In Russia, Ukraine and other post-soviet countries
Here a word "cottage" is generally understood as just a modern private house. The first known "cottages" were built in Russia in the 19th century, when British culture were popular. You can see a Russian Emperor's "Cottage" on the right. The word "cottage" has became very popular again since the late 1980s and was understood to mean the same as a nice house in western countries. It was associated with the pleasant life of western middle-class people, and after the end of Soviet era it also is associated with the good life in Russia and the CIS, which more and more people can afford. So, now "cottage" means modern western-style, or at least different from typical soviet houses, suburban one to three storey house for good quality living or recreation. The main reason why a house ((Russian) [dom]) is called a "cottage" - is an association with new modern good quality living, and not with the degrading remains of Soviet living. And the word "cottage" seems to be the only word available to express that meaning. So, russian "cottages" could be called "houses", some of them even "mansions", but those English words haven't yet entered the Russian and Ukrainian languages. Since 1990s many "cottage complexes" are built arroud every big city and even away from them in little towns. "Cottage complex" ( often called [cottedzhny posolok] - "cottage village", "cottage settlement" [cottedzhny gorodok] - "cottage town") - a complex that includes small or large quantity of "cottages", usually with associated infrastructure, built as a whole project. There are economy, business and premium (elite) class "cottage complexes". Almost every complex of 1-3 storey detached private houses is called a "cottage complex" just because there is no other usual term for these complexes, and while this term people like, nobody wants to make up another one. A "cottage" that is not a part of cottage complex is often surrounded b
7-feet-high solid fence to give its owner "kinda privacy", especially when a land plot is only 0.15 acres. Dachas on the Volga river. Cottage settlements are different from "dacha" areas, which exist since the Soviet era, consist of large amount (hundreds and thousands) of small typical 600 square meters (0.15 acres) land plots and were designated only for recreation getaways of city dwellers and for growing little gardens, and were extremely popular because soviet people didn't have an opportunity to buy land and build a house where they want, and had a lack of other opportunities to spend their time and money at all. There were legal size restrictions for dacha houses. They had to have not more than 25 m (269.0 square feet) of living area and only one storey tall, that's why they often had a tall roof of special form with a roof storey in it, which was considered by authorities as just a big roof, not a second storey. Dacha houses built in late 1980s and later are significantly larger than older ones because legal size restrictions were liberalized, and new dacha areas became fields of relatively big houses on tiny land plots. Tracks inside dacha areas are unimproved (somewhere improved by crushed stone) and narrow (about 6 m (20 ft) between fences), so two cars can hardly pass each other by. Now, dacha areas located in good places tend to modernize and develop, others - degrade since the end of soviet era, but can be renovated and modernized later by new generation of owners. Cottage settlements are different from ordinary (traditional) village), which is old, agrarian, low-cultured, poor and drinking in Russia, and hard-working in Ukraine. Cottage settlements also differ from "private sectors" [chastny sektor]) which are old settlements within a city and consist of 1+ storey houses with small land plots and exist from soviet era. But nomatter what area is, a nice new house which is used for good living, can be called a "cottage".
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