Open-Air Ethnographic Museum (Skanzen), Szentendre
Located on a 55 hectares large protected area, the open air ethnographic museum exhibits the vernacular architecture and interior furnishings Hungarian regional units. In 2000, the museum won the Museum of the Year Award. The Skanzen's mission is to protect, research and exhibit the cultural heritage of rural Hungary.
The first open air ethnographic museum was opened in Stockholm by Arthur Hazelius in 1891. The exhibition showing the different regions of the country was set up in the part of the city called Skansen, hence the name of similar museums. At first, these open air museums were opened in Scandinavia but after World War II there were skansens scattered all over the world. In Hungary, the first of such exhibition, the Ethnographic Village was created for the millennial celebrations of 1896. Though it was a success, the first permanent skanzen could only be built in 1967 but it started a whole range of skanzens in Hungary. Today there are nearly 400 skansens in the country.
The Szentendre Skansen exhibits the cultural heritage of 9 different regions and many items, spanning from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century. These are all original folk buildings transported to the museum from their respective region. The buildings were organised to resemble peasant households to which other sacred and farm buildings are connected. There are plans to expand the Skanzen with the folk architecture of the 10-15th and 20th century. In the 1970's, the remains of a Roman villa (villa rustica) were found, these can also be seen.
The museum can be visited between the beginning of April and the end of October. Between the exhibited regions, visitors can travel with the longest normal-gauge railway, the Skansen Train which requires a separate ticket.
The official website of the Skansen: www.skanzen.hu/en