March 10, 2017

2978 GERMANY (Hesse) - Half-timbered houses in Rotenburg an der Fulda


Located south of the Stölzinger Gebirge (range), in the narrowest part of the Fulda valley, Rotenburg an der Fulda is a romantic, medieval town in the charming garden, surrounded by forests. The settlement on the Fulda's left bank, today’s Altstadt (Old Town), had its first documentary mention as a town in 1248. A great fire destroyed it in 1478 along with the newly built castle. In 1615, 57 houses burnt down in Braach, and in the Thirty Years' War, in 1637, the town and the town hall burnt.

Nevertheless, the town is even today well known for its historic half-timbered houses (Fachwerkhäuser). The Old Town is laid out relative to the market square and to Breitenstrasse, which runs parallel to the Fulda river. Half-timbering refers to a structure with a frame of load-bearing timber, creating spaces between the timbers called panels, which are then filled-in with some kind of nonstructural material known as infill. The frame is often left exposed on the exterior of the building.

Many of these vernacular houses have a cross-gabled structure in the upper floors (Zwerchhaus), which matches in alignment with the outer wall of the lower floors, and gave access to attic storage space thorough a hatch with a metal hook above it. After 600 years of development, the Zwerchhaus has changed its original function as a storage space used to be a subsidiary of the roof structure and is currently used as a place for habitation.

The greatest number of half-timbered buildings in the world are to be found in Germany (approximately 2.5 million), and since 1990 was founded The German Timber-Frame Road (Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse), a tourist route with a total length of nearly 3,000 km, that connects towns with remarkable fachwerk. In the meantime 98 timber-framed towns have joined up under the slogan "Timber-framed houses unite", and Rotenburg an der Fulda is among them.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the series Blumen, about which I wrote here.

The last stamp is one of the set issued in 2016 as part of the series Classic Cars, design by Thomas Serres.
2016.01.02
• Porsche 911 Targa (0.70 EUR) - It's on the postcard 2978
• Ford Capri 1 (0.70 EUR)

References
Rotenburg an der Fulda - Wikipedia
German Timber-Frame Road - Wikipedia
Zwerchhäuser in Rotenburg an der Fulda - Portadores

Sender: Regina Sammet (direct swap)
Sent from Rotenburg an der Fulda (Hesse / Germany), on 05.03.2017
Photo: Regina Sammet

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