- From history

The museum of rural buildings of the Central Vltava Region

This open-air museum preserves valuable monuments of rural architecture, which demonstrate the development of the peasant home from the mid 18th to the early 20th century in the Central Bohemian Highlands and the Central Vltava Region, in an area affected by the extraction of stone. Residential, agricultural and technical buildings, as well as minor religious monuments which were threatened by destruction in their original sites are now being gradually transferred to an area within a river valley. An indoor exhibition features village life and village farming methods.

The Middle Vltava Region is unique in Central Bohemia due to a relatively high number of preserved items of folk architecture from the 18th to early 20th century. There are also much older monuments, such as stone parts of buildings from the late Middle Ages and 17th century stone gates. This region is remarkable due to the occurence of a characteristic type of peasant building from the Berounka river region and from the Central Bohemian Highlands. The style of this peasant building has been influenced by architectural styles of the surrounding regions. The preserved residential and agricultural buildings also provide information about the history of the settlement within this region. The collections in the regional museum include rural household equipment, folk clothing, agricultural and handicraft tools and equipment and other items documenting the peasant farming methods.

Other interesting information, photos and virtual museum model here

As a result of the changes in the way of living in the villages and due to new agricultural practice and the modern requirements for manufacturing and for housing, and due to changes in ownership, many valuable village buildings are now no longer used. Without basic minimum maintenance, these objects will not survive. This is why a group of ethnologists and conservationists have created a project whose aim is to rescue valuable examples of peasant architecture in the Middle Vltava Region, which cannot be preserved in situ. By transfering these buildings to the open-air Museum of Folk Architecture, it is possible to save a considerable proportion of the distressed unique buildings and use them to document the rich architectural history of this region.

In 1998, this project was taken up by the "territorially competent“ former District Museum in Příbram, which is now called the Mining Museum Příbram and became the founder and investor of the regional rescue open air museum. A survey has mapped out the threatened buildings in the area and suitable locations for the creation of the open air museum in the Middle Vltava Region were listed. The location situated beneath the castle at Vysoký Chlumec near Sedlčany proved to be the most suitable. The necessary steps have been taken to purchase the land and prepare the project for approval. In 1999, it was possible to start creating the Museum of village buildings from the Middle Vltava Region as a branch of the Mining Museum Příbram.

Arnoštovice No. 3

Vysoký Chlumec is located 35 kilometeres east of Příbram and 8 kilometres south west of Sedlčany, in the picturesque countryside of the Middle Vltava Region. In 1998 the Mining Museum Příbram bought from the Lobkowicz family 3 hectares of land in the village of Vysoký Chlumec. In the following year, the creation of the village buildings museum from the Middle Vltava Region, a branch of the Mining Museum Příbram, began. The most endangered types of folk architecture, which would be destroyed in their original locations, disappeared are being selected and transferred to this museum. The endangered buildings are being trasfered primarily from the District of Příbram, with the main focus on the Sedlčany area.

Dům čp. 3 z Arnoštovic, kamenný milník a dva roubené špýchary z Počepic

Farmhouses, cottages, farm and maintenance buildings as well as water-powered technical installations are being sensitively incorporated into the natural environment of a small river valley. The new museum also includes minor religious monuments, mostly from the 18th-early20th century. When the museum is completed, it will include some 20–25 buildings.

In 2000, house No. 4 from Obděnice was transferred to the Museum as its first item. Remarkably, it proved possible to transfer the arch of a black kitchen with its chimney parts, the whole unit weighing 30 tons. This was a major achievement of the museum in its attempt to retain the authenticity of the original buildings. In 2001, the reconstruction of the house, completed and after an indoor exhibition was installed within it, the house was open to visitors in 2002.

Obděnice No. 4

The exhibition inside House No. 4 from Obděnice includes the black kitchen with examples of tools and dishes, which were used for cooking on an open fire. In the course of buiding adjustments within the house in its original situ, the black kitchen was modified by the bricking up of some of its holes (in connection with the removal of the oven in the room) into a smoke house.

From the partially timbered hall (with a wall which divides it from the living room) the visitor can climb up to the attic via a covered staircase. After the transfer, the building no longer has a basement. In the living room there is an exhibition showing the interior of a vernacular living style within a house of a middle-sized farmer living on the territory of South Bohemia in the 19th and at the beginning of 20th century. There are several pieces of painted folk furniture primarily from the collections of the Mining Museum Příbram. The room in the main part of the house, which was added to the existing room of the building probably in the last decade of the 19th century, served as the village shop, and was therefore also accessible from a door leading to the village green. The room is currently used for seasonal thematic exhibitions.

Obděnice No. 4

During the year 2001, two wooden granaries coming from farmstead No. 2 from Počepice were also transferred into the open air museum . In 2002, a milestone, a border stone and a pedestal under a cast iron cross were also transfered to the museum. 

Dům čp. 3 z Arnoštovic a roubený špýchar z Počepic
Arnoštovice No. 3, Počepice

In 2001, the Mining Museum Příbram acquired a water saw, which came originally from the village of Dolní Sloupnice in Chrudimsko. This is a unique machine from the second half of the 19th century, with a horizontal cutting blade, which could cut logs with a large diameter. The construction of the saw building began at the end of 2001. First, foundations and the stone base (the so called “under saw“) were constructed. In 2002, the shelter for the saw was completed and in the following two years, the installation of the technological equipment including a new oak water wheel (diameter 320 cm, width 90 cm) was built in the upper lead in order to make the water saw fully functional. In the second half of 2005, a water supplyfor the water wheel was built and in the same year a thematic exhibition for the public dealing with the history of functions and types of water-driven sawmills in central Bohemia was opened. This water-powered sawmill is the second such device located in Czech open air museums. 

