Window frames

Window frames
In the Yaroslavl, Ivanovo, Moscow, Rostov regions, snakes and dragons were depicted on the platbands, which were also considered a talisman

It just so happened that it was the village huts that were, are and will be carriers and keepers of the authentic culture of the Russian people. Moreover, each element of the facade can tell a knowledgeable person almost everything about the area. As well as about the predilections and fears of the owner of the hut. The carved Window frames decorations, which received special attention, turned out to be especially informative, because the people considered them not just an “eye”, the main sense of the dwelling itself, but also an effective guardian of the family hearth.

The tradition of decorating a window opening came to Russia in the 17th century from Italy after the opening of the first glass factory. Only in a European country, this part of the house was decorated with small columns, porticoes and other elements made of stone. In our territory it was replaced with wood. Because only a few could afford stone houses and, accordingly, all the decor.

Initially, when installing platbands, a practical function was pursued – to close the connecting seams between the window frame and the frame. But it was not interesting to simply install a piece of the board. So the craftsmen began to decorate this element with fancy patterns that had their own meaning in each area.

Window frames
The shutters were protected from the sun, and in the north they were closed on a summer polar day to sleep, and in the south – so that the house would not heat up

Window frames as a symbol of protection in Russian architecture

It is noteworthy: The term “platband” sounds differently in different regions. For example, in most regions of Central Russia it is a “cashier”, in the area bordering Belarus. It is known only as “excess”, and in the Urals – “belendryas” or “window”.

As the authors of Novate. Ru found out, the technique of making carved platbands does not have clearly defined canons. The only predetermining rule is axial symmetryю This is when the left side of the composition mirrors the right side.

There is also a common feature of platbands, which is inherent in the entire territory of Russia – the upper part has a more openwork pattern. And the lower one is simpler and more modest. In all other respects, only the handwriting of the master is determined and the preferences in the design of the inhabitants of the region themselves and the particular owner in particular.

Interesting fact: It is believed that the most exquisite and rich carvings adorn the estates of wealthy owners. But as it turned out, this is a delusion, because representatives of high society do not need to show or prove their importance and high status in this way/ They are already known and respected by everyone. But those who suddenly became rich, the people call them “from rags to riches,”. They tried to raise their prestige and loudly declare themselves successful with their magnificent decoration.

Platbands are a completely underestimated symbol of the preservation of traditions and cultural heritage

Window frames
Wood carving imitates the Baroque style in the house of a Vologda merchant

Naturally, the carved platband or platband performed performed not only a practical and aesthetic function. It played the role of a powerful talisman against the evil eye, attacks on the house by dashing people and evil spirits. Despite the fact that Christianity was preached in Russia, all folk traditions are pagan. Therefore the main symbols decorating the house were – the sky god Svarog and the sun god Dazhbog. They also did not forget about the role of mother earth – the progenitor of all goods.

Since, according to popular beliefs, all parts of the platband corresponded to the cardinal points and seasons, the location of each symbol was thought out to the smallest detail. While special attention was paid to the combination with each other. So, for example, the symbol of earth. Fertility would never be placed on the upper part, called the pommel or kokoshnik, the sun sign dominates there. Because the image of a star or its conventional sign. As a rule, it is a rhombus or a symbolic drawing in which the sun was clearly guessed.

Symbolism in Russian architecture

An ornate carved drawing was made not only in order to protect their homes from various troubles and misfortunes, but also to wish a happy life to the owners of this house and their descendants. Because if the frame is properly installed, it will serve faithfully for more than a hundred years.

According to knowledgeable people, by the patterns of the platbands in the old days, the traveling people accurately determined where they were. Moreover, it was not the territory as such that played a dominant role. But local customs. Of course, the master who made carved elements for the entire neighborhood. Just as the famous Gzhel or Gorodets painting was determined by the hand of the artist. So wooden architecture begins with a carver.

Even now, you can learn to accurately determine in which region the platband is made, for this it will be enough to know a few characteristic features. According to photographer Ivan Khafizov, who for over 11 years has been photographing platbands throughout the country. In his collection there are already more than 18 thousand pictures from 364 settlements.

Modern science does not give answers to many questions about platbands


Window frames
Carved ornaments and various figures were designed to protect the family hearth from adversity.

Thanks to his works. Now we will be able to navigate the wonderful world of symbols. Signs with which skillful woodcarvers have decorated the houses of the country’s inhabitants for many centuries in a row.

Despite the fact that the street is XXI century, platbands are still popular in some regions of the country. The only thing is that no one agrees with modern carved elements with beliefs. And they apply them without a deep understanding of the importance for the existence of a home and family. They simply create a beautiful combination of geometric shapes and floral elements.

Window frames
Ivan Khafizov took about 18 thousand photographs and created the “Virtual Museum of Carved Platbands”

Most of us, looking at the magnificent creation of architects, think that we see primordially Russian folk art, but this is not so. As it turned out, all the incredibly beautiful images that we still remember from illustrated fairy tales. Which is only a hut on the chicken legs of Baba Yaga! Were borrowed by our ancestors from Norwegian architects. And this is proved by the ancient fabulous buildings. Which not only survived on the territory of Norway to this day, but are still functioning.

Window frames
In the old days, the house was protected not only with the help of shutters and doors, but also with the help of various “benevolent” signs – amulets