September 2017. I became bored at home and I decided to go on a trip to have fun. Not for long… For one day…
Unfortunately, I do not have many options for short journeys, given my place of residence. Only Kiev or Kharkov are suitable for going on a trip, to see something interesting and to return home in one day.
I chose Kiev, namely the National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine (Open Air Museum in Pyrohiv), and went there…
National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine in Pyrohiv (also known as Pirogov or Pirogovo)
I had arrived in Kiev on a sunny autumn morning, and I had a question:
How to get to Pyrohiv?
I think there are buses or private marshrutkas that ride from the metro to the museum. At least one bus leaves from Pirogovo village to Lybidska metro station (it seems, No. 27), that’s for sure. I returned to Kiev on this bus after visiting the “historical” part of Ukraine.
But I am never cutting corners. So I decided to walk on foot from the Kiev-Pasazhyrskyi railway station to the Museum in Pyrohiv.
Or, more precisely, not quite on foot…
After I had got to the station “Vystavkovyi Tsentr” by metro, I went on foot to the museum through Holosiivskyi Park. In general, my route took 2-3 hours, considering all my “wanderings”.
National Expocenter of Ukraine
And the “wanderings” began from the National Expocenter of Ukraine (VDNKh), which is located across the street from the station metro “Vystavkovyi Tsentr”.
Walking through the territory of the Expocenter, I noticed a large amount of debris on the asphalt, which may mean that many people had had fun last night, or the janitor had not been performing his work for at least a month. Repair of the facades of this exhibition center was also not particularly impressive . The ghost of the Soviet era had been still flying in the air!
Although some modern contraptions nevertheless were present there. For example, the “Transformation” exposition.
On the central alley VDNKh in Kiev was installed an art object “Transformation”, which is a symbol of personal development. It is made in the form of a human figure that comes out of the cube. The exposition is interesting because the light in the breast of the human figure lights up when people approach it.
On the nameplate with the description of the exposition, among other many letters, it is written: “Do not look for reasons to hate, look for the cause of love”.
Another interesting object of the VDNKh is the stable with the handmade head of a horse, that sticks out of the window in the attic.
The inscription on the wall of the building informs “А наше лоша припало до вівса, з’їло так багато, що в конюшні тіснувато”, which roughly translates as “And our foal greedily started eating oats, he had eaten so much that the stable became cramped”.
I didn’t find anything interesting for myself in Kiev VDNKh more. But maybe it’s because I just did not look carefully around.
My further route ran through Holosiivskyi Park to Academician Zabolotny street. After a couple of hours walking through the Holosiivskyi forest, among the squirrels and sportsmen, I have finally gone out into the open terrain and saw the cherished signpost “Музей у Пирогові”, which means “Museum in Pyrohiv”.
And one more pointer was a little further. This was a small arrow pointing to the field. I even began to doubt the correctness of the route.
But I shouldn’t have doubted that! This road has led me directly to the National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine in Pirogov.
During the opening of the museum in Pyrohiv in 1976, its territory was 120 hectares, where more than 150 buildings were built, which are monuments of Ukrainian architecture and way of life. All of them have been grouped into 5 expositions: Middle Naddnipryanshchyna, Poltava land, Slobozhanshchyna, Polesia and Podolia.
Over time, the Museum in Pyrohiv expanded and developed, in particular, the museum area increased to 150 hectares, the number of historical buildings rose to 300 exhibits, a unique collection of ethnographic exhibits grew to 40,000 pieces.
What can be seen in Pirogovo Open-Air Museum?
The entrance fee to the museum required for everyone, except for children under 7 years old. The cost of entrance to the territory is different for different categories and age groups. If you go to the museum by car, you also have to pay extra for the car. For example, I paid 40 UAH, since I’m an adult without a car.
At the entrance to the museum on the wall hang a few maps showing the terrain plan. They can help tourists build their own itinerary.
But I had not wanted to plan my route in advance, and I just went wherever my feet took me. As a result, the route of my walk through the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life looks like this: Middle Dnieper Region – Singers Field – Windmills zone – Podillya Region – Bukovina Region – Hutsulshchyna.
