Live - Discover - Travel in Bulgaria

Cob In Bulgaria

Hand window with detail by dibach

Walk into any traditional Bulgarian house and the evidence of building with mud will be visible somewhere: from clay ovens in kitchens to interior walls and outdoor barns. Building with cob, a combination of straw, clay, earth and often other natural materials such as lime, has long been used as a worldwide building technique that has evolved very little over time.

The appeal of this unique and original method of house building is undergoing a revival within a growing number of expat and some Bulgarian communities, as people look towards a more natural approach to restoring their houses – one that involves little impact on the environment, and on the wallet. Many people are exploring the techniques and skills of “green architecture” and Bulgaria, it seems, is an ideal country to welcome this approach to sustainable living.

Bottle wall detail by dibach


I am in the garden of one such house: straight in front of me are huge, ornate windows that lead into the main house. A pathway curves round to reach another small, decorative house, painted blue with the beginnings of a grass roof, and at the end of the garden I can make out a yurt, which stands in front of a bottled wall. Scattered in between are large buckets of clay and mud mixtures where improvements are still being made. It is a lot to take in, but then we step inside the main house to find a further treasure trove of sculpted windows, shelves, sofas and walls which come alive as our eyes adjust to the textures, colours and shapely designs.

You can read the rest of this article in Vagabond, Bulgaria’s only English language printed magazine.

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