The Chinese used thin horn plates instead of a windowpane. In Russia, a film of a bull bubble or mica was used. Mica is a soft layered mineral. It easily exfoliates into the thinnest sheets. They were inserted into metal frames with many light bindings.

First Windows
First Windows

But even mica, which is more transparent than waxed canvas or paper, is a poor substitute for glass. Cracks appear in it from the sun and wind. It splits into even smaller sheets, becomes cloudy, becomes like a tin, poorly retains heat and does not let light through much.

In ancient Russian houses (even tsar’s mansions) there was twilight and it was just as cold and uncomfortable as in medieval castles in Europe.

Sometimes mica windows were painted with transparent colors. Such painted windows are preserved in the rooms where Tsar Peter the Great spent his childhood in Moscow.

This was done in imitation of colored glass windows, which had already begun to come into fashion...

In childhood, each of us had his own favorite game. Someone was interested in cars, someone built palaces from cubes, and someone liked to look at the world through multi-colored glass. You look through the red glass - and the world seems to be flooded with some kind of alarming glow. And in blue - everything instantly changes, as if night had come, but not ordinary, but mysterious, fabulous...

Colored Window Panes
Colored Window Panes
Imagine that the windows of your room are not colorless glasses, but a whole collection of colored ones. You wake up in the morning, and spots of blue, green, red, purple light fall from the window...

Now it’s rare to see such windows in residential buildings. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Germany, France, Italy, houses with colorful glasses were common.

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