SETTLEMENT TYPE AS AN HISTORIC CATEGORY (EXAMPLE OF PODBIEL VILLAGE)
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The geography of settlement classified most Slovak villages with compact settlement as the street-type. Only new innovations from the 2nd half of the 20th century can be perceived. The author started observing this development in 1952 and he looked into the settlement structure in the village Podbiel (Orava region) in 1962. This analysis provided rich information concerning the urbanization process. 54% of wooden houses stood there in 1962. 89% out of them contained all signs of the tradition whose climax came in the mid-19th century. The area taking 40% of Podbiel village along the road offered most information because there survived the former dense buildings in the most thickly situated yards. On the upper side of the road, every four yard-wings had the same length of yard plots, differing from the length of neighbouring group of yard-wings. Each group of yard-wings constitutes a unit of the former large yard. The division of the large yards depended on the transit road connecting villages in the Orava valley and thus also the Danubian Basin with Cracow, Poland. The settlement on the lower side of the road developed later than the chapel (built in 1780) whose area had been demarcated. The author's historical analysis of demographic and social transformations of Podbiel village clarified the periodization of the settlement (urbanizing) process. During the six periods, the settlement there developed from the chain-type through large yards up to the maximum segmentation creating narrow yards shared by three to seven farmers and cottagers. Podbiel village was a centre of craft and industrial production from the late 18th century (with deep social differentiation). Other types of the settlement development in different time periods differed from the villages with local tracks leading far from transit roads (for example Hrustin). They grew up from the chain-type to the street-type with broad close yards of individual farmers.
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