Are there any houses built of wood? Why stone even if there are forests around the places/villages?
Good topic. I think we should consider the natural factors of the environment to explain those differences (apart from the fact the global shape of the farm looks the same :)
- Wood vs Stone : In Tatras, there are more softwood (pines, fir trees) of quality than in the Pyrenees. Also more beech. In Pyrenes, more hardwood; generally better, except for beams constructions. Wood has also 2 inconvenients : 1/ can burn 2/ less solid than stone construction (which is why when both are possible stone is generally choosen)
- Temperatures: the problem of stone/cement is that frost destroys it. Temperatures here are more gentle so stone can be afforded. The limestones and marbles are also of excellent quality (did you know that Versailles was built with marble from Pyrenees ?)
- roof: in Pyrenees there is abundance of quality slates (lupek), perfect for roof making, which almost cannot be found in northern Carpathians (we see it however in Czech Jeseniky).
Now could you answer what seems to me a huge mistery: why no one uses shutters in Poland ? :)
But stone walls - although great for climbing :) - seem too cold to live inside them. Another observation is that in Scandinavia the people do prefer living in wooden houses although there seem to be lots of stone available.
As to the shutters, I remember the house in Bialka Tatrzanska where I spent numerous vacations having shutters.
True, but in stones we should also differenciate limestone/marble (easy to work) from granite, very difficult, and brittle with strong frost. As far as I remember in the Pieniny and Beskidy Sadecki there are few houses made with stone walls.
There is also the issue of cost. Formerly, it used to be much more expensive to build a stony house than a wooden one.
One more example to illustrate the preference to the stone: I read that in Maramures those churches were made of wood because the greco-orthodox confession was banned during some time and only wooden churches were allowed.
As for shutters, I'll pay attention next time in Bialka Tatrzanska ! But why only here ? :)
Besides the fact that – as you observed - the kind of rock matters a lot, I've found the following explanation on this Norwegian site:
"It takes the efforts of many people to cut stone, and unless one can afford a great deal of fuel, the stone house is cold and uncomfortable."
Talking of the Podhale, I guess the older houses, which were actually sort of bungalows (one-storey), may have been equipped with shutters more often. There's a line about the shutters below the 1st pic here.
For shutters, pity they didn't keep the Podhale tradition... nothing disturbs me more than the sun at 4am in the end of June ! :)