Being one of the UNESCO heritage sites, St Michael the Archangel Church in D?bno was a Gothic church built of larch wood in the 15th century. It’s still in use at present for the locals and tourists. On Sundays, the church is always packed with faithful disciples for the Sunday service and curious tourists waiting for going inside the church, opened only 10 minutes for tourists each weekend, to witness the well-preserved interior fittings and paintings. The maintenance is down to the priest who is not just the ‘tour guide’ of this historical church, but also works as a guardian of this small village and surrounding area.
The significance of Kysuce village is the historical forest dead-end railway. Connecting two independent forest railwaysin both Kysuce and Orava regions, this forest railway offered the shortest transportation route of logging industry between these two mountainous regions in the early 20th century. The whole track length extended from 61km when it was first constructed to nearly 110km at the end of 1920s. The most valuable part of the track overcame a noticeable rise of 217.69m on the shortest distance (air line) of 1500m with three pointed dead-end system. This tailor-made narrow gauge railway serves the main purpose of transporting logs out of the forest up in the Tatras Mountain.
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.
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.
The Viking ship museum is located at the Roskilde, Denmark. The museum focuses on the preservation, reconstruction and investigation of various Scandinavian boats and ships in the prehistoric and medieval times, but distinguishes itself from others for its hands-on activities.
Visitors not only learn traditional shipbuilding techniques, such as wooden nail making and rope making, but also come on board to experience the real Viking ship cruise!
The museum has many shipbuilders in charge of the ship reconstructions on which they apply the techniques from the old time. Shipbuilders reconstruct ships in the open-air exhibition area, so the public can take a close look at their works.
The SIIDA (the Sami cultural and natural museum in Inari) was opened in 1962. It provides visitors knowledge and information of Sami culture and Arctic Nature in the northernmost region of Finland.
In the exhibition hall of the SIIDA, numerous Sami wooden crafts, such as baby cradle, dishes, drinking cups, butter box, and jewelry box, etc., are well preserved and displayed. Also, there is a photo exhibition of the Sami history that tells stories of their life for generations.
In order to make a living, the indigenous Sami people have some customs, such as domesticated reindeers herding and fish catching in the river. Traditionally, the Sami lived a way of life based on seasonal movement from their winter sod dwellings or log cabins to spring, summer and autumn camps. These Sami sod huts, log cabins, and wooden boats for moving along rivers, from the 18th to 19th century, have also been collected and exhibited at the open-air area of the SIIDA .
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.
Norsk Skogmuseum (The Norwegian Forest Museum) is located at Elverum, Hedmark County, Norway. The museum aims to provide the knowledge of Norwegian forest culture and life related to forestry, hunting, fishing, and aquarium.
In the museum main hall on the ground floor, many aspects of the forestry, such as timber floating, hunting, forest industry in the old times and the present times, and social conditions in forestry, including living conditions, forest fare, clothes and dress, etc., are well introduced with pictures and exhibits of forest tools and machinery. On the first floor, visitors can see numerous exhibits of hunting, trapping, and fishing in Norwegian’s everyday life.
Outside the museum, there is an arboretum, a botanical garden of trees and bushes, situated in the southeast part of the museum. The outdoor exhibits consist of various devices employed in hunting and trapping, and cabins used during logging, hunting, and fishing from 17th -20th century.
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.