Čičmany, one of the most famous living villages in Slovakia, has the least information distributed on the internet. Having been a mysterious village to the world outside Slovakia, ?i?many needs to gain more recognition from the public to publicize the characteristics of the lime painted wooden houses. Painting lime on the wall is not just for decoration, but also to prevent the wood from cracking up with the result that these residents then start painting patterns to beautify the house. Northeast to ?i?many lies the wooden Bethlehem in Rajecká Lesná made by an enthusiastic carpenter who devoted his life on this project which was unfinished by the time he passed away. A priest afterwards was then by his passion and continued to accomplish the carpenter’s dream.
Being one of the few living villages listed in UNESCO heritage, Vlkolínec was reluctant to turn itself into a proper museum. A group of volunteers found this remote mountainous village and were stunned by which they still remain the old way of living. As time goes by, however, people move out into the city gradually as there is not much to do in this remote area other than herding animals. Up until now, there are 55 houses standing in the village, but only 6 of them are inhabited by 19 people. Some of them are kept as it was and some are turned into cottages in display. People living there are actually feeling hassled most of the time with people walking around their houses. Occasionally some tourists would abruptly walk into people’s house without knowing they have intruded resident’s privacy. We were lucky that a half-drunken man invited us into his house and told us his stories and the history of this village with a big happy smile on his face.
Arriving in the Liptov Village Museum, we were welcomed by a lively performance telling a story of highway man in Slovakia. Over 80% of the whole country is covered by mountains and therefore the country tale of highway man has been always a notable story to be told. The director of Liptov Village Museum, Dr Iveta Zusinova, a local grown anthropologist, commenced this museum for the sake of keeping important parts of 22 villages at which the area was wiped out to build up a dam. This museum holds various events in order to form an image of the country life in the olden days for tourists.
Spreading over the meadows at the bottom of the Western Tatras, Orava Village signals a good location for an open-air museum. Orava village museum is aiming to represent the exterior settings of settlements and the living environment of these villages of the 12th to 13th Century, and brings the visitors closer to the wooden structure and furniture with which the life of village people are connected. Scattering as a real village setting in Orava, the Latin school, the market, cattle place, fire alarm bell and the surrounding settings of the whole village compose the image of a mountainous village of the old time and offer the pleasant atmosphere for visitors to experience the country life.
Old Rauma is the largest Nordic wooden town with over 600 well-preserved wooden architectures from the 18th -19th century, and most of which are privately owned. It is valued for its vernacular architectural heritage, and these houses, workshops and shops are still in use today.
Back in the old days, almost every household had lace-makers making bobbin lace, a technique believed to have been brought by sailors in the 18th century. Although, lacemaking had once brought wealth into the city of Rauma, it is now a declined industry and a cultural heritage practiced and preserved by local people. When making bobbin lace, lace makers need a lace pillow with pin set and wind threads on wooden bobbins, to determine the lace pattern according to the placement of wooden bobbin and pin.
The City Renovation Center exhibits tools and materials used for constructing and preserving Rauma wooden houses, and photos documenting the preservation history of these traditional buildings, are valuable and worth visiting. The center is a place where people can acquire techniques, and obtain knowledge of conserving and renovating the traditional Finnish wooden architecture.
In 1997, Eksjo was awarded the Europa Nostra Diploma for its remarkable renovation of the traditional buildings gives a new life to the old town. Today, Eksjo has become one of the best-preserved timber-built towns in Sweden.
The city of Eksjo has burned down twice throughout its history. In 1568, the town was burn down during the First Northern War, and subsequently rebuilt in a different place that was easier to defend. In 1856, Eksjo burned down for the second time, and the fire had destroyed all of the southern part. In the 1860s, the area was re-planned and re-built, and the fire-protection system was taken into account at this time; therefore, most of the traditional buildings we have seen today are from the 17th - 18th century.
In order to protect wooden houses against fire, Eksjo has several fire-protection measures, for example, using fire-resistant glass windows, and sealing the not-in-use gate, door or window to prevent wind-driven fire from spreading; and installing water sprinkler system on the roof of houses to extinguish or suppress fire, etc... In addition, the old town has efficient alarm system where, when the fire occurs, firefighters will arrive within 5 minutes to put out the fire.
Bergen is a city and municipality on the west coast of Norway. The economy of Bergen today is based on tourism, fishery, shipping, and offshore petroleum industry. Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, has a series of North European wooden houses from medieval time aligned on the side of fjord. Back in Hanseatic period, Bryggen was a business district and now is preserved and listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The museums in Bergen University with rich collections of the Vikings’ hut, appliances and wooden ships are also worth a visit!
On the campus of University of Bergen lies the Cultural History Collections of University Museum that exhibits wooden axes, huts, and shipbuilding tools used by the Vikings. Bergen Maritime Museum presents Norway’s history of shipping from the past to the present; its collections of shipwrecks and ship models include Viking ships, archeological ship remains, and artifacts.
Located at Heddal in Notodden municipality, Norway, Heddal Stave Church (Norwegian: Heiterdals kircke) was constructed in the early 13th century. It is the largest among the 28 stave churches remained in Norway today. Stave church is a medieval wooden church of traditional Nordic style.
Heddal stave church is a timber-built church with three small turrets. The church contains numerous symbols of old Christian and heathen traditions. The holy cross on the turrets is the symbol of Christianity, whereas the dragon heads at the gable ends represent the old heathen motifs rooted in Celtic and Germanic sources.
Laténium Museum is an archaeology museum located in Hauterive, suburb of Neuchâtel. Its name is a combination of “La Tène”, the name of archaeological site of the Celtic civilization back in the late Iron Age, and the word “museum.”
Inaugurated in 2001, the museum has rich archaeological collections of Celtic artifacts, and those from both older and more recent periods as well. Laténium Museum has a collection of 3000 objects, including a 20-meter long Roman wooden ship discovered in Bevaix.
Apart from indoor exhibition, there is another open-air area within the museum park. The dwellings of the lake villagers could be dated back to 1,000 BC, and the museum has reconstructed several architectures in order to demonstrate the history to the visitors.
B?nigen is a small village in the canton Bern, which is located in the central Switzerland. This small village has an area of 15.12 square kilometers, where steep mountains surround a large part of the area.
The village of B?nigen is famous for its unique decorated wooden houses. Radiating from fountain square, which is the former town center, numerous frescoed houses are scattered within the old town area. Dating from 1549 onwards, these buildings functioned as either dwelling for people or storehouse for cheese.
Many of these wooden dwellings had expanded to house the enlarged family. The original structure and the expanded parts of the house could be differentiated according to the doorway or color of paint. These well-preserved wooden houses in Bönigen are decorated with colorful patterns and images, plus biblical quotes in Gothic and Roman letters that inscribed on the exterior wall of the building. Visitors could easily perceive and understand the value of these cultural legacies.