The Largest Open Air Museum in
the Czech Republic Has Started the
Construction of Its Fourth Complex
The Wallachian Open Air Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the Czech Republic. It was
founded in 1925 and is visited by more than half a million people a year. How will it develop in the
coming years and how does it evaluate the cooperation with the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm?
We talked with Ing. Jindřich Ondruš, director of the museum.
Mr Director, can you give our readers
a brief overview of the current state of
the Wallachian Open Air Museum?
In the presentation of cultural heritage,
we strive to incorporate modern trends
in the field of museology. We are looking
for new themes relevant to contemporary
visitors and transferring new objects of
folk architecture. At the same time, we are
increasing visitor comfort and services.
We have returned to the pre-Covid era in
our programme offer. Currently, we have
started the construction of a new depository
in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm and we will
be implementing a large-scale project
supported by the Norwegian Financial
Mechanism to secure the collections.
Wallachian Open Air Museum is not only
the complexes to visit, but also events,
exhibitions and education programmes.
Museum is a living organism. What I mean
by this is that even when the museum gates
are closed or when visiting hours are over,
life in the museum does not cease. For
the legacy of our founders to be fulfilled, for
buckwheat to grow in the fields, for sheep
to graze in the paddocks, it means providing
an invisible multitude of operational
activities that lead to one goal. We strive
to be a museum for the whole family, an
ideal place to share common experiences
and preserve memories. Every year we
prepare 50 cultural programmes, including
4 international folklore festivals. There are
also educational programmes for schools
and special interest groups, 3 seasonal
exhibitions, and 10 religious ceremonies.
“ Museum is a living organism. ”
How will the Wallachian Open Air
Museum develop in the coming years?
Behind the horizon of the Wallachian
Village, a new museum complex is being
built - Kolibiska. What will it look like?
a unique project for us to expand an
open-air museum in the Central European
context. As part of the development,
we decided to expand the museum
to include a presentation of mountain
pastoral agriculture, forestry and tourism in
the specific environment of the Northwest
We have been mapping buildings that are
endangered in the field for a long time.
Thanks to this project we will be able
to save some of them and plant them in
the museum area with a reconstructed
character of the environment. We try to
Ing. Jindřich Ondruš
Director of the museum
enrich our planning with new approaches
in interpretive planning and use various
forms of collaboration with the public
or volunteers. Within the 25-hectare
site, three dozen buildings, paths and
landscape features are being created
to immerse you in the environment
of the Carpathian mountains, forests,
pastures and the lives of their inhabitants.
How do you evaluate the cooperation
with the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm?
The Wallachian Open Air Museum is
the main attraction of the town, which
makes close and effective cooperation
with the town necessary. Our daily visitor
numbers range from 200 to 10,000 people,
depending on the season and events. This
fact alone means, for example, that we must
deal with coordinating traffic and parking and
security issues. Rožnov is not only a transit
town, through which many tourists head to
the Beskid Mountains or further to Slovakia,
but also a tourist destination. Thanks to the
coordinated cooperation of the city with
hoteliers and other service providers, we are
involved in the development strategy and
cooperate in various cultural committees.
Mr Director, thank you for the interview.
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