The journey to the origin of the fence catapults us back in time a tremendous distance – many thousands of years before Christ. For centuries, early nomadic peoples roamed the land as hunter-gatherers. Supplies and excessive possessions are just unnecessary ballast on the long and energy-sapping journeys through the wilderness. Everything changes when man gives up his previous existence. He settles down and begins to farm and raise livestock. To prevent his animals from escaping, man builds the first pasture fences and gates. He protects his cultivated fields and vegetable gardens with garden fences woven from branches.
The fence develops
With the huts, the settlers also change their habits: They hoard supplies and draw boundaries. Property becomes more and more important. Fences experience a real boom at this time. From now on, there are boundaries of every imaginable kind: rows of posts, wattle fences, palisades. Man encloses entire villages to protect himself from wild animals and other attackers. Later, the functional demarcation became a status symbol for the rich and powerful. They protect their villas with sometimes pompous and elaborate boundary markings.
From fence to wall
As the population grew, what were initially small villages became vibrant cities. The simple fences become walls with gates, moats and towers.
The most famous example is the Great Wall of China. It is one of the largest structures ever built by man to keep out invaders. Once over 21,000 kilometers long and almost seven meters high, the wall was supposed to protect the Chinese population from Attila and his warlike Huns.
People feel safe behind the massive walls of the cities. Step by step, fences are losing their protective function and gaining in aesthetics instead.
The word fence comes from the Middle German word “zūn”, which means enclosure, made of dead material such as wood, metal or stones. The living fence, such as a hedge, in turn derives from the old German word “Hag”.
Fortunately, today we no longer have to hide behind meters high walls.
Garden fences, like the Doppelstabmattenzaun are more popular today than ever before: they serve as a partition between properties, protect our privacy and shape the image of our gardens. However, they are no longer a plain boundary, but have become a representative figurehead: The simple fences made of wooden lattice bars or slats have long been passé. Today, you can find modern double-rod lattice mats and refined, hand-forged decorative metal lattice fences with various decorative elements.