Trust Your Own Power and Skill,
Optimism and Humbleness
Ing. Jindřich Ondruš was born a Wallachian, with Wallachian traditions and nature always very close to
his heart. He has been involved in tourism and museums on local, regional and national levels as well
as within the UNESCO framework for all his professional life. Since 2019 he has been the General
Director of the National Open Air Museum, which also includes the Wallachian Open Air Museum.
Mr Ondruš, showing respect towards traditions and
humbleness towards ancestors is the prerequisite to
the new development of the Beskid and Wallachian
Region. What is the role that Wallachian Open Air
Museum plays in it?
The Wallachian Open Air Museum was established
in 1925; it is one of the oldest open air museums. It is
the greatest open air museum in the Czech Republic
and one of the largest in Central Europe. Since it was
founded, the museum has been making the Jaroněk
brothers’ motto come true: making the museum a living
organism. It is host to over fifty programmes annually,
plus folk art festivals and fairs. In 2018 a record number
of 354,000 visitors came to the museum.
In December 2018 the Wallachian Open Air Museum
took responsibility for the management of other open air
museums previously managed by the Ministry of Culture
of the Czech Republic. These include the Haná Open
Air Museum (Hanácké muzeum v přírodě), the Vysočina
Open Air Museum (Muzeum v přírodě Vysočina) and
the Zubrnice Open Air Museum (Muzeum v přírodě
Zubrnice). This union brought a new institution with
great potential to life: the National Open Air Museum.
Your museum administers sites in two regions. What
is your cooperation with governments of the regions
in developing the resort of Pustevny? What are the
updates on the reopening of Libušín?
The Libušín chalet burned down the night of the 2nd
of March, 2016. The destructive fire was followed
56 ǀ POSITIV 2/2019
by a huge surge of solidarity. The collection announced
shortly after the fire gathered almost eleven million
Czech crowns from donors from around the Czech
Republic and abroad. The wood necessary for renewal
was a gift from the company Forests of Czech Republic
(Lesy České republiky); its logging was provided by
Military Forests and Farms (Vojenské lesy a statky).
Both the Moravian-Silesian Region and the Region of
Zlín paid their contributions. A science-based renewal
of the national cultural heritage began in the summer
of 2016; the re-opening of Libušín is expected in early
How do you see new mountain architecture in the
Beskid Mountains, how is tourism changing the unique
look of this extraordinary area? Which destination
would you recommend to visitors?
I am glad that developments in tourism have helped
improve the infrastructure and services in our region.
Annually I take dozens of hikes in the Beskids, and it is
a great joy to look around. I also enjoy cycling along
ridge trails. My most beloved view is from the peak Lysá
hora; when the visibility is good, it is a pure beauty. The
same applies to the new lookout towers at Velký Javorník
and Velká Čantoryje. The best bikeway is a ridge trail
from Kasárna to Kohůtka and Benešky to Soláň.
Thank you very much for the interview.
Editorial of Magazine.