Slovenes - Settlements

In the most typical settlements, called planned or long Villages, houses were lined up close together on either side of the road with the narrow end of the house facing the road, or houses were built only on one side of the road, or houses faced a central square with a church. In areas where the topography permitted, land surrounding the village was divided into open fields or sections, which in turn were subdivided into long parallel fields or strips. Traditionally each peasant possessed one or more strips in each section of the village land, and all villagers cooperated in a villagewide system of crop rotation (kolobarjenje). After the harvest the fields were opened for pasturing the cattle of the entire village. Houses were made of stone with attached sheds for animals, which contained a stove to cook food for pigs ( kuhinja ). Detached wooden barns were for storage of hay and cattle fodder. Houses were one-and-one-half stories with two rooms and no cellar. In the kitchen was a raised hearth on which an open fire burned vented by a hole in the ceiling. Meat was stored in the attic. Roofs were thatched. The second room was the main room, heated by a large tiled stove. Tile roofs date from after World War II. Today modernization has proceeded with revenues from factory work and with remittances from family members who have migrated to cities and to foreign Countries. Electrification, piped water, electric stoves and refrigerators, and house enlargements are among the improvements. Apartment buildings have grown up around factories and in urban centers. Tourism and urban development have given cities a very modern appearance.

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