Open-air Village Museum – complex of wooden buildings, Pszczyna
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Open-air Village Museum – complex of wooden buildings

Pszczyna

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The complex has a considerable artistic, historical and ethnographic value, making it a historical monument of regional importance. The residential and utility buildings forming part of the complex are valuable examples of wooden ecclesiastical architecture typical of the Upper Silesia region. The interiors, arranged using authentic period items, likewise deserve a mention at this stage. The complex remains part of the Pszczyna manor park, forming a valuable addition to the wide range of themes explored by its founders, while its inclusion on the Trial of Wooden Architecture of the Silesian Region as part of the so-called Pszczyna loop serves as additional testimony to its immense importance.

History

In 1972, the activists of the Society of the Enthusiasts of the Pszczyna Region launched a campaign for the protection of the regional wooden architecture, having conducted a series of field surveys in the course of which it transpired that many buildings of this kind were in a catastrophic condition, with numerous structures facing the threat of demolition. In 1973, the team of activists was able to draw up a preliminary plan for an open-air museum; they have later applied to the mayor of Pszczyna, Bronisław Ptak, for the permission to establish the Pszczyna Open-air Village Museum

within the boundaries of the Manor Park. The construction works began in 1973, with the 18th-century granary from Rydułtowice-Dębina being the first structure to be relocated to the newly formed museum. It was swiftly followed by a cottage from Grzawa (1831), which was translocated to Pszczyna in 1974. On April 30, an octagonal barn from Kryry, dating back to the 18th century, was also relocated to the open-air museum, serving as an exhibition space for various means of transport which had once seen regular use in the rural areas of Upper Silesia. Throughout the years, numerous buildings have found their way into the open-air museum, including the stable from Wisła Wielka (1799), converted into an exhibition space presenting various agricultural tools, a small barn known as “Biedniacka” from Kobielice, relocated in 1978, as well as the smithy from Goczałkowice, a carriage house from Miedźna, a manorial granary from Czechowice and a windmill from Zebrzydowice, all of which now stand in the shade of old trees which make up the surrounding park. Other notable items include the covered gate located next to the cottage from Grzawa, which has once accompanied a wooden church in Golasowice which was, lamentably, lost to the blaze in 1974.

The gate itself was saved, however, owing mostly to the efforts of the enthusiasts of wooden architecture of the Pszczyna region, with the local parish priest giving his approval to its relocation.

Once reassembled, the gate was incorporated into the existing fence and for many years served as the main entrance. The only building of a purely ecclesiastical nature which has found its way into the open-air museum so far is the Gothic Revival shrine from Poręba. In recent years, a number of tourist facilities were added, with the open-air museum also benefiting from a new arrangement of walking paths and exterior lighting. The new buildings are entirely contemporary structures.

Description

The Pszczyna Open-air Village Museum is located alongside Parkowa street, in the eastern part of the manor park in Pszczyna. The entire complex occupies an area of more than 2 hectares; it was designed on a roughly triangular plan, bounded by the Pszczynka river to the north as well as Parkowa street to the south.

The older part of the complex, created during the first phase of its existence, is situated in the eastern part thereof, with the individual buildings standing against the background of the picturesque, ancient trees, including numerous great, old oaks. The entire complex has a very natural, idyllic appearance, with informally arranges walking paths connecting the individual buildings. The more recent part of the open-air museum is situated west of the original section of the complex and consists of stylised, modern tourist facilities, with the only historic structure being the translocated watermill from Bojszowy. Apart from the buildings themselves and the surrounding greenery, one should also mention an animal pen located in the northern part of the complex, various additional items such as the water well, the pergola, the apiary and the Gothic Revival column shrine. There is also a small wooden boardwalk extending into the pond located in the middle of the complex. All of these features create an appropriate ambience and contribute to the idyllic atmosphere of the site. Insofar as the buildings themselves are concerned, one of the oldest and most valuable structures found in the open-air museum is the manorial granary from Czechowice, originally erected in 1784. This wooden post-and-plank building, designed on a rectangular floor plan, is the oldest of all structures present on the site. There are numerous listed buildings located in the open-air museum, including the cottage from Grzawa, a wooden log house on stone foundations, designed on a rectangular plan, originally built in 1831 its compact structure covered with a gablet roof; the covered gate from the 19th century, originally forming part of a wooden fence surrounding the church in Golasowice, which was lost to the blaze in 1874; the gate itself, designed on a square plan, features a pyramid hipped roof clad with wood shingles supported by vertical posts reinforced with diagonal braces; the smithy from Goczałkowice, erected in the 19th century as a log structure based on stone foundations, featuring a compact silhouette designed on a rectangular floor plan, covered with a gable roof with pronounced eaves; the stable from Wisła Wielka, a typical narrow-front building with a double gate, erected in 1799 as a log structure with a post-and-plank annex and characterised by a compact silhouette designed on a rectangular floor plan, covered with a gable roof with pronounced eaves, and the granary from Rudołtowice-Dębina, erected in the 18th century as a log structure designed on a rectangular floor plan. The granary is a two-storey structure, its main body covered with a gable roof with pronounced skirt roofs

separating the gables from the rest of the façades. Another notable building is the 18th-century octagonal barn from Kryry, a wooden structure designed on an elongated octagonal plan, its roof supported by wooden posts with bifurcating ends serving as supports for the horizontal beams, with the walls being made of wooden logs held together using dovetail joints. In addition to the aforementioned structures, the complex also includes the barn from Kobielice, the carriage house from Miedźna (19th century) the hay shed from Frydek, the windmill from Zebrzydowice (1904), the apiary, the watermill from Bojszowy (19th century), the water well from Łąka, the carriage house from Warszowice, the Gothic Revival column shrine from Poręba, the animal pens, the tavern, the tourist information centre and the gazebo with a wooden boardwalk.

The site is open to the general public Monday to Sunday, with the opening hours being dependent on the season. For up-to-date information on the opening hours and admission prices, please visit http://www.skansen.pszczyna.pl/.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 12-09-2014.

Bibliography

  • Ruszczyk G., Architektura drewniana w Polsce, Warsaw 2009, pp. 442.
  • Sieraczkiewicz J., Święch J., Skanseny. Muzea na wolnym powietrzu, Olszanica 1999, p. 116
  • Spyra A., Budowa i urządzenie skansenu. Zagroda Wsi Pszczyńskiej, Pszczyna 2008
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, vol. VI woj. katowickie, I. Rejduch-Samkowa, J. Samka, issue 10 Powiat Pszczyński, compiled by T. Chrzanowski, M. Kornecki, Warsaw 1961
  • http://www.skansen.pszczyna.pl/, accessed on 11.09.2014
  • http://skansen.pszczyna.pl/rozbudowa/ accessed on 11.09.2014

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1784 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Parkowa , Pszczyna
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district pszczyński, commune Pszczyna - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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