Ornate Painted Medieval Houses

If you spend enough time walking around medieval German and Swiss villages, you’ll eventually notice that most of the houses are so-called half-timbered houses (with planks of wood separating the stuccoed exterior) but that a number of houses are painted in a very ornate and detailed style.

Here is one such house that I discovered in Olten, which shows both styles: the half-timbering at the top, and a large painted area below:

What I don’t know is the history of these houses.  Were they always like that right from the beginning?  Were perhaps ALL the houses like this, right from the beginning, and was it only recently that some of the houses stopped receiving this painted attention?  One of the many, many mysteries if you live in Europe!