ARCHITECTURE, LOCAL DIAFANI
from the Diafani A to Z list of the website WELCOME TO DIAFANI (www.diafani.com)
The external architecture of the houses in Diafani is very varied.
There are some lovely old Neo-Classic style houses, some traditional one storey stone houses and a few inexplicable modern cement monstrosities. However with few exceptions all the local homes have at least one room as the real traditional and unique Karpathian interior.
The Karpathian room has two main parts. First a construction called the "Soufas" which is a wide wooden platform on which the mattress is unrolled to form the bed. The bride's dowry of hand embroidered and monogrammed sheets and tablecloths will be displayed on this platform.
There will be steps up to this platform and lots of cupboard space below for the traditional winter storing of huge stone jars of olives, oil and other produce.
The platform and support beams will usually be richly carved with patterns of flowers and traditional designs. This region of Northern Karpathos is known for the exceptional wood carving produced by the local craftsmen.
Secondly, in the remaining half of the room there will be chairs and a table. Rows of decorative plates will be hung all around the top of the walls. Icons and family portraits will cover the walls below the plates.
Traditionally all the family lived in the one room house. A second floor was added for the eldest daughter when she got married.
In the traditional one-storey house the kitchen, oven and toilet facilities were in the courtyard but these facilities have mainly been built inside the newer, bigger houses.
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Crafts and Craftsmen, local
Traditions and Customs, local Diafani
Produce, local Diafani