Blue color traditions in Polish wooden architecture – valuable cultural heritage and a source of inspiration


  • Justyna Tarajko-Kowalska Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology



Blue color, blue pigments, color in architecture, color traditions, color symbolic, façade color, color in the built environment


In the paper author discuss use of the blue color in the traditional Polish wooden architecture, considering its symbolic, functional and decorative aspects.
The main objective of the article is to present rich tradition of the use of blue, prevalent in rural homestead façades colorization, where this hue was common since the second half of the 19th century. Another important goal of the paper is to define and specify these factors, which influenced such popularity of the blue color in wooden architecture, along with the description of the pigments used to obtain diverse azure tones of paints as: vivianite, azurite and synthetic ultramarine.

Apart from its aesthetical value, blue color in Poland had also utilitarian functions and symbolical ones, just like tokens and magic symbols, involving the protection of inhabitants from evil, as well as connotations in Catholic religion between blue hue and Virgin Mary or Archangel Michael, as well as the Heaven itself.

Such widespread use of blue in common housing is uncommon in the world, where this hue was - only with some minor exceptions - considered “expensive” and thus it was used to paint the external walls extremely rare. So there is no doubt, that this blue color tradition in regional wooden architecture should be treated not only as interesting feature of past, but as valuable element of cultural heritage and a source of inspiration for contemporary architecture.

Author Biography

  • Justyna Tarajko-Kowalska, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology

    Justyna Tarajko-Kowalska (born 1975), PhD. Architect, lecturer at the Cracow University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture. Author of over 50 articles on the issue of color in architecture, published in Polish and English. Active in developing design projects for architectural color. In scientific studies concentrates especially on the issue of color in built environment, as well as history of color in architecture and urbanism.


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How to Cite

“Blue color traditions in Polish wooden architecture – valuable cultural heritage and a source of inspiration” (2018) Cultura e Scienza del Colore - Color Culture and Science, 10, pp. 49–57. doi:10.23738/ccsj.i102018.06.