top of page

Grandma’s house

Who hasn’t spent at least a holiday at their grandparents’ country house? Where we felt the most spoiled, because grandma always welcomed us with delicious foods, and grandpa couldn’t wait to take us out, to show us the animals, the garden, the newborn calf and whatnot? When you come to your grandparents, it is imperative that you leave all your worries and troubling thoughts at the door, and that you let yourself almost drawn into a space sheltered from the passage of time or the troubles of the world. Here, grandma’s only annoyance is if you don’t finish everything off your plate, and... I believe few are those who have the courage of upsetting grandma this way. But you couldn’t really do that anyway, since grandma only has “secret” recipes of the most delicious foods: potato pastries (polestniaky), grated potatoes (točna), cheese, cabbage or squash dumplings (halušky), sweet knedle with jam or plum jam, steam-baked buns (buchty na pare), doughnuts (pampušky), pierogi (pirohy), dried fruit (sušenky) and many more. In fact, ever since you’ve arrived at her place, she has only greeted you in a hurry and carefully hugged you, paying attention not to stain your fancy clothes with her hands full of flour.

Because all grandmas are like this: they wait for you in their doorstep and welcome you in their home, a small stylish traditional house, surrounded by a garden full of flowers. Flowers that are also cared for by grandma, when she takes a break from the other thousand chores she has to get done. She always comes your way in her flowery dress, over which she wears a worn-out apron like in the old days, but which she is not ready to give up on, because her mother made it for her by hand in her youth, and “today no more such quality things are made...”, as she often says. Welcoming, warm, she will greet you with your eyes full of love and longing, all the while pretending she was upset for your unexpected delay. In fact, she tries to mask her emotion that’s overwhelming her and the happiness that, for at least a few hours, she has someone to struggle for.

And then, you enter her house. It looks exactly as you remember it. Maybe there are some things you have grown out of; the petrol lamp is hanging on the wall like in the years back when it was the only light source. The small wooden furniture, with the same decorative objects brought by grandma as dowry: plates painted by hand by her sisters; towels woven by her mother, and small pillows that she sewed herself. You sit down at the table, and grandma hands you the steaming-hot food. You notice her hands cracked by the passing of years. And then, you stop her in her hectic rush, you hug her and, suddenly, all the memories from the childhood you spent here come to your mind: the walnut tree in the yard, the wooden swing, the giant dog that you ran with all day, the rooster that woke you up in the morning.

Grandma’s hill house keeps all these memories almost untouched. You will find here everything you lived during your childhood, things that you may have forgotten of, but which will now make you feel truly in the house of your own grandparents. Grandma’s hill house is a traditional Slovak household, built in the 20th century. It is typical of the Șinteu commune. The household is composed of two buildings, a dwelling house and an annex, used as barn, stable, and henhouse. The house is made of four rooms: a porch (slov. pitvor), pantry (slov. komora), and two rooms, the upper room (slov. horná izba) and the lower room (slov. dolná izba). In front of the house, enclosed by a fence of metal mesh, there was the flower garden.

As in most homes in this area, the house’s structure is mostly made of local, natural materials. The foundation and elevation are made of stone, plastered with lime-cement on the outside, applied through manual splattering. The house’s facades are painted in green, emphasized and outlined at its extremities. The windows are composed of three wings, with frames around them. Moreover, on the façade we can also observe several geometrical ornaments, that further enrich the outward appearance of the house.

The roof is made of tiles and is a gable roof. The broken gable is made of wood, with two vents for the attic. This element, the broken gable, has its origins right in the time of construction of wooden houses from wood and wood logs and is preserved to this day. This semi-eave had both a role of protection against bad weather and an aesthetic one, optically reducing the construction’s height and contributing to the roof’s proportionality. The inside maintains the atmosphere of a house inhabited 40 to 50 years ago. The furniture, the household items or the decorative ones are common, frequently appearing in people’s homes in the same period.

We invite you to discover the special charm of this place and to spend several hours in this space, which seems cut off from the world.

bottom of page