Peasant cottage from Dąbrówka Dolna, 1827
Peasant cottage from Dąbrówka Dolna it was constructed at the beginning of 19th century, which is indicated by the inscription in Polish cut on one of the joists. The inscription mentions the host, the builder and the year of construction: 'It was built in the name of the Lord, the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Walek Welna let us built this year of our Lord 1827. Built by Maciek Pośch from Libna, 19 July.'
It is a building with a centrally located chimney taking up the entire hall width. The inside of the chimney, separated from the hall with doors, formerly played a role of a room for cooking food, and later it became a smoke house and a storage area of farm equipment. The hut is composed of two spacious chambers, four lards and a hall. On the right of the hall there is the so called black chamber meaning kitchen, equipped with a baking oven. On the left of the hall, there is the so called white chamber, a guest one, with a brick plastered stove for heating. Near the stove, a little hearth was placed for lightning the interior of the chamber. There is a gable roof with with a diagonally cut gable (so called 'half-hip'). The entrance door is semicircular with an ornamentally cut lintel.
The interior of the hut was arranged in the way characteristic of the end of 19th century. Furniture in both chambers was placed in a traditional manner characteristic of Silesian village from the end of 19th century. In this arrangement, there was a large stove in the corner of the chamber, diagonally from the stove, in the so called 'saint corner', there was a table with benches and wooden chairs and in the corner opposite the stove, a bed and a cradle were placed. Behind the door-frame of the entrance door, a small kitchen cupboard or a wardrobe was placed. Paintings functioned as a decoration of both chambers. They were most frequently factory printed paintings of religious character and they were hung on corner walls above the table and the bed.
Most of the place in the black chamber is taken by the kitchen stove connected with the baking oven. It was used both for heating and cooking meals, and also for lightning the room. Meals were prepared in various types of pots placed on cast iron tripods, under which small fire was lit. The chamber was lit by wooden spills burn on the open hearth located next to the baking oven. In the later period, chambers were lit with the use of paraffin lamps. The name black chamber is connected with the colour of walls, which due to the smoke connected with burning and cooking in those imperfect hearths, got blacker and blacker with time.
The entire family life concentrated around the chamber. All activities connected with running a household as well as minor farm work were performed here. Among small appliances and presented kitchenware, a few objects deserve special attention: a wooden shelf with cut openings for hanging kitchen tools (so called łyżnik), a shelf for combs, a tool for taking off shoes, an iron heated with hot coals, as well as a glass flycatcher in a form of a bubble with a wide base.
Lards behind the black chamber were a place where household appliances were kept used for minor work around the house: foot mills for preparing groats; measures for measuring grains, flour, etc.; cheeses presses, as well as pans, that is a small lengthwise troughs used for kneading dough or bathing babies.
The white chamber located on the other side of the hall was a representative room used solely for family or church celebrations and visits of important guests. It was better furnished and there were better tapestries there – table cloths, doilies, bedspreads. The arrangement of furniture in this chamber is, similarly to the black chamber in accordance with tradition and the inhabitants' habits.
Painted chests connected with the life of a village woman, as they were an element of her dowry, played a significant role in the peasant house. A chest indicated the level of wealth and prestige as well as a position of a given family in the village. None of new elements of equipment which appeared in a peasant house in 20 century took its high rank. Opole chests are of dark blue colour and have decorative areas on the front and the lid which are densely covered with pictures of bunches of simple flowers. The date of the wedding of a woman dowered with a chest was also painted on it.
There is also a large loom in this chamber on which the method of weaving linen cloth was presented. The cloth was designated to be used for underwear, tablecloths, aprons, etc. In the lards behind the chamber, appliances and tools connected with weaving are kept.