History of Gazebos: Who Invented These Delightful Outdoor Escapes and Why Are They Called “Gazebos”?

The history of gazebos is centuries old. They were built and used for varieties of purposes all over the world. Ahead, we discussed more about the history from around the world that you would find interesting.

A gazebo or gazebo-like structures are found throughout history at different points of time. However, it is widely believed that during the 14th-century gazebos were first built. And in the late 19th and 20th centuries, gazebos were often built in parks and monumental areas to serve as a decorative pieces.

Let’s talk about the history of gazebos in different regions of the world so that you know more about them and get to learn how they evolved.

Also read: Gazebo And Similar Structures: What Is It Used For?

Middle Age Gazebos

During the 14th century, France built 4 gazebos at the Louvre to improve the beauty of the place greatly. Influenced by the French style, later on, in the 15th Century, England started building gazebos to improve their outdoor living space greatly. The summer houses in English Elizabethan gardens were designed after the main house and were often used for entertaining.

The fever quickly caught on other parts of Europe, and by the end of the 1700s, many regions had these structures built for landscaping purposes. 

Medieval and Renaissance Period Gazebos

During the renaissance period, Italians started building gazebos following the traditional structure. As a “gazebo” means “a beautiful view” in Italian, these structures were mainly built in elaborate gardens and large estates to improve their beauty by several notches.

An antique gazebo in the park of a medieval castle
Gazebo in the park of a medieval castle

That’s not all. Medieval gazebos were also used for privacy in the yards. These summerhouses were often used by the lord of the manor to entertain guests in the garden with fresh air and a roof over their heads.

History of Gazebos In Greece and Rome

Not only in England and France but gazebos can also be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome too. In ancients Greece, gazebos were made in the form of temples and sanctuaries in public places to attract all the right kinds of attention.

On the other hand,  in Rome, Romans built gazebos in their private yards for personal entertainment and relaxation. 

Egyptians Gazebos

According to many, Egyptians were probably one of the first to build gazebos in their yards. The design of a gazebo was founded in an Egyptian garden plan dated back to about 1400 BC. However, the design and purpose of a garden structure built in ancient Egypt were completely different than the rest of the world. These summerhouses were built on the tombs of Egyptian royalty and high officials to show respect and mark them different from the others. 

Some historians also believed that early gazebos were used as temples to pray and create a connection with different gods. 

Gazebos In Asia

China and Japan are the two countries that have a century-old history of gazebos. From tea houses to pagodas and sanctuaries, these two regions used these garden structures for a lot of purposes. While other cultures used gazebos as a piece of attraction, the Chinese and Japanese people used them for relaxation and meditation. 

Why It’s Called “Gazebo”?

Even though gazebos were built and made popular during the 14th century, they were not called “gazebos” during that era. According to many scholars the word “gazebo” first appeared in the book “New Designs for Chinese Temples” by William Halfpenny in 1752, and since then these summer houses are called “gazebos” rather than anything else.

However, there is no definite answer as to why a gazebo is called a “gazebo”. Although many suspects that the word has come from an East Asian language [because the book was about Chinese-inspired architecture], it is not an established fact. 

Many others also think that Halfpenny made up the word by adding up suffixes and prefixes of his choice. But then again, it’s not proven too. 

Wrapping Up

Even though gazebos have gained immense popularity with time, this structure dates back to the 14th century. People from the ancient era used to build these garden houses outdoors for different purposes. And as we have explained all these above, we hope that you would learn more about the history of gazebos and fulfill your ever wondering mind.

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