So I visited The Museum of Polish Village in Lublin few days ago (also known as “Skansen”).
The Museum was established in the early 1960’s, initially as the Department of Folk Architecture at the District Museum in Lublin. Less than a decade later, on 1st January 1970, it became an independent unit. Early problems regarding its location were solved in 1975, as the museum was granted 27 hectares in the suburb of Sławinek. The first section, The Lublin Upland, opened to visitors four years later. Today, seven sections of the collection are available, presenting various aspects of the regions that constitute the Lublin voivodeship (in its shape predating the administrational reform of 1975), as well as the life in a gentry manor and a small town. Architectural monuments represent the regions of Podlachia, the Lublin Polesia, the Vistula Region, Roztocze, the Lublin Upland and Lublin Land. The museum has been in operation for over three decades and it is constantly enlarging its collection and improving its facilities.
The Museum is located at the edge of the city, close to the main road to Warsaw. It can be easily reached by city transport. A guided tour takes only two hours, but visitors are advised to set aside more time than that, firstly because sections of the skansen are quite distant from one another (with enticing benches and picnic areas in between), secondly because it is worthwhile to find out more about the exhibits and to contemplate the furnishings of each room. The Lublin skansen’s displays have won several awards from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
It was definitely nice to walk through the village during the midweek – very quiet, barely anybody there…I have been there before on a Sunday and I have to say that it was definitely more interesting then. During weekends there is much more going on there. There are local artists selling their artwork and souvenirs, as well as different vendors with folk souvenirs. All the buildings are opened, so you can walk into all of them. They have cast members demonstrating old town services, such as a blacksmith shoeing the horse, a cobbler making shoes, old fashion mill grinding grain and other crafts such as making rope, women spinning wool.
There was also a wine tasting, church services in old churches, couple of old style restaurants are serving food and beer as well.
At the end of the visit, a visit to the local pub is an absolute must. On the menu are not only beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, but also excellent pierogi and a typical Polish snack: bread with a lard spread (a note to the smokers: the pub is the only place in the skansen where they can indulge in a smoke). The pub’s attractive building is a village school dating from 1866.
Be ready for a big crowd during the weekend, but there is definitely more fun and a lot more to see!
Anyone of you had a chance to see that place?
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)