Tile stoves were favored for home heating in Hungary since medieval times, with the radiant heat stored by fired clay capable of keeping things surprisingly toasty.
Aristocrats commissioned fancier tilework than the common folk. Most of the tiles featured here are from the Budapest History Museum, also known as the Castle Museum, and originally were used in the royal palace itself.
The 15th-century stove with jousting knights was reconstructed from surviving pieces. The fish-helmeted knight above appears poised to be speared.
The blue tile stove housed in the Hungarian National Museum dates from the 17th century.
While not as aristocratic as the palace’s tile stoves, we once had a handsome, upright Godin stove we employed to warm up our home in the Monte Vista Historic District years ago. One small load of wood would last all day in the efficient parlor stove. The outer walls grew fiery hot, and we used it on cold days until about 29 years ago when our Niña suddenly darted straight toward it and placed both hands flat against it.
After the return from the emergency room, the Godin was retired from service.