Traditional building style in the villages.


Written by: Mr. Routaki
November ’08

The traditional building style on Crete used to be a house with one room, which was not only used to sleep and eat in, but also to keep animals like donkeys and goats. Besides that, there was a loom and sometimes even a wine press. When these one-room-appartments were bigger, they were usually L or U shaped, with arches for reinforcement. This is how the so called ‘Kamara’ was established.

The four niches were also created this way, one in every corner of the room. These niches served different purposes. Sometimes they were used as cooking or sleeping corners, but they were also used as a storage space for the harvest. These so called ‘kamarospita’, the most common type of rural houses on Crete, normally had one level which was 30 to 50 square metres and was only painted on the inside. The main form of roof construction was a roof terrace. This was made of wood and soil and needed a lot of maintenance.

A special detail of the rural building style are the huts which are known as the ‘koumi’, the ‘mitata’ or the ‘metoxi’. Often located outside the villages, they were used only part of the year by farmers and sheep shepherds.