Orawski Park Etnograficzny w Zubrzycy Górnej




The Orava Ethnographic Park Museum is a centre of Oravan history and culture. It is here that a former Oravan village was reconstructed, including the key element of the Moniak manor.

At the Orava Museum, there are open-air events aiming at the presentation of a live village, full of singing, dancing, music. folk art and craft, customs and farming work. The largest events include the "Świeto Borówki" ("Blueberry Day"), organised on the last Sun I day of July. This is an annual event including shows of folk craft, such as smithing, embroidery, painting, pottery. I wicker work, tailoring, making paper flowers, and such vanishing crafts of Orava people as flax work, cabbage cutting, horse labour at the treadmill, crop clearing; there are also song and dance ensemble shows and competitions for children and adults. Apart from visiting, one may also learn a traditional craft at the Museum. In groups of about 20 people, after previously arranging a time, under the supervision of an instructor, you may participate in the flax working process, making flour and bread, painting on glass, making paper decorations or rag-dolls, as well as learning to sing regional songs.

Access to the Museum in Zubrzyca Górna: from Krakow via route no. 7 (E77) to Jabłonka, then turn right by route no. 957 towards Zawoja and Maków Podhalanski; from Oswiecim via route no. 28 to Maków Podhalanski and further by route no. 957 towards Jabłonka.

The museum is open

from 1 May to 30 September between 8.30 AM and 5 PM.

from 1 October to 30 April between 8.30 AM and 2.30 PM.




We propose two routes for visiting the museum, depending on the time you wish to spend here. The "small loop" includes the buildings inside the museum's fencing, while the "large loop" is an extension of the "small loop", leading also outside the fence to facilities located in the new sector of the museum.

Small loop

Start of the visit

No. 1.  The Black lnn

No. 2.  Granary and entry gate

No. 3.  The Dziubek family house

No. 4.  Apiary

No. 5.  The Pas-Filipek family farm

No. 6.  The Moniak manor house

No. 7.  Oil mill and carriage house

No. 8.  The Dziurczak family house

No. 21. The Kot family house

No. 22. Cloth processing house

No. 23. Sawmill

No. 24. Forgery

No. 25. Manor house cellar

No. 26. The White Inn

No. 27. Poor farmer's house

No. 28. Bell tower

End of the visit.

Big loop

Start of the visit

No. 1.     The Black Inn

No. 2.     Granary and entry gate

No. 3.     The Dziubek family house

No. 4.     Apiary

No. 5.     The Pas-Filipek family farm

No. 6.     The Moniak manor house

No. 7.     Oil mill and carriage house

No. 8.     The Dziurczak family house

No. 9.     The Omylak family house

No. 10.   Church

No. 11.   The Misiniec family farm

No. 12.   The Wontorczyk family farm

No. 13.   The Mafysa family farm

No. 14.   Shepherds' huts

No. 15.   The Swietlak family house

No. 16.   The Anna Pawlak house

No. 17.   The Joanna Moniak house

No. 18.   The Miraj family farm

No. 19.   The Czarniak family farm

No. 20.   School

No. 21.   The Kot family house

No. 22.   Cloth processing house

No. 23.   Sawmill

No. 24.   Forgery

No. 25.   Manor house cellar

No. 26.   The White Inn

No. 27.   Poor farmer's house

No. 28.   Bell tower

End of the visit.

Visiting the buildings from the outside - without a guide Visiting the interiors - with a guide only


The former inn from Podwilk, called the Black Inn, which now acts as a reception, ticket office and souvenir shop also offering regional publications. It is a large building from the 18th century, covered with a tall 'Polish-type' shingle roof. It features a dual-route layout. Its characteristic feature is the central hall of broken and whitewashed stone. Small windows visible in the roof are a reminder of former smoke holes from the times when the building featured a smoke-based heating system. The system was based on furnaces and stoves not having smoke ducts or chimneys. Smoke was exhausted through an opening in the high ceiling, and then through small windows in the roof. The 'dark' room was full of black smoke deposited inside on the beams.

The present decoration and method of roofing such windows resembles the manor-style lucarne window. In the past, the building acted as the village hospital, a place of senior citizen care, yet for the longest time it served as an inn with living premises. After the transfer to Zubrzyca, in the years 1955-1975, a tourist shelter operated in the building.


The granary is an eighteenth-century building with an upper floor, surrounded by an open gallery and covered with a tent-type shingle roof. It features high walls of a spruce beam framework, with a 'fish tail' structure. It was brought to the museum in 1954 from the village of Podwilk, where it once served as a granary for the rural presbytery. Together with the granary, elements of a historical roofed gate were also transported, which was carefully reconstructed.



