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History of Gazebos

The origin of the word gazebo is unknown. Originally known as arbors, grottos, pergolas, screen houses and summer houses, they’ve been popular in a wide range of societies for centuries. In short, gazebos have been around in one form or another from the early days of mankind.

Gazebos actually originated as lanterns and towers that were constructed on the roofs of houses. They were designed to give a bird’s-eye view of surrounding lands. Centuries later, they were built as separate structures and most often placed in gardens.

Five thousand years ago Egyptian royalty built gazebos in palace gardens. It was thought that both the gardens and the gazebos were paradise on earth and that they would pass-over to heaven when the owner died. The popularity of the gazebos eventually passed on to the common people and almost every garden had one. Gazebos were also popular in ancient Rome and remains of them have even been found at Pompeii.

Gazebos in China and Japan were more elaborate than in other countries. The Japanese call them teahouses and they were used in the tea ceremonies of that country. Gazebos became very popular during the Renaissance period and were found in the gardens of monasteries. Monks used the gazebos as a place of meditation and prayer.

Four gazebos were constructed at the Louvre during the 14th century and these influenced the English to include the beautifully designed structures in their gardens during the 15th century.

Gazebos weren’t popular in the US until the mid-19th century. With the turn of the 20th century their popularity fell, but made a strong come-back during the 1930s when they became status symbols of the rich and famous.

During the 1940s, the popularity of gazebos fell once again when they took a backseat to the new, fashionable patio. For forty years very few gazebos were constructed in yards and gardens. However, with the 1980s, they became more popular than ever before. Today, many homeowners construct gazebos in their gardens as a quiet place to retreat away from telephones, computers and other electronic devices. The gazebo is a getaway right in your own backyard.
















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