THE RURAL ARCHITECTURE MUSEUM OF SANOK 55 YEARS LATER
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The Rural Architecture Museum (MBL) in Sanok is a self-government cultural institution fulfilling scientific-research functions and collecting cultural property within the range of traditional folk and town culture, the crafts and rural industry. It organizes an open-air exposition of examples of traditional architecture, industry and other exhibits associated with the folk culture of the Sub-Carpathian region. The Ethnographic Park in Sanok, picturesquely situated on the right bank of the San at the foot of the Słonne Mts. is one of the most beautiful open-air museums in Europe. It was established in 1958 and due to the number of exhibits is the largest Skansen museum in Poland. The MBL in Sanok displays the culture of the Polish-Ru-thenian (Ukrainian) borderland in the eastern part of the Polish Carpathian Mts. (Bieszczady, Beskid Niski) together with the highlands. Particular ethnographic groups: the Bojko, Łemko, Pogórzanie and Dolinianie peoples are rep-resented by separate exposition sectors, well adapted to the lay of the land. Recreating typical configurations of a village and farmsteads the Museum collected about 150 examples of wooden architecture from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Next to residential, residential-utility and utility buildings the Park also includes sacral edifices: churches and several picturesque shrines, public utility buildings (a village school, an inn) and industrial buildings (a water mill, windmills and smithies). The Ethnographic Park features a magnificent permanent exhibition of icons – “The Carpathian icon”. A showroom 250 m2 large contains more than 200 icons (from the fifteenth to the twentieth century), illustrating the development of this genre in the Polish Carpathian Mts. The exhibits are supplemented with temporary shows organized upon the basis of the Museum’s own collections. The Museum is engaged in significant publication undertakings – it systematically issues “Materiały Muzeum Bu-downictwa Ludowego” and “Acta Scansenologica”. The Rural Architecture Museumpossesses a local branch – a wooden church in Ulucz some 20 km s from Sanok. Located on a steep mountain slope, on a site with natural defensive functions and surrounded with mounds, this is one of the oldest (1659) and most impressive monuments of Uniate architecture in Poland; the interior displays traces of seventeenth-century polychrome. The annual number of visitors touring the Ethnographic Park is the largest of all Skansen museums in Poland, and in 2012 totalled 143 224 persons.
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