Old crumbling buildings often give a good insight in the building technique used in the 19th and early 20th century. The technique as seen here is called ‘half-timbered’.
Traditional timber framing is the method of creating structures using heavy squared-off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs (larger versions of the mortise and tenon joints in furniture). The method comes from making things out of logs and tree trunks without modern high tech saws to cut lumber from the starting material stock. Using axes, adzes and draw knives, hand powered auger drill bits (bit and brace), and laborious woodworking, artisans or farmers could gradually assemble a building capable of bearing heavy weight without excessive use of interior space given over to vertical support posts. This building method has been used for at least two thousand years in many parts of the world.
In the half-timbered houses of northern Anatolia, the panels between the timbers are filled-in with non-structural material that is known as infill: generally stones or bricks (as was done here for the ground floor). The infill of the first and second floor has been done with wood, since the many forests in the Mudurnu region made this material cheap. Then the half-timbered walls are covered by siding materials such as plaster or (cheaper) loam.
In an area where wood was cheap, this could also be done with polished planks.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Anadolu Mirasında Türk Evleri’ (T.C. Kültür Bakanlığı) 1995 & Wikipedia.