The first destination, according to the map, was the “Middle Dnieper”. And here is the road to it:
Middle Dnieper Region (Naddnipryanshchyna)
After I had descended the road, I was able to examine the Ukrainian traditional house in detail from a close distance. At that time, the museum staff were repairing the roof of the house, replacing the old blackened straw with new golden sheaves. This old Ukrainian hut with white walls and a thatched roof was fenced off from all sides by the wattle fence. There were several ancient hives in the backyard. They were roofed with straw too.
Across the street from this estate I saw almost the same hut with a flower garden in the yard. All these buildings are real old homesteads, in which once people lived and worked, so next to each exposition there is an informational tablet with a description.
Homesteads in the “Middle Dnieper Region” are located along the road and form a street resembling a small farm in the Ukrainian folk style.
Besides small huts in the “Middle Naddnipryanshchyna” in Pyrohiv, there are also larger houses, apparently for several families or for a more affluent family.
In the “Middle Dnieper Region” there is also an ancient wooden church. At first I thought it was a mockup of an ancient temple, that is, an empty model inside. But I was wrong. This is a real high-grade church, built in 1742 in the village of Zarubintsy in the Cherkasy Oblast!
True, there was no priest inside the church. Or I just have not noticed him.
Singers Field and Windmills zone
From the “Naddnipryanshchyna” in Pirogovo I went to the “Singers Field”. And I have got into a gourmet paradise. There were rows of kiosks with various dishes of Ukrainian folk cuisine on the territory of the “Singing Field”. All the food was so appetizing and wonderful that it made my mouth water!
The street with food stalls at the end turned into a fair of folk craftsmen and agricultural products. Honey… Medicinal herbs… Souvenirs… And I have got on the Ukrainian traditional market
And against the background of all this “trading activity” is the “Windmills zone”. Mills are varied. There are big and small, rotten and not very rotten…
Probably, windmills are the main kind of buildings that I wanted to see in this museum. But they did not impress me at all!
First, there were locks on the doors, which meant that I could not look inside. But I wanted to see how the mills look like inside. It was very interesting for me!
Secondly, the mills were not in a very good state. They were gray, not painted. It seemed that they would soon collapse. In addition, they were so located that I could not make a beautiful photo.
So I spent a maximum of 5 minutes on the photo session with Windmills and have gone further on along the gray stone road along the forest.
And I found myself in Podolia …
“Podillya Region” in Pyrohiv
As in the “Middle Dnieper Region”, in the “Podolia Region” several houses formed a street in the old Ukrainian style. And not far from the residential homesteads was also another wooden church.
Apparently, because I was tired of a few kilometers of the walking along the Holosiivskyi forest, I did not try to find the road when I was in the territory of Podolia. So I went straight through the bushes, went down the slope into the forest and got to another exposition. I think this new exposition, which I found, is “Bukovina Region”, but I’m not sure about it.
“Bukovina Region” in Pyrohiv
There was only one hut down in the forest. Perhaps there were other buildings there too, but trees hid them from me.
This house was different from the previous ones. It had a brick foundation and some huge wooden wheels sticking out of the wall. I’m not a connoisseur of ancient architecture and life, but it looks like it’s also a mill. A little bit different mill. This is an ancient water mill, which stands on a dried-up river bed… The flow of water would harmoniously fit into this landscape.
After such an intense walk in the fresh air, I had wanted to relax a little. So I went to the forest to find a meadow for rest and found myself in the territory of the “Hutsul Region”.
“Hutsulshchyna” in Pirogov
And the territory of Hutsulshchyna is a special, different world, where everything is not as it is on the plain. Hutsul architecture also looks quite different. This is a mountainous area. There are no fields with straw for roofs. Therefore, in the old days the Hutsuls built wooden houses roofed with wooden tiles…
The “Hutsul region” was the last one I had seen in the Pirogovo museum. True, I was going to see something else. But my “wanderings off” took me to the modern Pirogovo village outside the museum. And I did not return. I got on the bus and went to Kiev…
But I will once again return to the Museum of Architecture and Life of Ukraine in Pyrohiv! In the end, this time I did not see half of what I could see. Therefore, I have reasons to return here again!