Station: [21b] Alley 2 - The merchant

  • Oldenburger Wallmuseum

In the first house on the right side of the road, opposite the shoemaker, lives the long-distance trade merchant.

He trades with valuable furs from distant Russia. This means he has a high standing in society. The aristocracy also participated in such trade from time to time.

In accordance with his standing, his house is better equipped than the house of his neighbor. It has three rooms: office, store-room and the living room at the back. The flooring is made of deal boards.

The only source of heating is the clay cupola at the side of the room. This not only serves as a source of heating, but also to bake flatbread and to cook broths. These mainly consist of millet and barley.

The construction of the oven is well designed. In the upper part is a non-centered flue hole. This ensures that heat inside the oven circulates in the same way as in our present-day circulating air ovens, preventing flying sparks. You cannot feel any intensive heat just one hand’s breadth above the flue hole, and all meals receive equal heat from all sides.

One thing you notice straight away is that the oven stands alone in the room without any chimney. Smoke escapes via two flue holes in the gables of the house.

This type of clay copula is typical of settlements of the early Middle Ages. It makes ideal use of the raw material of wood to generate heat, ensures good cooking of meals with residual heat and reduces the risk of fire due to the low amount of sparks flying.

A lockable wooden case was part of the inventory of the office room which serves to store the most valuable goods.

The merchant is seated at a table, is holding foldable scales in his hand and is weighing the agreed price in silver, the currency of that time. Chopped silver can be seen in front of him on the table.