SANOK - Ethnographic Park (Skansen)

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(Click here for map of the museum grounds)

On the right bank of the river San, at the foot of the Slonne Hills with an easy and varying surface sculpture there is a village situated. One can discern it from far away, against the background of a deep piled woodcarpet, among the tress and the bush-clusters. This village differs from those we know; it misses the sharp squares of brick houses, and the bright, geometrically shaped roof-platforms. The form and the coloring of the piled bodies of the buildings are very close to the surrounding nature, just as if they originated from the same soil. No wonder, the material of the buildings is the river stone, fir-tree wood, straw, and dug-in-a-slope clay. While observing the village again and again and in various seasons of the year, one can perceive its unity with Nature. During summer, the village in the shadow of full tree-heads sets into the green with the form of piled hay, corn, and flax. When the green color changes into yellow, or brown, or crimson, and the steep forest wall resembles a colorful woolen tapestry, the seemingly scattered in confusion huts, together with the barns, and the granaries become a harmonious element of a painting. With autumn rain, the shingled roofs darken like a plowed field, or like naked tree-branches. Winter makes the landscape bright, unites it through the soft snow cover, and creates a two-colored graphic composition from the almost drawn forest-trees and the white roof platforms. The melting snow exposes the soil again Then, the walls of the huts that are stripe-painted, and the straw or the shingle layer of the roofs recall the black-and-white furrows of the field and the long but narrow field-patches.
Approaching the village, we walk down the slope covered with old trees, then through a flowery meadow. We pass a smithy and an alder-forest; the winding country road leads us in the midst of the farms. The huts here are forlorn, poor, simple, sometimes not even fenced. The rich ones are in the company of barns, and granaries. They are surrounded with flower-gardens, or just neat orchards. Varied forms of apiaries, little windmills, straw-stacks, shrines, and wells with sweeps enrich, this straw-wooden world. The background of the growth, a forest stream, and a full smell of hay, crops, and the wood, together with the rustle of leaves and bird-voices give color to the setting. The light of a summer day brightens the soft colors of the walls; the shadows become blue, the moss-grown roofs grow green.
We meet darkness crossing the threshold of a chimney-less cabin. With the smell of floating smoke, and the dullness of the place we go back into the past. Within a while, however, we shall see another aspect of the village. On the walls and the ceiling of a different hut bloom color-full paper-flowers. At some other places, the rows of clay-dishes just wait to be baked in the fire. The furnishings of the room, where the pieces of earthenware stand, make us suspect that a potter has temporarily left the place.
Then, we walk near a mill, passing by a little church on the outskirts of the oak-wood. The way climbs through a clearing in the forest and runs down to the long huts with steep, thatched roofs. An Orthodox Church closes the far-away-view. It is time to say good-bye to the Skansen museum, the village originating into being in a piece of Karpaty Highlands landscape, where dozens of years ago it was possible to see an authentic village, which does not exist nowadays and never will in the future.


I. Ethnographic group: BOYKOs

1 -A hut from Ostra, 1861, the inside, beginning of the 20th century.
2 -A hut from Ostra, 1903, the inside, the interwar period hayrack.
3 -A Highland windmill from Wola Komborska, about 1880.
4 -An Orthodox church from Graziowa (formerly Hruzowa), 1731, the inside beginning of the 19th century.
-A belfry from Kalinowice, 1712.
6 -A hut from Roztoki Dolne, the end of 19th century.
7 - A hut from Wolkowyja, beginning of the 19th century, the inside the second half of the 19th century.
8 - A church from Rosolin, 1750, the inside, the second half of the 18th century
-A belfry from Rosolin, 1751.
-A charnel-house from Rosolin, 18th century.

II. Ethnographic group: LEMKOs


Chimneyless cabin - Koman'cha

- A chimneyless hut from Komancza, 1885, the inside beginning of the 20th century.
2 -A granary from Komancza, beginning of the 20th century.
3 -A hut from Królik, about 1890.
4 - A hut from Pielgrzymka, 1870.
5 - A hut from Zdynia, beginning of the 20th century.
-A granary from Konieczna, 19th century.

