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Pribylina is a small village at the west foot of High Tatra Mountains, about 6 miles from Liptovský Hrádok. This was my third visit of the skanzen. I visited first time in 1991 before the official opening. At that time the objects were mostly finished, but not furnished. The museum officially opened its doors to public on August 11, 1991. This summer I met the manager of the museum Mr. Jiři Přibyl as he was milking the local goat. He guided me through the objects and explained most of them in great detail. All the wooden houses in the museum are replicas of the ones from different parts of Liptov county, with some having original carved beams, transferred from the old houses. Beside the wooden houses is a replica of an old gothic church, one of the oldest treasures of Liptov, with early Gothic foundation and later roman additions. Another notable unusual structure is a manor house from Parizoviec, also replica, as the original is under water of Liptovská Mara hydro electric project near by. With the construction of this huge project, many villages were flooded and the people moved to different parts of Slovakia. Some of the descendants of the families after whom these houses were copied and built, donated all the furnishings and artifacts to the museum, so they can be seen for generations to come.

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Some of the furnishings and artifacts were bought by the museum. This way the visitor can really see, how the people in Liptov used to live. The houses were called by the number of spaces they had. A 4 space house would be a house with entry room used as a black kitchen. They called it a black kitchen, because they used to cook on open fire and the smoke would make the walls black. The main room usually to the left of the black kitchen served many purposes. It was a dining room, bedroom and family room. The parents and most of the times the children too, would sleep in this room. They used to warm up their food on a little stove and also eat here. On the other side of black kitchen used to be a pantry and another room used either for maid, children, visitors or for home occupation business as dressmaking, shoe repairs or leather work.

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in each house there are different artifacts on display, showing different crafts, bread making, different utensils etc. What is interesting is that none of the artifacts are tied down or glued, you can touch them, take pictures, even with flash, move alone about the whole complex and truly enjoy the exhibits. Jiři told me, that this is a new experiment they are trying out and it will be evaluated at the end of the season. I guess that will be the time when they find out whether any artifacts are missing.

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Shepherds house

The exhibits really take you to the long by gone days of our ancestors. Domestic animals run freely on the grounds, there is horse back riding for children and adults, and this year they also opened a well-stocked gift shop and a restaurant with huge selection of really cold beverages and excellent food.


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 1, No. 4, Winter 1993
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1993 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6

The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.