906 05 Sobotište, Slovakia
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Forms of the Residential House of the Anabaptists

The constructional development of the Court of the anabaptists in Sobotište has gone through several phases – from a closed religious, economic and ethnic unit to individual farming recatholized families. The original dwellings of the anabaptists differed significantly from those of Slovak farmers and craftsmen; had a wide longitudinal plan with a complex interior layout. They were called  large houses, which combined residential and production premises, where they used to work tens of people.

The walls of the houses were constructed from large bricks or clay-charged. Residential houses were characterized by a high and spread roof with a thick truss, covered with a specific straw covering. On the ground floor there was a common workshop, kitchen and dining room. In the attic on the first floor, two workshops and small  rooms so-called kammerle rooms, which were used for sleeping, were placed on two levels. They were also used to store raw materials and crafts. In the attic of the central building were the rooms of the superior courtyard. In the houses of craftsmen there were workshops, stores of materials and means of production on the ground floor. Each court also included farm buildings (warehouses and stables). The center of the court was a building with a kitchen and a common dining room, which also served as a house of prayer.

After the collapse of collective ownership in the 17th century, the individual anabaptist families built economically independent houses, while remaining distinct from traditional folk architecture. They were in the form of wider longitudinal houses with a high roof covered with straw breeches and a residential attic, which they built during the 18th and early 19th centuries. They were dominated by a large room, most often used as a workshop, in which there was a pit with a black kitchen and an open chimney. In the black kitchen, there was a furnace with a fireplace, and there were also tiled stoves located in neighboring rooms. On the ground floor was also a dining room and storage room.

From the first half of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, the descendants of the anabaptists built narrow, rectangular, mostly three-room houses with an entrance pit, one or two living rooms and a chamber. They were built of mud bricks built on stone masonry. The ceilings of the rooms were beamed, clay or deck. The attic was entered by stairs from the pit. A persistent feature of the residential buildings was the tall roofs covered with straw breeches. The attic, similarly to older buildings, was divided into rooms.