A barouche, developed from the calash of the 18th century, was a fashionable type of horse-drawn carriage in the 19th century. It was a four-wheeled, shallow vehicle with two double seats inside, arranged so that the sitters on the front seat faced those on the back seat. It had a collapsible half-hood folding like a bellows over the back seat and an outside box seat high in front for the driver. The entire carriage was suspended on C springs. It was drawn by a pair of high-quality horses and was used principally for leisure driving in the summer. A light barouche was a barouchet or barouchette.

The word barouche is an anglicisation of the German word barutsche, via the Italian baroccio or biroccio and ultimately from the Latin birotus, "two-wheeled". The name thus became a misnomer, as the later form of the carriage had four wheels.


The earlier carriage type, called calash or caleche, was also a light carriage with small wheels, inside seats for four passengers, a separate driver's seat and a folding top. A folding calash top was a feature of two other types: the chaise, a two-wheeled carriage for one or two persons, a body hung on leather straps or thorough-braces, usually drawn by one horse; and a victoria, a low four-wheel pleasure carriage for two with a raised seat in front for the driver.

In Quebec, Canada, calèche refers to a two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle with or without a folding top and with a driver's seat on the splashboard. In the Philippines, a small two-wheeled calash is called a kalesa or calesa.



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