Bobrova Rala - historical reservation of folk architecture
In Podbiel - just little disturbed - maintained a traditional farmyard development, characteristic for the middle Orava. It was declared a historical reservation of folk architecture. One can admire reconcile efficiency and aesthetics. Most objects are not permanently occupied, but many are for recreational purposes.
Podbiel lies in ethnographically characteristic region of Orava. It is one of the best preserved sites in the Orava region in which preserved traditional form of farmyard development. It is located in the Orava Highlands and the eastern slopes of Orava Magura at the junction of Cold stream and Orava river. Podbiel is the starting point of the whole land area Roháče.
The main distinguishing feature of Orava villages is a way of building houses and situating of theirs dominating walls. Historical peculiarity is process of settlement and farm character of estates which created two fundamentally different forms of community: more focused, based largely on Vallachian law in the 16th century and younger Lazov law, made by colonization in the 17th and early 18th century. In older communities, based on the Wallachian law, centered on the banks of rivers and streams, we meet only with street or ordinary type of settlement. This type is also Podbiel, which is concentrated in double row with triangular street around the church. The basis of farm settlements are common courtyards, built almost regular intervals. Court shall be open to the road. The longitudinal axis of the house is situated perpendicular to the axis of the road. Installation of the yards in depth, behind the front two to three homes in a residential part of the follow-up in the longitudinal axis of the farm buildings (stables, pigsties, sheds, woodcutters). The relationship of the house and barn is solved by combining the angular shape of "L" - a long straight line of the house is attached barn, which thus concludes farmyard. Folk architecture greatly influenced Podbiel proletarisation Orava municipalities. In the second half of the 19th century, there were already concentrated complexes for workers without any production function. Podbiel and several others towns had a specific way to house-occupation. The rear chamber adapted rooms built to a house in a long line, which also prolongs yard. Somewhere in a house were built in the line from 2 to 4 housing units. In Podbiel had preserved the complex of units built in rows called Bobrova Rala, which originally consisted of 56 residential units built in 32 rows. Contains 18 two-dwelling houses, 2 three-dwelling houses and 1 four-dwelling house.
In terms of spatial division is folk house in the Podbiel the type of wooden house, which is widespread in the northern part of central Slovakia. In the northern part of the Orava is most common connection room, vestibule - partitioning on a kitchen, a back room. Such a division has most of the houses in all villages of Orava River from Tvrdošin down. Podbiel creates an exception where most old houses creates housing units connect three rooms (room, vestibule, chamber). From the vestibule one enters on one side of the room, on the other side of the chambers, which in most homes has changed its original function and become a back room. It was originally in front of the furnace room, which is heated from the vestibule - the rear of serving as the kitchen - where the fire was located. In one house used to be two families, each in one room, vestibule and kitchen were shared. Cooking was made on an open fire and smoke was piped into attic. The chimney was not led out of the roof, but was terminated in the attic with flat rocks to capture sparks.
The basic construction materials of homes and farm buildings are wood. The houses are made of beams truncated from two sides. They are built on low stone wall footing that will offset slightly terrain and insulate the wooden walls from moisture. The joints between the beams are stuffed with moss. Outside walls are not worked. On the gable wall are two associated windows, on the courtyard wall of the room tends to be one window, and at the back room (chamber) one or two associated windows.
Roofs are steep pitched, complete with shields. Residential homes and farm buildings have shingles as the original roofing. Several farm buildings are brick. The general character of the village is illustrated by the potato pits, located in the southwestern part of the village.
As in other towns in Slovakia, new building activity manifested in Podbiel too. However, the vast majority of new construction was moved outside the center of the village, so that the whole complex of the original wooden architecture and the urban character of the village remained undisturbed. Preserved farmyard complex is important not only in terms of cultural, but also historical and recreational tourism. The authenticity of the village form of settlement, farm yards and various types of home alone prove the uniqueness of this village in Slovakia. Preserved wooden architecture in Podbiel and attractiveness of the surrounding landscape create the conditions for its future life and development.