Little Houses: Gazebos

I’m continuing with our journey through buildings and today we are going to take a look at some gazebos which are amongst the most delightful of all buildings and have been around for centuries as part of many different cultures. A gazebo might go by the name of a kiosk, pavilion, pergola and in Bendigo, Central Victoria we call ours a Rotunda. It's not particularly pretty but etched firmly in my memory as I walked past it on my way to school each day.

Gazebos are traditionally a structure with a solid roof open at all sides as its key purpose is to offer views of the surrounding area. It can be a place to gather as a community, or a haven for solitude and reflection. The rotunda type as shown above is often used by a band to entertain. Whatever their purpose, gazebos have been recorded as existing up to 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Below is a sketch illustrating what such a building might have looked like.
(Image Credit: 3D Warehouse)

Imagine the gazebo covered in vines and situated in the grounds of a glorious garden which might have looked something like this. Egyptians believed that when they died their gardens and gazebos would follow them on their journey to heaven- an idea I like very much!

According to my research the Persians used gazebos to conduct business. A very attractive idea I must say. The only gazebo I could find from this area is this two storey gazebo at Ammand Dam, Tabriz, Iran. It's rather beautiful but sadly I couldn't locate any further details about its history.

The Greeks built gazebos in public areas and the Romans used them as havens in their private gardens and during the Middle Ages gazebos flourished through Europe. I've run out of time today to delve deeply into this topic so have decided to conclude by showing you a few of the famous gazebos in the world. The first is the gazebo or pavilion in which Liesl and Franz sang to each other in the movie Sound of Music. It's just the perfect romantic setting for you if you're thinking of getting married. It's located in Hellbrunn Castle, Salzburg, Austria.

Certainly one of my favourites is this gazebo (one of a pair) in the grounds of Montacute House, Somerset, UK.
(Credit: Garden History)

And this beautiful gazebo is in the gardens of the Royal Palace of the Ancient Imperial City of Hue, Vietnam.

And if you are off to the Maldives, as are three of my loved ones, you might like to spend a little time in a holhuashi- their version of a gazebo.

And there is nothing special about this little gazebo except it’s pretty and situated in a serene location somewhere in the UK. Perfect spot for a picnic!
(Credit: culture Southwest.org.uk)

The hero image is of the Victorian style gazebo at Fellows Riversdie Gardens at Mill Creek Park in Youngstown, Ohio USA.

There is a most wonderful book Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste written and illustrated by father and son British architects William and John Halfpenny in 1755. The word gazebo was used as illustrated by Plate 55 of the book, Elevation of a Chinese Gazebo, shows a Chinese Tower or Gazebo, situated on a Rock, and raised to a considerable height, and a gallery round it to render the prospect more complete. Here is an illustration from the book.

A special mention today to several of my friends and subscribers who are unwell or have loved who are unwell. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please take time to sit in this gazebo for quiet reflection. (Image Credit: Home Stratosphere)

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on anewman@netspace.net.au or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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