In Stará Ľubovňa region
one finds many reminders of folk architecture with a mixture of Slovak,
German, Ruthenian, Polish and Jewish cultures.
The open air museum was
opened in 1985 under Ľubovňa
Castle, a site where a settlement existed in
It now has twenty-five
exhibits. The most significant object of the museum is a wooden Greek Catholic
church from Matysová, built in 1833 and consecrated to St. Michael the
Archangel. The interior of the chapel is Eastern Rite, with an iconostasis, or
icon screen, separating the sanctuary. This is built in the Baroque-Classical
style, displaying the icons on three levels. The church was taken apart at the
original site and then carefully re-assembled here in Stará Ľubovňa
Museum in 1970. Since its re-consecration in 1990, on an important Church holy
days, Eastern Rite masses have been held here. In front of the entrance to the
church is a cross with carved relief including symbols of martyrdom; it is a
copy dating from 1912.
Many log houses were brought
here and re-assembled from different locations, originally built in early
1900. They include houses from Velký Lipník, Litmanová, Velká Lesná,
Jakubany, Kremná, Kamienka and Jarabina, all in Spiš region. The
houses in the old days were categorized as one, two or three space houses. The
main living area was the living room that was also the main bedroom, it had
eating corner in which the benches from around the table turned to beds at
night, corner for prayers, big stove. Single beds on the sides of the room.
Kitchens are displayed with their utensils and almost in every home a
different profession is arranged with tools of trade. There are tinker,
shoemaker, coppersmith, blacksmith, weaver, carpenter and many more.
Through these displays one
may get a better idea of a life in the villages in the old days and the most
important events in the life of the family as child birth, marriage, death of
a family member. Some houses give visitor an idea of the family customs. We
had a fantastic lecture by the director of the museum and here I learned a bit
more about Spiš's customs. For instance when entering or leaving a home one
wasn't supposed to touch the threshold. When family member passed away, they
would stop the clock, cover the mirror and when they were taking the casket
out of the house they would shake it three times above the threshold etc. The
weddings had different duration depending on the time of the year. In the time
of harvest they were shorter as the people had to go and harvest in the
morning. In this region the weddings were held on Mondays or Thursdays. The
bride's family would celebrate in the bride's house and the grooms in the
groom's house. They usually had seven course meal, one man was in charge or
pouring the drinks (pálenka). During Christmas many families didn't cut the Christmas
trees as they felt it was a waste and used only branches to decorate the main
room for Christmas.
I have truly enjoyed my visit
here and I am sure I will return to learn more about the Spiš's customs.
photographs are for sale
BACK TO SKANZENS
TO STARÁ ĽUBOVŇA CASTLE
Published in the
Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 3, No. 3, Fall 1995
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1995
Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
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.