Strochitsy – the museum of folk architecture and rural life in the village of Ozertso
The only Skansen in Belarus is the museum of folk architecture and life. What is a Skansen museum? It is an open-air museum. Such a museum came to be called like that because the first exposition area "Skansen" was opened in Sweden in 1891. The place became very popular among tourists and its name has become a byword for the museums of this type. The idea was picked up by other countries, and Skansen museums are everywhere nowadays.
Museum of that kind exists in Belarus, but only one. Unique and relatively young, it is located in the village of Ozertso. It belongs to Minsk region, near the capital.
How Skansen appeared in Belarus
Artist Ferdinand Rushchits desired to create such a cultural and historical ground twice in the XX century, but both times war was a barrier – at first the WW I, then the Great Patriotic War. In the middle of the century a problem of architectural monuments and folk culture material loss appeared. And in 1976, this idea was finally realized in Belarus. The Belarusian State Museum of folk architecture and rural life in Ozertso village was founded, it is often simply referred to as Strochitsy Museum.
Closer to the point, closer to Strochitsy!
As soon as it had been decided to create a museum, a massive search for anything that could clearly show a typical day of an average person 100-150 years ago was launched. Fr om examples of folk wooden architecture – those were the whole houses or windmills, and to simple household items and handicrafts - dining tables, benches, stoves, baby cradles, spoons, pots and much more. All these items were collected in villages fr om all over Belarus and transported here. That’s why the whole streets are built of old houses, outbuildings; a school and a church with a chapel, a tavern and a barn with reserved products in case of crop failure stand in Strochitsy nowadays.
Here you can see how people lived in Central Belarus, on the Poozerye and on the Dniester, in the Eastern and Western Polesye and Ponemanye.
A tavern, wh ere you should taste national Belarusian dishes, is open on the museum’s territory as well
The museum’s employees spend their time actively, days of folk festivals - Maslenitsa, Kolyady, Kupalye are especially fun here. These festivals are celebrated with observance of all traditions - seeing off winter, burning dolls, tasting honey, remembering how the ancestors worshipped the bear-father. They sing and dance in a ring to folklore songs. Excursions are diluted with interactive. There is even its own Batleika - we will remind you that it is a national puppet theatre. There are also expositions that lead to the world of mythology - our ancestors believed in brownie, Zyuzya (God of winter) and went to witch doctors.
151 hectares - you are welcome to walk around and see the exhibition
The museum does not lim it itself with stands, signboards, shelves or just the exhibition hall bounds. The exhibits are more than enough for the visitors to enjoy. One of them, by the way, is even the landscape itself.
More than 20 thousand exhibits have been gathered here. Collections of clothes and footwear, household utensils, agricultural implements and transport, wicker ornaments and objects have been collected altogether.
You can get here any day from 10 to 17 hours, except Monday and Tuesday, and the doors are closed on the days, when the state holiday falls on the calendar. The museum is located just a few kilometers from Minsk, buses quite often go here.