Slovakia has preserved many villages that became ethnographic museums. One of those villages is Vlkolinec. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list from 1993. Vlkolinec is an example of wooden architecture, which is traditional for the villages in the Northern part of Carpathians.
Vlkolinec was first mentioned in 1376. Local inhabitants were building houses of wood using trees from local mountain forests. They also used lime to cover chinks and to correct walls. They covered wooden houses roofs with tiles. Besides carpentry, they were breeding livestock, hunting and doing some crafts.
In the XIV century, they become part of the Ruzonberok community. In the documents from the XVII century, nine houses are mentioned. The main part of the village was built in the XIX century.
Time has not touched this village and the local type of buildings is interesting for the visitors.
The village is situated far from main routes and this is the main reason why it looks authentic. It is located in the Eastern part of Velka Fatra, 718 meters above sea level. Sidorovo rocks are covering this place.
Velka Fatra is a picturesque place. There are beeches here, firs, yews, and spruces. There are multiple rare herbs and flowers. Rock cliffs are very expressive, they are made from karst landforms. The thermal reservoir of Besenev is located not far from here in the National park.
Wooden houses look attractive surrounded by green forests and fields. The name of the village is connected to wolves inhabiting Velka Fatra. There is an opinion that the name of the village is a translation of the location, surrounding picturesque mountain tops.
Open-air museum and its features
Vlkolinec is a rare museum. Here you can find local buildings only. They were built by the inhabitants during the preceding centuries. Some houses are still inhabited by those who can’t leave this region because of its beauty.
The exterior of the Slovakian house is very interesting:
- The house is built on a rubble foundation.
- Gabbled roof is covered with wooden plates.
- Walls are covered with lime and whitewashed. You can see green, blue, yellow walls from disctance. They stand on painted foundations.
- The colors of frames and bases differ from the walls.
The houses are decorated with horns, horseshoes, figures of animals and pot holders with flowers.
The houses are located in narrow streets close to each other.
Empty houses of Vlokinec hold their authentic décor. Yo ucan find different items coming from past centuries.
Logs are whitewashed from the inside. The floor is not painted. In one of the houses constructed in 1886, you can find an exhibition of furniture and décor from Liptov museum. In the other house, you can find some items of décor as well as tools. The furniture is partially created by the inhabitants. There is a bed, a cradle, a table and seats with a claw foot. There are photos in the frames on the walls, as well as embroidery. Here you can also find an old shelf for dishes, made of blackened wood. Another shelf is for spoons and bowls. You can find a loom here and carpets on the floor made by local specialists.
Inhabitants used clay and wooden utensils. You can see those items on the shelves in the kitchen and close to stoves in the houses.
There are also farm buildings close to the houses. Local inhabitants stored tools there as well as different animals. The floor was covered with dry clay. There was a place for vegetables and wheat in barns. There were no cellars in the houses. Local inhabitants stored milk in wells.
The visitors of the museum have a chance to see the inner planning of the houses (how it was divided into two-three rooms) as well as to learn more about the daily routine of inhabitants as well as the occupations of those who lived in this mountain region of Slovakia at the end of the XIX the beginning of the XX century.
Original items of the museum
A wooden winch is located in the middle of the Vlkolinec village. It is used to lift water from the well. There are special water pumps along the street providing citizens with water. There is a two-level chapel here constructed in the 70s of the XVIII century. An active school is located close to the chapel. A gallery of popular art is situated here. The only stone building is the chapel of Annunciation. A cemetery is situated close to this church. There are damaged gravestones and crosses here.
The inhabitants of the village knew how to create wooden figures. There are expressive sculptures on the streets, depicting village women and young men. You can see a sculpture of a Slovakian woman at the entrance to Vlkolinec.
There are benches close to the houses where you can seat and admire local beauties.
There are 73 items in this museum. The majority of them are houses. Some other relics such as granary, some tools, and equipment are also here. Several objects are situated outside the village.
Vlkolinec is a part of Ruzomberok and stays in 6 kilometers from the town. This village is of two row constructions type. Two streets originate from the center of the village. The one stretches towards the church and the other goes to Sidorovo mountain. Mountain height is 1099 meters.
Vlkolinec is a part of Velka Fatra. When you are out of the village you can dive into the beauty of the Carpathian mountains, admire unique natural monuments. The tourists are attracted by the yew trees.
The well, church, and school were constructed in 1860. Their style combines Barokko and Classicism. There are folklore festivals, basketry and weaving masterclasses.
Wooden architecture of the Slovakian Vlkolinec village, which is close to all Slavs attracts tourists. You can see the history of Slovaks during several centuries.