The house of Alojzy Dziubek transferred to the museum from Jabłonka. It is a nineteenth-century building with a characteristic Oravan upper floor that housed a granary. It is an example of the more wealthy farms where agriculture prevailed instead of shepherding or forestry. Such farms occurred in the valley part of Orava, near Jabłonka. The house features three large rooms surrounded by smaller farming rooms from the north, while a long hall divides one of the living rooms. The building is of a rectangular beam structure with a hipped roof. Inside, the rooms are arranged in a suite: First, there is the 'dark room' heated via a chimneyless system, followed by the 'white room'.

The owner's wealth is testified to by two granaries on the floor. They can be accessed via stairs in the hall, leading to the upper floor. On the upper floor, through the door, one can enter a long open gallery stretching along the entire front wall, from which the granary can be entered. An interesting element is also the board-type 'solar clock' hanging on one of the poles of the gallery. In the house, we can also presently see the 'wedding reception chamber' - an interior showing the fully furnished room complete with tables, benches, dishes, plates, and candlesticks, as if prepared for wedding guests. In front of the house, there is a pile of fire-wood placed in the cha­racteristic traditional Oravan way.


Bee hives collected here are made of hollow tree logs with various shapes of entry holes. The hives are surrounded with a beautiful and characteristic fence of fine, bent planks cut with an axe from a log of wood along the grains. Bee-keeping (both forest and home-based) was a supplement to the farming or shepherd business, thus providing additional resources and income. Hives are covered with flat roofs of planks cut from a log with an adze, with two- or three-sloping roofs with eaves, or cone-shaped roofs.




The house of the middle class Paś-Filipek family is a typical example of Oravan building art. This is testified to by such elements as the house's construction according to a square plan, its asymmetry, rooms in the form of a suite, a hipped roof with shingles and an upper floor accessed by stairs in front of the building, semi-circular door frames, pole-type window frames, bent line of roof corners with smoke holes (house heated with smoke system). The building does feature a chimney, yet it is the result of the heating system's recon­struction after World War I. The house was brought into the museum from the nearby village of Jabłonka.

Legend has it that in former times the building was transported from Zubrzyca to Jabłonka as the dowry of a bride coming from Zubrzyca. The beam supporting the ceiling of the white room features the year of construction: 1843, while the chamber shows the date of 1765 which refers to single elements of the construction. The interior traditionally comprises a hall placed on the side, behind which there is the dark room, the white room and, further, behind an internal wall, is a utility room. Inside the house there are presently three weaving workshops and weaving equipment. These include flax processing tools, such as planks with dense iron spikes for seeding the flax bundles, a kind of bat for bashing flax stems,

equipment for the manual breaking and crushing of hard harls (dry flax stems). Inside the house, there is also an exhibition of textile products which constituted an important sector of the economy at the time. In front of the house, there is a fenced garden with vegetables and flowers, while in the back yard is a typical farm building, reconstructed in 1958, comprising three premises: stables, food store, and a tall, wide space where it was possible to drive in with a cart full of harvest to unload and thresh crops.


NO. 6

The Moniak farm is a manor complex and the most precious monument and 'heart' of the Orava Museum. It comprises six buildings that have been here for over 300 years. These are: an ancient manor, sheepfold, cart hall, pigsty, manor stables and a cellar. Farm buildings serve as warehouses and in the summer, an exhibition of farming tools takes place here. The Moniak family acted as village administrators from the establishment of the village in the 16th century to the mid-19th century. In 1674, the family obtained the gentry title awarded by the emperor's act, receiving a coat of arms featuring a wolf standing on its rear feet, holding a cross and sword.

The main and oldest building is the wooden manor house. Its left wing is probably older and, according to family tradition, originates from the 17th century. The right wing is already dated - on the beam supporting the ceiling was carved the date of 1784. The visit of the interior starts with the dark room, which still features the archaic room heated via the chimneyless system, with a high ceiling. Below the ceiling are long beams, on which fire-wood was placed for drying. There are two stone stoves here, with two open hearths in front. Smoke from the hearths spread across the room, darkening, and at the same time preserving the spruce beams of the house structure, while stoves served for baking bread, drying flax, or for resting - in the winter people lay down to sleep

on the warm stove. Another, smaller stove heated the neighbouring room - the white room - with no smoke, which served as the guest room. In the corner, opposite the grand stove in the dark room, there is a table with a renaissance-shaped stand and regular plank top, and chairs with profiled supports. By the walls, there are benches with beautifully shaped edges. Over the table is a shelf with bowls and jugs. Such shelves can be found in various parts of the room. On the top peg of one of the shelves is an iron dog-collar with long spikes, which was to protect the dog against attacks by wolves. Under the ceiling, there is a board which used to serve as a shelf for dairy products - cheese, smoked cheese, and dried herbs.

