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Courtyards And Gardens

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Chapter Summary

In the crowded neighbourhoods of Frankish towns, internal courtyards or attached courtyards surrounded by high walls were considered essential. In many cases the Franks adopted per se the traditional Near Eastern courtyard-house design for their town houses, and the courtyard was a frequent feature of village houses, farms and rural estate administrative centres. A fundamental role of the courtyard for Muslim society was in protecting the privacy of the family, in particular of the women and children. A central courtyard in a house, particularly when the outer walls of the house were almost windowless, would create a more pleasant microclimate that infiltrated the surrounding rooms. A garden with shady trees and a fountain could reduce the temperature and increase the humidity of the air, providing protection from the sun, intense light, rain and, in particular, from the dust carried by desert winds.

Keywords: Frankish town; gardens; medieval crofts; Muslim society; Near Eastern courtyard-house design



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