Dwelling and Ondol, the Earliest Heating System



The traditional dwelling of Koreans is one-storey house with floor heating. Its structure differs a little from province to province, but something they have in common is a heating system called ondol. Flooring a room with flat stones to be heated keeps the room warm, and a chimney leading through the roof keeps the room air fresh and clean.

The present urban communities are dominated by high-rise apartment houses, but in the rural villages one-storey houses equipped with ondol heating system are common.

There is a peculiar custom related to dwelling. When one moves to a new flat, neighbours help him carry his household goods, present a match or a gourd and wish him a happy life.

When entering the room, they put off their shoes. In the room, young people offer their seniors the warm place on the floor.


Ondol, the Earliest Heating System


Ondol is a heating mode peculiar to the Korean nation; a system of flues laid under the floor is used to heat the room by building fire at it. It has been introduced from ancient times. It is superior in some respects to other heating facilities, and has developed into a hot-water heating system, a modern central heating system.

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