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Ozertso Village Belarusian State Museum Of Vernacular Architecture And Ethnic Heritage

Minsk, Belarus

This  is the only museum-skansen in Belarus that represents a whole village of architectural specimens of the 17th-20th centuries.

The museum is located a few kilometers away from Minsk – between the villages of Ozertso and Strochitsa. So it is often named "Museum in Ozertso" or "Museum Strochitsa", or "Strochitsy”.

The idea to found  an open-air complex was first voiced by well-known Belarusian artist Ferdynand Ruszczyc in 1908. However the history made its corrections,  World War I and World War II, the need to rebuild the postwar country postponed the opening of the museum for many decades.

In 1976 A large-scale scientific expedition involving architects, historians and ethnographers was organized that  toured various regions of Belarus, searching, examining and transporting specimens of wooden architecture, household goods and crafts to the site of the present-day museum.

A number of expositions featuring architecture, culture and everyday life of three ethnographic regions – Central Belarus, Poozerye and Dnieper Region. – were opened in the period from 1987 to 1994.

Today the museum displays nearly 40 objects, such as

  • Pokrovskaya Church of the 18th century
  • Parochial school
  • Wind mill and a barn
  • Tavern
  • Blacksmith’s shop
  • Bathhouse
  • Houses of well-off and poor peasants

Expositions of the museum include "Transportation Means of Belarus", "Beekeeping in Belarus", "Belarusian flax", "Zabrody Fishing Gear" (fishery in Belarus).

The Belarusian State Museum of Vernacular Architecture and Ethnic Heritage holds numerous national feasts and rites, festivals and concerts that attract people from many countries to get acquainted with the old Belarusian traditions:

  • Kolyada
  • Pancake Week
  • Spring Calling
  • Kupalle
  • Autumn Fest
  • Kamyanitsa folk festival
  • Project "Masterpieces of the World Classics in the Open-Air Museum"
  • Day of Museums

Moreover, visitors have a chance to take part in various festivities, enjoy true potato pancakes, vereshchaka, sbiten, other dishes and drinks of the Belarusian cuisine in a local tavern.

Minsk District, between the village of Ozertso and the village of Strochitsa, on the bank of the Ptich River 

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