The floor in the room is made of a compacted and dried clay layer, while in the corner, at the stove, there is a floor for animals made of fine tree trunks, as in frosty winters calves were brought here to protect them against the cold. Hens and rabbits were kept in a wooden cage next to the stove. Behind the dark room, there is a small store for food. The white room, with a wooden floor, is a different interior. It features furniture and equipment that are carved, painted, or even inlaid, which testified to the wealth of the owners. We can admire a writing desk with letters and stamps and, high on the wall, there is a long shelf with paintings on glass. In 1784, another,

right wing of the wooden manor house was built. Its furnishing corresponds to the nature of 19th-century, more modest gentry manor houses. The living room, the most representative room of the house, is filled with Biedermeyer-and Louis Philippe-style furniture. On the dresser is a small collection of china. At the time, rooms were lit with oil lamps and candles. From the living room, a small door leads to the former village administrator's office.


The oil house is a building where oil was made from flaxseed. The flaxseed oil, among other things, served for enriching food with fat during the period of Lent. The building comprises two rooms. One is furnished with long logs with holes where wooden pistons enter, moved with levers pressed by oil-maker's legs. It was in this part where flaxseeds were crushed, which resulted in a fatty, floury pulp. In the other room, such pulp was placed in a copper pan of the small corner stone stove located there, and heated until a semi-liquid consistence was achieved. Next, there was a wedge-ram press. The hot deposit was wrapped in two pieces of cloth - one of woollen

cloth, the other made of bristle - and placed inside a horizontal, thick, halved log hanging on two vertical poles, immobilised from the top with a strong plug. Manually moved side rams hammered the wooden wedges into the openings in the logs with the force of up to a thousand kilogrammes, while the log pressing onto the plug clenched the pulp between its halves, thus crushing it with great force, while the dripping oil was filtered by the cloth and bristle.


NO. 8

The house of the Dziurczak family is a building from the late 19th century, transported here from the neighbouring village of Zubrzyca Dolna. It features an open balcony with laced board-work in the lower part. It is an example of a newer construction, without a granary or gallery, featuring a one-and-a-half route layout and entry placed at the house axis. Its windows are of a newer type with frames, and twofold opening with a total of six panes. The roof only features one smoke hole for the central room, which still has the archaic smoke-based heating system. In side rooms, in turn, newer types of stoves were introduced, with chimneys.

The building is placed on stone foundations and a deep basement with an arched roof, where harvests were to be kept. The house is not open to visitors, as it houses the Museum's library and ethnographic laboratory, as well as its storerooms. Upon request, a collection of folk and shepherd musical instruments can be presented to visitors.


NO. 9

The house of the Omylak family. The facility was transported from the neighbouring village of Zubrzyca Dolna, dating back to the second half of the 19th century, and has characteristic features of Oravan architecture. The hall is situated laterally, the doors are arched, and the front wall is symmetrically divided. Presently, it houses a biographical exhibition devoted to Piotr Borowy, a great Oravan, independence activist, philosopher and author of famous teachings, called the 'Apostle of Orava' who, after World war I, took part in the Polish delegation to Paris together with Father Ferdynand Machay to negotiate with the American President, Woodrow Wilson,

the re-accession of Orava and Spis, which were under the Habsburg rule, to Poland. Apart from documents, photographs and souvenirs, there is also a chest that was once the dowry of a bride - the mother of Father Ferdynand Machay, a grand Oravan, mitrate, theologian and politician from the period of the Second Republic of Poland, an independence activist who studied in Budapest and Paris, later arch-presbyter of the Mariacki Church in Krakow, a columnist and publisher.



The Church of Our Lady of the Snow was transferred from the village of Tokarnia near Jordanow and erected here in 2008. It is the first such wooden sacral facility in the museum. Its placement next to the farm of the Misiniec family, which hosted young Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II, is not accidental and has a symbolic meaning. The fact it has been placed next to the Moniak manor house also refers to the tradition of chapels and other sacral facilities at manor houses. The church was built in the early 18th century, originally as a manor house chapel, which was then rebuilt in the years 1806 and 1877. The last extension and renovation of the church were carried out in the period of 1964-68.

