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Pergola supported by columns in the garden of Villa La Pietra near Florence
Pergola in the Roman Baths , Potsdam
Pergola in a park in Wroclaw
Pérgola in Benicassim, Spain

The pergola ( Italian for Latin pergulafront building , extension ”) is a space-defining pillar or colonnade that originally served as sun protection in the transition area between the house and the terrace .


Popular for decorating villas since antiquity , the pergola was appreciated in horticulture as a classic element of the ornamental garden, particularly through its rediscovery during the Renaissance .

The Alvarinho , a Portuguese wine , is often grown on a pergola.

Pergola today

Originally intended as a climbing aid and as a leaning construction in the manner of a trellis , it often also serves to emphasize and structure public or private outdoor facilities as a free-standing structure or as a pergola. It is often used to delimit a terrace, sometimes some of the sides are made windproof with wood. All types of pergola have the characteristic that they are largely open towards the top, in contrast to an arcade , gazebo or a shade roof . Vertical tendril constructions are more commonly referred to as trellis , arches or trellises. A rose arch can be seen as a small pergola. Very large or long versions can be found in public parks - often made of natural stone, metal or clinker.

Originally the pergola was mostly made of wood, but now plastic and metal are also used. A masonry, a single elongated stone (monolith pergola) as well as wooden supports or a metal support structure can serve as post material. It is important that the pergola base is firmly fixed in order to prevent the pergola from blowing around or lifting off.

Self-made pergola in the garden

Depending on the arrangement of the horizontal elements, the pergola is referred to as a "cassette" or "slat pergola".

The construction of an uncovered or covered pergola often does not require a building permit. In Austria you don't need a permit as long as the pergola is open at the top.

See also


  • Zita Bauch-Troschke: Green walls, arbors and pergolas. Design with climbing plants and espalier fruit . Callwey, Munich 1998, ISBN 978-3-7667-1328-5 .
  • Heidi Howcroft: Designing with wood in the garden . Ökobuch Verlag, Staufen near Freiburg 2004, ISBN 978-3-936896-09-1 .

Web links

Commons : Pergolas  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pergola  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. The regulations differ in Switzerland depending on the canton; see Swiss and Cantonal Planning and Building Act, Building Permit Decree, BewD Art. 6 1 b
  2. Cozy hours: tips about the pergola . In:, April 12, 2013, accessed on December 11, 2013