Pila na vodní pohon z Dolní Sloupnice - vantroky
Pila na vodní pohon z Dolní Sloupnice - technické zařízení
Dolní Sloupnice

In 2003, an all-timbered house from Arnoštovice No. 3, a timbered two-chamber farmstead granary No. 1 from Ratiboř-Chýšky and a stone pedestal from 1880 fitted with a new Iron Cross were completed. In the following year, a renovated pillared dovecote from the Pojezdec settlement was erected in the courtyard of the house No. 3 from Arnoštovice.

Arnoštovice No. 3

In 2004, a part of a massive wooden pipe from the pond dam near the village of Kladrubce in the Southern Pilsen Region was transferred onto the site of former fish hatcheries, preseved within the museum. The hatcheries should be, along with another, an appropriate facility - such as Fisherman's Bastion, used for an exhibition featuring the development of fishpond farming and fish breeding in the Sedlčany region.

Mašov No. 10

In 2004–2005, the timbered house No. 10 from Mašov near Petrovice, which is dated 1738 on a beam in its main room, was disassembled, transferred and re-built. Its black kitchen with a vaulted ceiling and and parts of the chimney weighing 32 tons was also transferred as a whole unit. 

Roubený dům čp. 10 z Mašova
Dům čp. 10 z Mašova a špýchar usedlosti čp. 3 z Arnoštovic spolu s holubníkem
Mašov No. 10

In 2005, a wooden shed for vehicles belonging to the homestead No. 3 from Arnoštovice was re-assembled. Stone plinths from Petrovice near Sedlčany were fitted with cast iron crucifixes obtained from the cemetery near the church in Obděnice.

During 2006, the interior of timbered two-room granary from Ratiboř near Chýšky and a part of the interior of wooden house No. 10 from Mašov near Petrovice were made accessible. A wooden piston pump was installed in the yard of the house from Mašov No. 10.

The tenth, jubilee, open air museum building, the multi room granary No. 1 from Olbramovice-Městečko, was completed in late 2007. An apiary from the settlement Semtínek was also transferred and rebuilt and two interior exhibitions in a house from Mašov named Peasant Dwellings in the 18th and 19th Century were opened.

Olbramovice-Městečko No. 1

In 2007, the Mining Museum Příbram decided to use the drawdown of funds from the EU under the Operational Programme ROP NUTS 2 Central Bohemia, devoted to the support of public infrastructure and tourism services. The aim was to carry out the dismantling, removal and re-assembly of four buildings of traditional folk architecture located within the museum collection area. These buildings are: the predominantly timbered water mill No. 9 from Radešice, the timbered tetrahedral homestead barn from No. 2 in Mášov near Petrovice, the timbered dwelling house No. 8 from Jíví and the tetrahedral timbered hayloft from Buková near Rožmitál in the Brdy Military Area (the former Záběhlá territory).

Vodní mlýn z Radešic čp. 8

The construction of these buildings was completed in June 2010. Two of them were opened to the public in 2011. The Mašov barn, dating from around 1670 (so far the oldest building in the museum) serves visitors as a new entrance to the area of the open-air museum, with the box office and a souvenir shop, an introductory exhibition and toilets. The Radešice water mill called Jedlička's, originally standing on a tributary stream of the Vavrovský river, with the date 1722 engraved on one of the beams, includes an interior exhibition devoted to the life and work of millers. Fully functional technological equipment of the mill, the so-called semi artistic composition, including the water wheel are the main attractions here.

In 2012, the house from Jíví originating from the late 18th century will be made accessible. It will house an exhibition devoted to the history of the building of the open-air museum and to the activities related to research into folk architecture not only in the field, but also by means of archive documents. The latest of the four new buildings, the specious hayloft from Brdy, registered in 1830 as part of a large meadows agricultural project situated in the middle of the Rožmitál forests on the property of the Prague Archbishopric, will become an open depository of large peasant agricultural machinery and of peasant agricultural implements.

At the end of 2011, the construction of a polygonal timbered farmhouse barn transferred from No. 8 in Podolí near Vojkov was completed. Dating from 1662, it is one of the oldest peasant houses in the Czech Republic.

Polygonal timbered farmhouse barn transferred from No. 8 in Podolí near Vojkov

The Museum's own collecting activity is focused on the collection of machines, tools and other equipment, including the furnishings of the interior of the folk dwellings. The aim of the acquired items have is also to reflect the social stratification of the villagers living in the Middle Vltava Region from the late 18th to the first third of the 20th century. By 2011, the collections of the Chlumec Museum comprised more than 600 items. The existing ethnographic collection fund of the Mining Museum Příbram and the fund of the Municipal Museum in Sedlčany, with which the Mining Museum Příbram cooperates very closely, are also using for the creation of exhibitions.

Dolní Sloupnice

Currently the museum visitor can see more than fifteen buildings in Vysoký Chlumec, five of which are featured in an exhibition. Seasonal thematic panel exhibitions supplemented with objects from the Museum collections are displayed in the exhibition space inside the house from Obděnice. Particularly remarkable is the molded wooden column from a timbered farm building in Mezihoří near Petrovice and cooper's work tools obtained from Sestrouň.

The exhibition featured in the timbered granary from Počepice presents selected tools and equipment related to the processing and safekeeping of cereals and flour. A small beekeeping exhibition is located in the Sedlčany apiary. Twelve restored beehives acquired from the settlement in Rovina near Počepice were added to the collection in 2006.


The Mining Museum Příbram in cooperation with the municipality of Vysoký Chlumec annually organizes several cultural events such as the traditional Carnival, the popular Crafts Day, the Folklore Fun Day and the regular launch of each new issue of the National ethnographic anthology Podbrdsko. You can learn more about our current program on the News web page.