Celebrating the quaint charm of Nalichniki, the ornate wooden window frames of Russia

Celebrating the quaint charm of Nalichniki, the ornate wooden window frames of Russia

15 January 2020

Window frames, called nalichniki in Russian, provide the practical, if not necessarily interesting, function of keeping out the draft so that houses remain nice and warm over the winter. Since the 17th century in Russia, these ordinary objects began to evolve into something more note-worthy: elaborate facade ornaments which varied from region to region according to different wood carving styles.

In fact, so diverse and intricate are these nalichniki, that there’s an entire Instagram account dedicated to appreciating them.

During the Soviet period, the decorative elements featured communist symbols in the carving.

For those who prefer analogue to digital, the curator of @Nalichniki, Ivan, has put together a book with over 1,500 photos, accompanied by texts on the history of the window frames in Russia, as well as stories from his travels.

For all cat lovers out there: 2020 calendars with ornately framed kittens staring at you from the window sill are also available.

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