Folk Architecture & Daily Life Scancen "Strochitsy"
If one would like to look into the history of Belarus, to feel the cultural identity of our people and find out the way theylived in the old days, one should visit the ethnographic Museum that is near Minsk. Skansen is the name of the world's first folklore cultural and historical open-air museum in Sweden. There is something alike in Belarus. It is a charming tiny village situated on the picturesque banks of the river Ptich. Examples of wooden folk architecture of all regions of Belarus are represented here. The skansen museum represents a whole village of architectural specimens of the 17-th – 20-th centuries. The creation of a museum was preceded by a number of articles on pages of republican editions about need of preservation of monuments of wooden architecture and national material culture.
The museum is located several kilometers away from Minsk – between the villages of Ozertso and Strochitsa. It is often named "Museum in Ozertso", "Museum Strochitsa", "Strochitsy"…
The idea to develop an open-air complex was first voiced by well-known Belarusian artist Ferdynand Ruszczyc in 1908. However, World War I and World War II, the need to rebuild the postwar country postponed the opening of the museum for many decades.
A large-scale scientific expedition involving architects, historians and ethnographers was undertaken in 1976. The expedition 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. The scancen dates from December 9, 1976.
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. All the exhibits (there are about 20,000 of them) of this open-air museum were found in different regions of Belarus. There you can see the authentic houses, household buildings, village school, wooden Uniate church, windmill, backsmith's shop and so know more about the life in the Belarusian province in old times. Pieces of villages having been kept up from previous centuries till nowadays introduce the rural style of life in different parts of old Belarus. The architecture, an interior of the houses, numerous domestic utensils, articles of applied arts, agricultural implements used by the rural population in the past show us the way of life of our ancestors.
National feasts and rites expositions of the museum include "Transportation Means of Belarus", "Beekeeping in Belarus", "Belarusian flax", and «Fishing Gear in Belarus».
The scancen is the area to perform various national feasts and rites, festivals and concerts such as Kolyada, Pancake Week, Spring Calling, Autumn Fest, project "Masterpieces of the World Classics in the Open-Air Museum", etc.
Visitors to the museum 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.