Have you ever imagined how our ancestors lived before? What were their houses like? What kind of clothes? What were the rooms like, how did they look, and what number of them were inside?
Yes, we can read all this in books or just google it. But how nice it would be to actually appear in this authentic atmosphere, feel the antiquity, and visit a traditional Ukrainian room.
Clementii Sheptytskyi Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life is exactly the place where fantasizing is easier. After all, here they are - old houses with original interiors, log churches, bell towers, and wooden fences.
History of the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life
Is located on the territory of the former villa of Franz Lonshan, who was a city mayor and at the same time a head of the Lviv Masonic lodge. During the visit of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef to the residence, Lonshan tried to make a good impression on the important guest and renamed the forest around his house in honor of the Emperor. He called it Kaiserwald which means the forest of the Kaiser. The decision to create an open-air ethnographic museum on this territory was already made in Soviet times.
The museum has more than a hundred architectural objects and almost 22 thousand items in general. Here are just a few of them:
- Saint Paraskeva from Stoyaniv village, Lviv region. The Galician-type church was built in the first half of the 19th century. Previously, it was in the center of Stoyaniv right next to the new house of culture. When one of the candidates for deputies came here, the church spoiled his view of the location. Then the official expressed the wish that it should be destroyed. Fortunately, it was prevented – now we can see the church here, in Shevchenkivskyi Hai in Lviv.
- Barn from the Lybokhora village, Boikivshchyna. The barn built in the second half of the 19th century is one of the largest on the museum territory. It is also a repository for some exhibits.
- Saint Nicholas Church from Sokoliv village, Podillia. The three-domed church of the 18th century is one of the oldest objects in the museum. The church was built of oak blocks in a traditional layout: altar, nave, and women's annex.
Shevchenkivskyi Hai today
- The Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life. Here you will see the old buildings and get acquainted with the life of the inhabitants of Galicia in the 18-20th century and the culture of the regions of Boykivshchyna, Lemkivshchyna, Hutsulshchyna, Bukovyna, Podillia. The museum allows you to plunge into another world, another time dimension. You will travel to the micro-villages of different ethnographic regions or historical and ethnographic groups, you will go around almost the whole of western Ukraine.
- Thematic events. From time to time the museum organizes exhibitions, presentations, lectures, festivals, and concerts.
- Workshops. Pottery, Easter egg painting, drawing on glass, printing patterns on textiles, straw weaving, folk toys - you will learn all this in Shevchenkivskyi Hai. To find out all the details, price, and duration of the master class, as well as to sign up for one of them, please contact Skansen by phone.
- Photo in folk clothes. In the house from the Oriavchyk village in Boykivshchyna, you will have an opportunity to try on the folk costume and take aesthetic photos. Take a picture in authentic vyshyvankas and traditional belts, especially in such a photo zone. Get ready to receive compliments!
- Little zoo. A house, even with a yard, and without animals? Where did you see such a scene? In the Skansen, you can meet sheep, goats, or turkeys, and get acquainted with a donkey or swans.
- Walk. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an ancient Ukrainian village, take atmospheric photos on the territory where you will find a photo zone at every step, and spend time with children, loved ones, or by yourself.
- Podcast. "Museum on Fingers" – 9 episodes of the podcast, which was released on the 50th anniversary of Shevchenkivskyi Hai. In an informal conversation, people talk about the life of the museum, how to work here, how much it costs to restore the old house and what Taras Shevchenko has to do with it all.
Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life on Easter and Christmas
This popular museum in Lviv is full of citizens and guests during the holidays: people have fun, sing, dance, play, and taste goodies. In January, you can hear carols from all around, and the smell of donuts just teases you to take one or two more – who counts them? On Easter you have a chance to be drenched from head to toe, to play hard enough or beat your knees, or even to meet your love.
"Easter Hayivka", "Honey Festival", "Flash of the Christmas Star", and "Ethnovyr" – are just a few of the traditional festivals of the museum.
What to combine a visit to Shevchenkivskyi Hai with?
- Lychakiv cemetery. An open-air museum where prominent personalities are buried. For example, here are the graves of Ivan Franko, Volodymyr Ivasiuk, Mykola Kolessa, and Solomiia Krushelnytska
- Znesinnia Park – regional landscape park. Archaeologists have discovered an ancient settlement here. It is also believed that ancient Lviv was born here.
- Home of rescued animals. If the little zoo on the territory of the Skansen was not enough for you – welcome! This place became home to dozens of animals, they were saved and sheltered here. You can visit them or also join in helping these animals.
Baba Rod Mountain – ancient pagan temple of Rod and Rozhanytsia. People say that if you stay here with good thoughts, your wishes will come true. Whatever God or gods you believe in. It has a great view of the city, and the Church of the Ascension of the early 20th century is not far away.
Lev`s Mountain. Many historical facts and legends are associated with this place, and therefore the mountain has different names: Lev`s Mountain, Bald Mountain, Sand, and Witch Mountain. In the 14th century, there was a castle of King Lev on this spot. It is also rumored that witches and wizards held their sabbaths here.
The Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life is not just another classic museum, not just an attraction for tourists. It is a place where Lviv citizens come with joy, and tourists ask the consultants of the Tourist Center again and again: "Where is Shevchenkivskyi Hai, how to get there?".
Lviv Skansen is a place for the soul, a place of peace and harmony.