The site of the exposition of folk architecture of the Vihorlat museum in Humenne, as it was said, is situated almost in the centre of the town of Humenne, at a site of formal shire greenhouses on an attractive rangy terrain appropriately representing the character of upper Zemplin.
The exposition itself starts in the building with a descriptive No. 3. It is a residential three-room log house without a husbandry area, consisting of a living room, hall and a pantry. It was built before the First World War in the village of Klenova and it was transferred over here in 1977. Overall area is 11.80×5.7 meters. Walls are made out of timber wood, coupled together at their angles and clay-oiled. Hinge-timbered hipped roof is covered by straw. This is a typical habitat of a poor farmer with a simple interior serving to cover the basic living needs. Inventory consisted of solely necessary pieces of furniture, located mainly in the living room area.
Residential farm house No. 2 comes from Kalna Roztoky and was transferred to the museum in the year of 1967. It is a log house with a length of 25.2 meters, consisting of a living room, chamber, hall, pantry, barn and a stable covered by a straw roof. Walls are made of beechen timber, embedded in a stone sub-staining wall and oiled by clay. It is a typical log building from the above listed region and from the second half of 18th century, ongoing in different parts of lower Beskyds and Bukov highlands up to the fifties of the 20th century. The house was inhabited up untill the year of 1974. In the social area, there is a table, bed, benches, dishes and textile. In the pantry there is an installation of a birch broom manufacture. The barn serves as storage for agricultural equipment (stage-coach, sleigh, plough tools, flails, mash machine and a rake).
To the North of the object described above is a cellar, built in Ruska Volova and moved to the museum in the year of 1976.
Building No. 11 comes from Olšinkov. From the standpoint of special usability it is similar to the above described house, except it doesn’t have the barn and it is roofed with shingles. It is a rectangle-shaped log house with an overall length of 18.5 meters, set into a stone sub-staining wall. Six-glass two-wing windowpanes are in all three of its rooms. There is a wheeler workshop in the pantry of the house that comes with its typical inventory (wheeler stand, saws, planes, drills, drawing compasses and other.)
Near by the house from Olšinkov, there is a stand-alone cellar building, together with a small hay-loft.
Entity No. 12 comes from a village Zemplinske Hamre. It is a residential rectangle-shaped farm house, 21.85 m long, containing a residential and a farming part. Building is set into a stone sub-staining wall, with wooden walls and clay-oiled from the inside and from the outside. The house has a straw roof. In its pantry and partially also in its hallway, there is an installation of a pottery workshop, together with some authentic works by potter J. Halamka from Snina.
The village church used to be a landmark of every village, usually built on a hillside. A wooden church originally from Nova Sedlica, has the No. 1 not only because it is the most beautiful and oldest building in the whole museum, but mainly because it was the first building ever transferred to the museum site. Over the entrance of the church building, there is a date of its origin engraved on a wooden plate – the year of 1754. It was moved to the museum, chemically preserved and re-assembled in the years of 1974 – 1975.
The church is a triple-bodied east-Carpathian type of sacral building with log construction and it is very typical for this area. Three towers from the outside emphasize the three parts of the body of the building over the central space area, covered with wooden cupolas. Its simplistic appearance used to communicate trust and attracted the believers in the time of their rest, after a long week of hard work. The church was supposed to communicate the fact, that it is the house of God, in which not only shepherds would worship in humility, but also woodsmen, farmers, elderly people and young people. All of them were looking for understanding, love and happiness. Today, thousands of visitors come every year to observe this jewel of folk architecture. They not only enjoy its outside appearance, but especially its renewed iconostas and altar.
Now we will move on from the wooden church to the entity No. 7. It is a residential farmer house that came from Nechvaľová Polianka. Ground floor rectangle-shaped log loge building contains a living room, hall and two small stables. One of them was used for livestock, the second one for sheep and goats. The residential and the farmer parts are covered with a joint roof. Interior is equipped only with the most basic inventory.
Next to the house there is a granary building from Výrava. External walls are made of wooden beams without the exterior clay oiling. Its rift is filled with clay. It was used to store grain and agricultural equipment.
Unforgettable components of village architecture were the blacksmith forges. One for the demonstration was transferred from Nachvalova Polianka and has a descriptive No. 6. It is a rectangle-shaped log house with a size of 6×3 m with a side shed. The rifts of the log house are filled up with clay, roof tiles are wooden. Inventory of the forge reflects its purpose. Fireplace with a bellow (blower), hammer anvil, variety of hammers and clams made up the basic set of a forge. Under the shed, smiths would shoe horses; in the forge they would manufacture horseshoes and all kinds of agricultural equipment. (ploughs, gates, hoes, hacks etc.)
On the way to the next part of the exposition, please notice three smaller buildings spread out to the north of the blacksmith forge. It is an authentic water well, hay-loft and a log granary with a cellar.
Under No. 10, we have a residential farm house from Výrava. It is a log house with a shingle roof based on retain wall made of creek stones. Longitudinal log building (19,20 m) consists of a front living room, hall and a pantry. The living area is connected to the stable with ventilation windows. In the living room and in the hall there is an installation of a hemp handling workshop and a manufacture of linen. In the pantry, visitors can enjoy seeing an oil press and related equipment.
Mills typically used to be located at riversides, outside the village. A water mill is the last piece of our exposition. It is a residence house from the village of Vyšná Jablonka, which was combined with a mill-race. Entrance to the living room leads through the mill-race. Living space is clay-oiled and bleached on both outside and inside. The wall rifts of the log mill are filled with clay.
Out of the usual inventory of a living room stands out a beautiful wedding hutch, richly ornamented with geometrical figures.
Inside the mill-race, the visitor can see a large wooden mill mechanism with a sifter and two millstones, one fixed and the other rotating. Water would fall from above, right onto the sail-arms of the mill-wheel, thus giving power to the whole mechanism.
From the standpoint of the exposition program, this presentation of folklore architecture provides the visitor with a holistic picture of the character of folklore architecture of the region of upper Zemplín. Presented micro region is by every mean an integrated part of culture heritage and an expository display of the life of simple village people. From the standpoint of contemporary development of business activities and agriturism, the existing facilities are not functional. It would require a general overall re-construction, which was not even in the plan of the original building project. Also taking to consideration current economical situation of the museum, a re-construction or even finishing of the original project is unlikely to come to reality anytime soon.
The actual exposition of the Open-air museum is not the only exposition administrated by the Vihorlat museum in Humenne. The museum annually organizes programs and presentations of traditional folk handicrafts. These cultural activities on site of the open-air exposition already have a long-lived tradition and a wide circle of visitors.
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