A FAIR IN THE CENTURY-OLD MUSEUM IN WDZYDZE KISZEWSKIE (Jarmark w stuletnim muzeum we Wdzydzach Kiszewskich)
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The museum in Wdzydze Kiszewskie was opened in 1906 as the first Polish open air institution of its sort. Its founders - Teodora and Izydor Gulgowski - created a scientific regional centre modelled on the Scandinavian conception of salvaging historical monuments and native culture, popularised by, i.a. Artur Hezelius. The all-sided interests and years-long work performer by the Gulgowskis contributed also to the renascence of numerous vanishing and traditional domains of the folk art and crafts. Today, the museum develops upon the basis of plans devised in 1970 and 1980, on an area of 22 hectares and with eighty examples of traditional architecture transferred from the region of Kaszuby and Kociewo to present the variegated life of the inhabitants of the local countryside from the seventeenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The programme of enlivening the exhibitions applies the simple principle of using the historical objects in accordance with their tradition and former functions; by way of example, services and the church patron's festivals are held throughout the whole year. The school is the site of various educational ventures. Monuments of technology are also utilised - a steam locomobile-driven sawmill with a horizontal saw, a smithy, two windmills. The joiner's shop, being transferred at the moment, will contain working machines for wood processing. A cottage from Stara Huta has been adapter for the purposes of the 'Wygoda' inn which serves regional cuisine. This year inaugurated the reconstruction of an eighteenth century tavern from Rumia together with an inn, intended as a new sector open to thousands of tourists. The educational programme is expanded upon the basis of workshops and equipment featured in the museum expositions, such as a pottery, a hand mill, a stamping trough, and a spinning wheel. The largest annual event (always held on the third Sunday in July) which attracts thousands of visitors is the Wdzydze Fair which occupies the whole 22 hectares. Twenty sites present traditional occupations and crafts: various leather processing techniques, the production and use of snuff, grain processing, including baking bread and rolls, the production of whips, nets and candles, amber processing, and the turning of pottery. Professions of yore include cutting boards on a saw gate, using a hand saw, the production of wooden shingles, work in a smithy, and using a portable printing machine . Assorted domains of the arts and handicrafts are presented by 200 exhibitors from the region and the country, farmsteads become the sites of games, and the culinary programme is set up in the tavern and on stalls with ecological and regional food articles. An artistic programme brimming with music, dances and songs lasts for a whole day. The XXXII Wdzydze Fair, organised upon the hundredth anniversary of the museum, received secondo place in the national Sybil 2005 competition in the category of educational-promotion programmes.
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