The church has a beam framework. It comprises a nave with a vestibule and a choir closed on three sides, with an added vestibule and vestry. On the outside, the church has been covered with planks and a pitched shingled roof. Over the choir, there is a small tower for an ave-bell, covered with a spherical dome. Inside, the church appears to have an arched ceiling in the nave, with flat ceiling sections on the sides. Moreover, apart from late-Baroque altars, in the church, we can admire the sculptures of contemporary folk artist Jozef Wrona from the village of Tokarnia. Next to the church, there is the bell tower. It is a reconstruction of the original bell tower that remained in Tokarnia.



The entire complex: house with garden and well, a farm building, a ground cellar for harvests dug in the slope of a hill, and a forgery, have been here since their origin. The house dates back to the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries, with a characteristic pedimentroof. The for-mer owners say that in 1938 they hosted young Karol Wojtyta, later Pope John Paul II, when he was working as a stone­cutter building the road to Silesia across the pass at Mount Babia Gora, which is com-memorated by a woo­den plaque. Until the late 1980s, the entire farm was used by the last co-owner, Maria Misiniec who, until the end of her stay at Zubrzyca, ran a small farm,

which included a cow, and always served visitors dry home-made cheese, and offered fruit candies to children.


NO. 12

Alongside is exhibited a farm of the shape of the letter „L" type. It comprises the 19th-century house of Mr Wontorczyk from the nearby village of Lipnica Mala and the farm building of the Solawa family from the neighbouring village of Zubrzyca Dolna. The Wontorczyk family house was transferred to the museum in 1986, and rebuilt in 1997. This house is made of a beam framework structure, covered with shingle roof, based on a stone foundation, featuring higher stone levels along the front wall that was characteristic of Oravan architecture and served as a pass (under the eaves) to farm buildings. Richly ornamented window frames are to be noted.

The Solawa farm building dates from the 1940s, and was reconstructed at the museum in 2007. It features a framework structure, partly made of planks, and a shingle roof. The vast barn crosses the stables, with a wooden bridge in front of the entrance, from the store rooms.


The farm of the Malysa fa­mily from the village of Chyzne, and dates back to 1869. It was transferred to the museum in 1985 and is an example of a dual-building farm in a single row, in an elongated layout. It features a granary and laced gallery, typical of Orava. It is covered with a hipped roof of shingles and thatch bundles bound along the edge with a straw rope, laid on the roof ears downwards. Inside the house, manually embroidered tapestries with maxims are exhibited, as they were a popular element of wall decoration in village kitchens and rooms; the house also features an exhibition devoted to its last owner, who was a pilgrim. The interior is typical of the mid-20th century.



NO. 14

Bee hives collected here are made of hollow tree logs with various shapes of entry holes. The hives are surrounded with a beautiful and characteristic fence of fine, bent planks cut with an axe from a log of wood along the grains. Bee-keeping (both forest and home-based) was a supplement to the farming or shepherd business, thus providing additional resources and income. Hives are covered with flat roofs of planks cut from a log with an adze, with two- or three-sloping roofs with eaves, or cone-shaped roofs.



NO. 15

Das Wirtschaftshaus des Bauern Świetlak, stammt aus einem Weiler von Zubrzyca Górna und ist im Freilichtmuseum seit dem Jahre 1984. Es ist ein Gebäude aus den vierziger Jahren des 20. Jahr­hunderts, aus Holz, in einer Blockholzweise errichtet, mit einer breiten Front, asymmetrisch mit einer Kammer durch einen Flur abgetrennt, gedeckt durch ein Satteldach aus Holzschindeln mit Traufe. Die Spalten zwischen den Wandelementen des Holzhauses wurden mit Moos abgedichtet, die Abdichtungsstellen wurden mit Lehm bestrichen und blau angemalt.


NO. 16

The house of Anna Pawlak from the village of Piekielnik, transferred to the museum in 1985 is a typically Oravan building with a granary on the upper floor, and a beam framework. The doors are arched. The hipped roof is covered with thatch and shingles. The house dates back to the second half of the 19th century. Presently, it houses an exhibition of former carpentry, carving and sculpture.



NO. 17

This is an example of one-building farm. Under a common roof, there are living rooms and utility rooms linked with a barn. The farm dates back to the early 20th century. It was transferred to the museum from Zubrzyca Gorna in 1984, and rebuilt in 1995. The last owners lived at this farm until 1984, hence the building reached the museum in a good condition, together with its original furniture. In the residential part of the house, spaces between the beams were filled with moss, sealed with clay, and painted blue.



