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How to recognize a Provencal farmhouse?

How to recognize a Provencal farmhouse?

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What is a Provencal farmhouse?

Let's start by taking stock of the word, since if the term "house" speaks to everyone, the farmhouse can leave us cold. The word has Provençal roots and can designate, in the broad sense, the whole of an agricultural exploitation, or in the most restricted sense, a building of agricultural dwelling. In other words, a farm. And since we are talking about Provencal farmhouse, a Provence farm ! But beware, subtlety: not all Provence farms are mas, since there are also country houses, high-end version for the owners of the exploitation and the bourgeoisie.

About the location of Provencal farmhouses, you know how vast the region is… As a result, there are mas everywhere, the most numerous being in the Luberon, in the Camargue and even in the Var. Each type of architecture can present differences, in particular in the arrangement or the size of the buildings. Do not panic, we detail.

The architecture of the Provencal farmhouse

The basic architecture of the Provencal farmhouse is a parallelepiped (for faulty memories, a rectangle in volume) surmounted by a roof with two slopes. Its primary purpose is not aesthetics, but functionality, since it was originally intended for farmers. This is why the vast majority of old farmhouses are oriented to the South, opposite the Mistral. Same principle on the side of the openings, narrow and few, or even absent on the facade exposed to the north: reducing them to the maximum allowed to keep the heat inside in winter, the freshness in summer.

The layout of the Provencal farmhouse

If the base is the parallelepiped, it is not uncommon for several to be joined to modify the shape of the Provencal farmhouse… And there are some local particularities. The Mas du Luberon thus generally has a second parallelepiped attached perpendicular to the first, so as to form an L-shaped structure. It has one or two floors and a central staircase, the bottom rooms being used for origin in animals and in the kitchen, those at the top in storage, the intermediate pieces of sleeping pieces.

The Mas de Camargue is closer to Spanish architecture with its hacienda look, its U-shaped arrangement around an interior courtyard and its often more imposing size. It can even have a dovecote, a round tower between the two roofs of the U! There are the farmhouse for agricultural work, and the farmhouse farm dedicated to housing.

The materials of the Provencal farmhouse

If the Provencal farmhouse is traditionally built in stone, it is for the simplest of reasons: the peasants built the house with the means at hand, in other words the materials available free of charge on the ground. So stones. Consequently, the mas can display different colors or aspects, since everything depends on the stones available at the time of construction, and that Provence is as vast as it is varied: ocher stones, red stones, limestone stones, pebbles…

The stones were joined with earth mixed with lime, then the walls coated with a mixture of sand, earth and lime to improve insulation and durability. In any case and whatever the region, visually, the mas de Provence is made of stone, with a tiled roof, has small windows and often colored shutters!


  1. Reyes

    I'm sorry, but, in my opinion, they were wrong. Write to me in PM, speak.

  2. Camelon

    And so everything is not bad, just very good!

  3. Mezilmaran

    What does it mean?

  4. Rickard

    I agree, this very good thought falls by the way

  5. Berrin

    What a lovely idea

  6. Thayne

    good story, everything is laid out on the shelves

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