III. Ethnographic group: WEST-POGORZANIE

1 - An inn from Liszna, about 1890.
2 - A granary from Ropczyce, about 1880.
3 - A sawmill from Zdynia, 1905.
4 - A water-mill from Jasienica Rosielna, the second half of the 19th century.
8 - A hut from Rzepiennik, 1866, the inside, the end of the 19th century.
-A potter-kiln, the end of the 19th century, - reconstruction.
10 -A chief's hut from Moszczenica, 1860.
-A granary from Jaszczew, the 19th century.
11 - A shrine from Jaszczew, the first half of the 19th century.
12 - A Weaver's hut from Korczyna, 1790, the inside, about 1860.
13 - A hut from Ustrobna, 1892, the inside, about 1930.
-A barn from Jaszczew, 19th century.
--A windmill from Turaszówka, 1923. A shrine from Jaszczew, 1879

V. Ethnographic group: DOLINIANIE (The Valley Inhabitants)

1 - A chapel from Liszna, 1867.
2 - An inn from Rogi, the 19th century, the inside of the barroom before 1914.
-A smithy from Haczów, 1850.
-A well with a sweep.
3 - A hut from Olszanica, about 1880, a dwelling place of a country teacher.
-A hayrack from Kuz'mina, beginning of the 20th century.
-A hayrack from Kuz'mina, 1946.
4 - A hut from Posada Sanocka, about 1880, the inside: a wheel-wright's workshop, beginning of the 20th century.
5 A hut from Stefkowa, beginning of the 20th century.
6 A hut from Dabrówka, 1681, the inside, about interwar period.
-An apiary from Liszna.
-A well with a sweep from Roztoka.
-A hut from Nadolany, 1861, the inside, about 1950.

VI. Ethnographic group: EAST-POGÓRZANIE

1 - An oiler's hut from Barycz, 1910, the inside, the interwar period.
-An oil mill from Barycz, 1904, equipment, 19th century. A windmill from Domaradz, beginning of the 20th century.
2 -A cross from Jaszczew, about 1885.
-An apiary.
3 - A hut from Niebocko, 1901 the inside, the interwar period.
5 - A school from Wydma, 1860, the inside: before 1914.
6 - A hut from Klimkówka, 18th cent, the inside: the second half of the 19th century.
7 - A hut from Iwonicz, 1827, the inside: the interwar period.
-A barn from Posada Jac'mierska, the end of the 19th century.
-A pigsty from Haczów, 1902.
8 -A windmill from Urzejowice, 1902.
9 -A hut from Humniska, the second half of the 19th century.
10 -A hut from Równe, 1823, the inside: about 1960.
12 - A hut from Niebocko, 1891, the inside: the interwar period.
-A barn from Jasienica Rosielna, half of the 19th century.
14 - A church from Baczal, 1667.
15 - A presbytery from Ropa, half of the 19th century., the inside: the end of 19th century.
-A barn from Nozdrzec, 1855.
-A stable from Libusza, about 1880.
-A granary from Grabownica, 1627.
-A well from Krzywcza, 19th century.
16 - A smithy from Wyzhne, about 1890.

Wordings, illustrations and graphic project: WLADYSLAW SZULC

Published by: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza - Rzeszów, 1978. Printed by: Rzeszowskie Zaklady Graficzne, Rzeszów.

Museum in the Open Air in Sanok has been established in 1958, as the first museum of that type in the Polish People's Republic. Its fundamental aim was the organization of an ethnographical park, that would collect specimens of country-folk architecture from the Karpaty Highlands, Low Beskid, and Bieszczady Mountains.
Carrying the establishments into effect, some special examples of architecture, together with art-relicts and samples of material culture from the already mentioned ethnographic regions are being carried into the park, that has a typical, highland landscape. The buildings and their furnishings reflect cultural variety, social and professional divisions, together with country traditions and the changes that took place there from the 18th to the half of the 20th century. In the developing exposure we try to come up to the approximate image of an old village.
In the future, there will be more than 150 buildings on 38 hectare territory; but even today, the Skansen museum is said to be the biggest ethnographical park in Poland.

Visiting the Park:
Address: 38-500 Sanok, ul. Traugutta 3 tel. 309-34 - Entrance to the Museum across the bridge over the river San, parking near the bridge.
Closed Tuesdays. Open year round.

Thanks go to George R. Warholic for the brochure,
Photos were taken by Greg Leck in 1992.


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© LV Productions  Originally Composed: October 22nd, 1996
Date last modified: June 20th, 1999.