NO. 18

This is a one-building farm, featuring living rooms and utility rooms linked with the barn, under a common roof. Originally, the entire house of the Miraj family was thatched, similarly as most buildings in Jablonka until the mid-20th century. In those days, thatch was the cheapest and the most easily available material for roofing. Every householder who sowed rye, cut it with a scythe and threshed it with flails, and had a ready product for thatching in the autumn. Almost everyone could make such a roof on their own, and repair it without a problem in case of damage. Unfortunately, thatch was flammable. Presently, thatching (not to be confused with reed roofing) is one of the most expensive roof covers.

Machine harvesting means that there is no appropriate material, and there are no volunteers for the difficult manual, labour-consuming work of thatching. Therefore, despite prior plans to faithfully restore the Miraj house, we finally decided to cover it with a shingle roof, symbolically leaving only part of the thatched roof.


NO. 19

The Czarniak family farm, built in 1930, was transferred to the museum from Zubrzyca Gorna. The residential building, with a basement, covered with a shingle pediment roof, and the farm building, are linked from the east with an open roof with a gate.



NO. 20

A school, transferred to the museum from Lipnica Wielka, dates from the second half of the 19th century. It is a wooden building of beam framework. It is covered with a pediment roof. The entrance is covered with an open porch. The layout is of a single suite type, with a separate large classroom and two living premises for the teacher. Presently the interior is used for temporary exhibitions at the Museum.



NO. 21

The house of Franciszek Kot from the village of Zubrzyca Gorna is a building erected in 1869. In front, there is a small garden surrounded by a fence of spruce branches. The house, similarly to the manor house, features an upper floor with granary and, along the wall, a gallery where flax and linen used to be dried. According to the prevailing rule, the house faces south. The roof is hipped, made of carefully laid shingles, while the front of the house features a beautiful arched door decorated with the motif of a rising sun that leads to the hall at the edge of the building. From the hall, a door leads to the dark room, the furnishing of which resembles that of the Moniak manor, only the room is smaller and the furniture

- poorer. Behind the dark room, there is the white room featuring a bed with the dowry linen of the wife, and festive clothes hanging on the perches next to the stove. On the side wall is a board with paintings and decorative dishes. Oravan interiors usually featured hand-made equipment.


NO. 22

The cloth processing house was where cloth was milled. It comprises two rooms divided by a hall, covered by a pitched roof of planks split from a log. Inside the first room is a stone stove with a copper pot for heating water supplied from the stream with a channel grooved in a perch. Hot water was in turn fed using a similar channel to the floor-based log with an opening into which woollen material was placed that had been woven in home weaving workshops. The textile was flushed with hot water and subsequently beaten with two vast hammers driven by a water mill, which resulted in uniform thickness and compact texture of the linen, but at the same time in shrinking by approximately 60%. 



NO. 23

The sawmill was transported to the museum from the village of Lopuszna near Nowy Targ. It is a long platform with a roof of chopped planks, featuring boarding just from one side. It served for sawing logs into halves, beams or planks. The sawmill equipment was driven by a turbine and, owing to the transmission system, saws moved from bottom up and back cutting along the trunks.


NO. 24

The forge is covered with a roof featuring a large hood over the entrance. Inside, there is a large blacksmith's stove with grand leather bellows for enhancing the embers. There are all the tools necessary for the work of a blacksmith, such as hammers, pincers and anvils where iron items were worked: horse shoes, ploughshares, ferrules for cart wheels, hinges and ferrules for doors, and other iron items used on farms


NO. 26

An inn from the village of Podwilk, called the White Inn, with whitewashed walls, blue window frames and doors. It is covered with a pediment roof and features a small attic and balcony. Presently, it houses the museum offices, while temporary exhibitions are organised in the attic


NO. 27

A poor house, which earned its name due to its small size. It was transported from the village of Podszkle at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s. Until then, it had been heated with the archaic smoke system, namely without a chimney. Under the shingle roof, there are two modest rooms in a suite, and utility rooms. This type of architecture from the late 19th century, without a granary or gallery, was characteristic of poor families.



NO. 28

The bell tower was transferred from a hamlet in Zubrzyca Gorna. It has a beam structure and is placed on a low foundation. Walls slant towards the centre and are boarded with planks. On this structure, a superstructure was placed with open windows, where a small, seventeenth-century bronze bell hangs. Such bell towers were built in the fields in Orava, in areas remote from the church, but from where their bell could be heard well. The bell rang three times per day at the time of Angelus Domini Prayer, and whenever anyone from the area passed away. The bells also served to "drive away the clouds" during the coming storm, which was the belief of farmers working in the field.