-lamp supporting the spiral staircase. The highly corbelled second floor has direct access to the staircase. Admire the diversity of its half-timbering.
Clamecy, centre historique (tour of the town)

Houses in the rock, Graufthal, France


GRAUFTAL Maisons construites dans le roc
[Houses built into the rock]
c.1930
Publisher: La Cigogne, Strasbourg

Google Street View.

(Translated with Google Translate)
In 1899, the archaeologist Robert Forrer undertook to excavate the site of the troglodyte habitat of Graufthal. From these works we can conclude that after being used as warehouses in the Middle Ages, the rocky overhangs were converted into dwellings, probably around 1760, as indicated by a vintage, which has now disappeared, engraved on the lintel of a door. People of modest means settled using the rock cavities to reduce the surface area of ​​roofs and facades. These houses were occupied until 1958. . . . The troglodyte houses have two sets housed in two horizontal faults. The residential houses, embedded in the first fault, are located approximately 7 meters above the village. The Match Factory is located in the Upper Rift. These buildings are built directly on the rock, in rubble masonry, partially covered with flat tiled roofs, where the rocks do not completely overhang them. The frames are basic, the interior partitioning rudimentary. Access to the complex is via a passageway bordering a rock projection. A ramp provides fall protection.
Ministere de la Culture

The houses are set into caves in red sandstone cliffs. There are two sets of buildings in two horizontal caves, reached by a footpath. The houses are in the first cave, about 7 metres (23 ft) above the village street. A match factory is located in the upper cave. These buildings are built into the rock, with rubble masonry, and are partially covered with tile roofs where they are not fully protected by the rock ceiling. They are roughly built, with rudimentary internal partitioning. The houses have the same internal layout. On the ground floor there is a kitchen beside the room where the parents would have lived, and a stable with unplastered walls. Above that is a second floor holding a dormitory for the children and a hayloft and granary.
Wikipedia.


Part of photo “Felsenwohnungen in Graufthal”, after 1870. from Wikimedia Common

Ru aux Cailles, Troyes, France


TROYES (Aube)
Vue prise sur le Traversin du Pont des Cailles
Curieuse perspective de lavoirs et autres édicules d’aussi grande nécessité que les maisons riveraines tiennent suspendus sur un lit d’ean saumâtre
Vue
c.1910
Publisher: Ch. Granddidier, Troyes

View down canal running behind houses, with laundries and similar structures hanging over the water. The “Rû aux Cailles” ran behind houses along Rue Célestin Philbois and under a bridge (Pont des Cailles) on Rue St Jacques, from which this photo was taken. It is now filled in.

Google Street View (approximate location).