Charming Cottages in Poland

Old log house painted blue, a favorite color in Poland

Before my first trip to Poland in October 1998, I had read about the old log houses and wooden churches, and I particularly wanted to see them. Thinking that log houses would be rather rare, I told my tour guide to alert me if we passed a log house, as we drove west from Krakow to Auschwitz along Road 780, because I didn't want to miss seeing it. Jokingly, he said "Don't worry. If we don't see a log house, we'll build one for you." That should give you an idea of how friendly and accommodating the Polish people are.

I needn't have worried about missing the log houses on the road, as there are hundreds of them, especially just outside of Krakow, a beautiful old city which dates back to the 10th century. There are no real highways in Poland, no freeways as in America. All the roads go through the little villages and the houses are set very near the road. As you leave the town limits of each little village, there is a sign with the name of the village and a slash mark drawn through the name.

Log house with ends of logs and caulking painted blue

The log houses are painted or stained to preserve the wood, since some of them were built in the 18th century, and maybe even in the 17th century. The caulking between the logs is frequently painted blue. Some of the houses have had extra rooms, made of brick or stucco, added onto an original log house. I was told that many of the cottages that are white stucco are really log houses that have been covered over.

Old Log house with a room addition

Most of the houses have fences around them, as they are only a few feet from the road. Between the fence and house, there are usually some flowers planted. These front yard gardens are planted in an informal cottage garden style.

Outside the villages, there is beautiful farmland planted with different crops in wide strips, but there are no fences or hedges between crops or even between farms. Even the cows are not fenced in, but rather tethered on a long chain in the pasture.

Log house with brick and stucco additions, built close to road