The history of the house with hip roof, treats one of the elementary and ideal forms of private housing: the house of children's sketches ("This is the house of Santa Claus") and fairytales with a mythic background. At the same time, it has been a fixed typus and common heritage from the Renaissance to the 20th Century. Especially the hip roof, with its four inclined planes, differentiates it from the everyday gable roof of farm- and townhouses and makes an honoric and significant appearance. The hip roof pavilion made its first appearance in the Middle Ages and developed into a mark of identification for castles of the French kingdom. Up to the 17th Century, it was the basic component of French palaces. The derived officer's pavilion of barracks and citadels mediates this most modern building type of its time to neighbouring countries. Especially in German speaking countries, it's used as a building type for administrative offices and a variety of civil buildings with official functions. 18th Century parsonages for instance are recognizable as such by this building type and frequently stick out having the only hip roof of their location. One focus analyses the confessional, economical or political reasons for the spread of these parsonages in central Europe, identically designed from France to Poland and from Great Britain to Switzerland. The duties and living conditions of priests are presented exemplarily to examine how they result in a particular room program and appearance. In the period around 1800, a change of function and signification towards a building type for bourgeoisie residences takes place. The famous summer house of Goethe in Weimar and others give the frame of life for philosophers of illumination which generates a mythic reputation and cultural ambiance, as a housing ideal for the bourgeoisie. But the analysis of the utilization of these houses clarifies that the new intelectual and economy based bourgeoisie are drawn from civil servants of the royal administration. The renaissance of this building type in the 20th Century, due to arts-and-crafts and Werkbund ideas, started with early works of the most reputated architects of the modern movement searching for simplicity and realism: Wright, Behrens, Gropius, Mies etc. But the most popular were specifically designed houses of the traditionalistic modernism of Theodor Fischer, Tessenow, Bonatz, Schmitthenner etc. This analysis describes the phenomenon of continuity enduring the change of styles and asks if there are not different speeds of progress in architectural development. The results make it possible for scholars of ancient monuments to classify seemingly ordinary hip roof buildings in their significant context. Furthermore, their history provides an exemplified object for the theories of the fundamentals of architecture. The fascination of reduced original forms is not only a matter of modern movement or Bauhaus - it has a long tradition.