You can often still hear people in Kikinda mentioning the so called “German houses”. They’re significant for the town because they were a great step forward comparing to the previous housing conditions, and they were built during the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria. All of those houses were planned and built in a similar way, consisting usually of two main rooms with woodblock floor (houses had earth rammed floors then) and other rooms, with its longer side on the furrow and its gable turned towards the street (stables were built separately from the house, in the backyard). These houses were covered with tiles for fire protection. They had no hearth (as it was common in the houses of the day), but brick stoves. The rooms were heated by brick stoves in which the fire was kindled from the hallway.

The houses always had a hallway from which one could enter all the rooms in the house. Indented front doors, with two or three steps (their specific trait), were leading to the hallway. These houses are recognizable for their architectural design of the outer façade, especially of the gable. It was designed in baroque fashion, with an original motif – an all-seeing eye, a sun or a moon usually, most often a sun with its rays stretched out or a tree of life with initials or the name of the house owner and the year of construction. The façade around doors and windows was decorated with motifs such as leaves, flowers, wreaths, garlands, spirals. This house type is also known as the traditional long house (langhaus). It was common until the middle of the 19th century.

A German house at 25 Pere Segedinca Street, built in 1878, was declared a cultural monument by a Serbian Parliament decision in 1997, as a typical example of a Pannonian house (Službeni glasnik RS no. 37/97).


A typical “German house” at 25 Pere Segedinca Street

The decorated gable of the house

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Biserka Ilijašev © 2010.  All rights reserved. Reproduction of photographs and drawings without the consent of the author is forbidden.