Log construction

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East gate of the oppidum of Manching, reconstructed as a block construction
Simple corner interlocking for round timber
Galvanizing in a dovetail joint

Block construction (also called Blockwerk , Gewättbau and Strickbau , Swiss German called Fleck (en) ) is a wood construction technique that has been known since the Neolithic . It is a solid construction method that is particularly widespread in Europe and Asia and is mainly used in house construction ( log houses ) and for other permanent structures. These include, for example, fortifications , well and hydraulic structures , foundation structures and foundation structures .

In addition to the column construction, the block construction is the second basic form of construction in timber construction. The combination, i.e. log or plank work framed in a stud frame, is called stud log construction .

Construction engineering

The block wall, which usually rests on a stone foundation or hardwood frame (foot trees), is created by layering wood on top of one another. The length of the available logs determines the size of the structure, which is usually rectangular or square in plan. The timbers can be built as round timber , flattened or square-edged timber (Swiss German: speckled, stains, stain) or sawn squared timber ( beams ). In the case of round wood, the thinner end of the trunk alternately lies over the thicker end of the trunk in order to utilize the full wood. The walls layered in this way penetrate each other at the corners with the help of intermingling or lamellations of the individual woods (the actual room , from which Zimmermann and Zimmer take their name, or called shot ). The trees can only be leveled or nailed to one another (pegged) , flush or with a tight filling (e.g. moss or tow), for airy buildings (barns, barns and haystacks) also at a distance. In multi-room buildings, the inner walls, provided they are solidly built, can also be combed or peeled with the outer walls; they are then recognizable from the outside as vertical rows of beam heads (decorated as ornamental, painting, ringing shreds ). Further developments in modern times tend towards galvanized corners that protrude only a little or not at all from the facade level in order to facilitate the cladding of the facade. In addition, in modern block construction there is a transition to pounded blocks or blocks sealed with tongue and groove connections .


Log construction has always been considered one of the most original building methods in western cultures; Vitruvius (II, 1,4), for example, subsumes the Colchian log building tradition - what is meant is the ancient region of Paphlagonia in today's Turkey - under the "beginnings" of house construction, which were still handed down by the "foreign peoples" at that time. In fact, there is now a lot of evidence that log construction technology was already a common method of construction in prehistoric times, especially in Central Europe. It came since the Neolithic when building wells, from the 2nd millennium BC. Also used in house building, an important site for this is the Swiss Savognin Padnal . In the Iron Age, the construction method was also used for burial mounds, significant examples of which are the tumuli of Gordion or the Scythian princely tombs in the Russian Altai Mountains . In Roman times there are references to fortifications and watchtowers in block construction, Vitruv II, 9, 59 describes a corresponding tower in connection with the capture of the city of Larignum by Julius Caesar. The construction method is likely to have been used continuously in house construction to this day, even if the oldest still standing block houses date from the Middle Ages.

The log house, which has been considered less fire-resistant, durable and generally out of date since the early modern era, is experiencing a renaissance in contemporary timber construction, where - in compliance with all fire protection regulations - it plays an important role in prefabricated house technology and meets modern requirements for energy-efficient and sustainable construction .


  • H. Phleps: Holzbaukunst - Der Blockbau , Karlsruhe 1942
  • A. Zippelius: Pre-medieval carpentry technology in Central Europe , in: Rheinisches Jahrbuch für Volkskunde 5, 1954, 7–52
  • P. Donat, House: Courtyard and village in Central Europe from the 7th to the 12th century. Archaeological contributions to the development and structure of the rural settlement . Writings on prehistory and early history 33, Berlin 1980
  • Hermann Hinz : Rural house construction in Scandinavia from the 6th to the 14th century: Stova - Eldhus - Bur , Habelt, Bonn 1989 (Journal for Archeology of the Middle Ages, Supplement 5), ISBN 3-7927-0989-9 .
  • C. Weinmann: House building in Scandinavia from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. With a contribution to interdisciplinary material culture research for medieval Iceland . Sources and research on the linguistic and cultural history of the Germanic peoples 106, Berlin 1994
  • EL Kohler: The Lesser Phrygian Tumuli. Part 1. The Inhumations , 1995
  • A. v. Kienlin: The wooden burial chamber of Tatarli: A highly developed example of ancient Anatolian log building tradition from the 5th century BC , in M. Bachmann, Bautechnik in antiken und vorantiken Asia Minor, Byzas 9, Istanbul 2009, 211–224
  • R. Elburg & P. ​​Herold: Deep insights into the past. The Neolithic fountain from Altscherbitz provides information about life 7,100 years ago . Archæo - Archeology in Saxony 7, 2010, pp. 23–27
  • U. Hassler, F. Altherr, A. von Kienlin (eds.): Appenzeller Strickbau. Studies on the rural building stock in Ausserrhoden (Zurich 2011)
  • J. Weiner: Neolithic wells. Notes on terminology, typology and technology with a model for the ceramic water supply. , in: Fountain of the Neolithic Age. International Symposium Erkelenz October 27-29, 1997. Materials on the preservation of monuments in the Rhineland 11 (Cologne 1998) 193–213

Web links

Commons : Blockhouse Corner Connections  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Entry Flecke in the Swiss Idioticon, Volume 1, Column 1191.
  2. ^ Well construction accessed on May 4, 2011
  3. Jürg Rageth: Savognin. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . December 9, 2016 , accessed June 5, 2019 .
  4. Princely graves ( memento of the original from January 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved May 4, 2011  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.eurasischesmagazin.de