Swiss villages were built of wood. It was an accessible, free, local material. There was usually a forest just beyond the villages confines. Step off the main streets of any Swiss village today and the chances are that you will find there the evidence of that original village. The old Hay Lofts, the original timbers – not a straight line in sight – resting quietly, just existing. (If you want to see a couple of Posts of these, click here and here).
Look more closely and you will probably see stored there, between and under the lofts, today’s timber, cut from those same forests perhaps. Wood not for construction, but for burning. For heating and keeping warm. In all my visits to the Alps I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of coal. Why would you want to buy coal when wood is so plentiful and burns well?
And in most instances, the wood is stacked precisely and carefully. Typically Swiss.