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Open Air Museum, Szentendre, Hungary

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About 3km (2 miles) northwest of Szentendre is one of Hungary's better skanzens, or reproduction peasant villages.

This ambitious skanzen, the largest in the country, represents rural life from all regions of the country. There are several reconstructed 18th- and 19th-century villages, with thatch-roofed houses, blacksmith and weaving shops, working mills, and churches.


The central skanzen of Hungary, the Hungarian Open-air Museum in Szentendre, was founded on 1 February 1967. For a while it operated as the Village Museum Department of the Budapest Ethnographical Museum. The task of the Museum was to present the vernacular architecture, interior decoration and way of life in rural Hungary from the second half of the 18th century to the First World War through authentic objects in original, transplanted buildings, arranged according to the patterns of settlement.

The final master plan envisaged the relocation of about 300 buildings to the Museum for re-erection in 9 groups each representing a region of Hungary. Grouping within the regional units follows the traditional order of the croft (plot, where the farmhouse and farm buildings stand).

The picture of the traditional village is completed by sacral, industrial, and public structures that formed part of the traditional village.

The dwelling houses and outbuildings represent the characteristic house types and their dependencies as they had shaped during the centuries. Gravestones and grave-posts collected in cemeteries, a Calvary, mills and other objects enrich the traditional villagescape.

When the planned nine regional units (Upper Tisza Region, A Highland Market Town, Northern Hungary, The Central Tisza Region, The Great Hungarian Plain, Southern Transdanubia, The Balaton Uplands, Western Transdanubia, and the Kisalfld) are ready, they will preserve the architectural traditions of 18th-19th century Hungary as an historical inheritance.

Open Air Museum, Szentendre, Hungary Images

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