Tataari, AK, June 3rd: The Karolian Open-Air Museum opens its gates on Friday with a ceremony attended by the Representative for Culture and the Elector of Alafőldi-Kesk state. The 108-hectare site in the heart of the Plains is the result of nearly two decades of planning and a huge logistical effort that saw over twenty buildings being dismantled and rebuilt on the site exactly to their original construction. Another twelve buildings have been constructed as replicas or part-replicas and the remainder are native to the site.
Visitors will get a chance to explore dwellings and other structures from all periods of Karolian history with the main focus on those constructed between 1480 and 1750. These include Iron Age huts, medieval barns and a watermill and a traditional stave church as well as wind and watermills, a wooden fort and a ‘narrow house’ boatmakers’ workshop from Paliiso. The museum is a branch of the National Ethnographic Collection, a publicly-owned trust which exists to educate and preserve artefacts relating to the social and domestic cultures of Karolian peoples. The museum already has collections in Säntjana and Kyor but was able to realise the Open-Air museum after several bequests and co-operation from other heritage organisations to restore and preserve examples of historic buildings. The site, around 25km south of Nyeri, was chosen as it was already the location of a medieval farmstead and church. A visitor centre at the entrance will contain an introductory exhibition on the buildings and the process of locating them within the museum. Costumed actors will be demonstrating how life around the buildings was lived during the historical periods in which they were used and that the farmstead will be a working farm with traditional breeds of sheep and other animals. Folk music, dance and craft events are also planned for the summer season.
The museum will be open to the general public from midday on Friday 5th June 2015. It is forecast around 800,000 visitors a year will visit, with schools nationally being encouraged to visit as part of the history and culture curricula and also being heavily advertised to overseas tourists.