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Happiness is not a station you arrive at,

but a manner of travelling.


Margaret Lee Runbeck.

What Was My GGGrandfather's House Like in Ukraine?

What was my GG grandfather’s life like in Ukraine? What kind of house did he live in? What was the interior like? Where did my GG grandmother cook and how did they heat the house? What was their baby’s cradle like? What kind of kitchen utensils did they use? Were there any premises around the house and where did they keep their livestock? What tools did they use in their everyday life and what did they grow on their field? What clothes did they wear?

I did not know much before but I went to my ancestral village of Rivne in Luboml region of Volhynia and I found my GGGrandfather’s home inhabited by other family!

 Yes, you may get some answers when you take a heritage trip and come to explore your ancestral town in Ukraine. There are many distant villages in every province of Ukraine where the houses being more than 100 years old have been preserved. Many of them have been abandoned but some are still inhabited. Some people still have the way of life resembling the one our ancestors led. It’s thrilling as there’s a chance you may not only see the place where the house used to be and the field your ancestors  worked on but the house itself when you go on a heritage tour in Ukraine.

 Still, the architecture of numerous villages and towns dates back to Soviet times only as many villages were ruined during the WWII. Much time passed and many new houses appeared on the place of the old ones and many of them are being built nowadays. It’s a great pity but the old homes of our ancestors are gradually disappearing as well as their owners.

 Pyrohovo WindmillThere’s another wonderful opportunity to discover the way our ancestors lived in Ukraine. The so called skansens – the open-air museums of folk architecture and life are amazing places - windows overlooking the past.   

 As for me, number 1 is definitely the skansen in the village of Pyrohiv near Kyiv. Coordinates: 50.354444°, 30.512222°

The outdoor museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine in Pyrohiv (people often call it Pyrohovo too) covers the territory of 1.5 square kilometers (370 acres) and houses over authentic 300 pieces of folk architecture brought here from all parts of Ukraine. The oldest hut dates back to 1587! The area is divided into segments, each of them features houses characteristic of a certain region of Ukraine. Walking from one region to another will take you a few minutes. Want to rent a bicycle to ride from Central Ukraine to Western Ukraine? No problem. But a modern bicycle looks very strange in this kind surrounding. Renting a horse would make sense. It is also possible.

 No matter which part of Ukraine your ancestors come from, you will still Pottery Fest in Pyrohovofind the kind of house similar to the one they lived in. The interior decoration and all the tools and utensils have been preserved too. You can come inside and feel the atmosphere. And it is not about the house only. Sheds and barns, churches, blacksmiths’ workshops, windmills, pubs, water wells, haystacks and even gardens where people dressed in folk Ukrainian clothes work. While walking from Carpathian Mountains area to Southern Ukraine, you can see craftsmen working the same way their ancestors did in the past and dressed the way they used to.

When we were students we used to bring a cloth and some food to have a picnic by the house moved from the area our ancestors were from. We changed places every time as my friends were from different parts of Ukraine. You can still do it nowadays but you can also have lunch in the restaurant located on the museum territory too.


Shevchenkivsky Hai is located in Lviv, 1 Chernecha Gora Str. Coordinates: 49° 50 40.57 N, 24° 3 56.26 E

Shevchenkivsky Hai ChurchesIt’s the Museum of National Architecture and Life where 124 pieces of architecture were brought from Bukovyna, Boikivshchyna, Lemkivshchyna, Polissia, Podillia, Hutsulshchyna and some other parts of Western Ukraine. There are 54 homesteads and about 20 000 exhibits there. Although the place is quite close to the busy city center, you do feel like you’re in a calm village. It’s open all week long but the houses are closed on Monday. If you happen to visit the museum at weekend, you will see numerous newly wedded couple having photo sessions in the picturesque scenery.

Other time machines- the Museums of Folk Architecture and Life featuring the typical architecture of the region:

 - The Transcarpathian Museum in Uzhgorod on 33a Kapitulna Street. Coordinates: 48.620861°, 22.305958°

 - The Museum of the History of Agriculture in Rokyni village, Volyn Oblast. Coordinates: 50°49'59''N, 25°15'17''E

 - Subcarpathian Region Museum, the part of Ancient Halych National Reserve located in Krylos village of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. Coordinates: 49°4'53"N   24°42'30"E

 - Perejaslav-Khmelnycki skansen. Coordinates: 50.065956°, 31.477203°

 - Museum in Chernivtsi on 2 Svitlovodska Street. Coordinates: 48°17'18.24''N, 25°58'54.12''E

Old House Interior Wonderful places for time travel. One can lose the feeling of reality easily while being there. The skansens are worth visiting anyways, even if the aim of your tour in Ukraine has nothing to do with exploring heritage and genealogy research



Category: Museums | Views: 5677 | Added by: matera | Tags: Museums, genealogy