The Orava Ethnographic Park, located on the borderland between Poland and Slovakia, at the foot of the Babia Góra mountain, encourages us to learn about the culture of the highlanders from Orava. Around the open-air museum, one can see typical cottages with a wyżka (a room in the attic) in which highlanders lived, and also places where they worked: a sawmill, an oil mill, a smithy, and a fulling mill – a plant where cloth was treated. One can also learn here about the history and tradition of painting on glass, which was very important to this region. The uniqueness and beauty of the Park was appreciated by many artists, among others by film director Jerzy Hofman, who shot here scenes for the film adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Ogniem i Mieczem (With Fire and Sword).
The most valuable monument of the Museum is the manor of the Moniak family – former village administrators of Zubrzyca Górna. In 1674, Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg conferred a noble title on Mateusz Moniak, who opposed the Protestant lords from Orava imposing their faith on Catholic peasants. In the building, there is a section without a chimney which dates back to the 17th century and is fitted with simple, old furniture. There is also a more noble section with an elegant sitting room fitted with 18th-century furniture. The farm buildings include a bee yard with hives typical of Orava and a granary.

Elaborated by Olga Kasztelewicz, Joanna Kotarba,
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Photograph by Sebastian Woźniak, arch. MIK (2013),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Zubrzyca Górna
34-484 Zubrzyca Górna

phone 18 28 524 87
page museum

Opening hours

November  — March
Monday  — Sunday
8.30 — 14.30
April, October
Monday  — Sunday
8.00 — 16.00
May — June, September
Monday  — Sunday
9.00 — 17.00
July — August
Monday  — Sunday
9.00 — 19.00

Ticket Prices

normal 20 PLN reduced 12 PLN

Orava clock

This is a domestic wall clock with a pendulum, having an escapement with a drive and a signalling mechanism chiming the hours. It is also equipped with a weight drive. The whole mechanism is placed in a wooden casing with a bell and a hammer at the top.

Orava painted chest

The presented object is a high, dark green chest, resting on four profiled legs with a drawer at the bottom. The front wall is decorated with a painted pattern of vertical rectangles with concavely incised corners, separated from the background by a honey colour and a narrow burgundy red frame.

Orava jacket — “cucha”

The presented object is a men’s outer garment made of brown cloth, lined with blue and white herringbone factory-made fabric. On the collar and at the end of the sleeves, a black decoratively backstitched material is visible.

Orava skirt

The presented object is a wide skirt of navy-blue cretonne covered with a white print of plant pattern (contour clover leaves), referring to the so-called 19th century, factory-made tłoczeliny. It has a traditional cut.

Clay bowl

A middle-sized red baked clay bowl with a narrow bottom and straight, widely open sides, ended at the top with a little rim. The inside of the bowl and the bottom are decorated with simple drawings of twigs. At the top, there are wavy lines. The decoration was made with yellow enamel. From the inside, the bowl is covered with brown glaze.

Orava pitcher

The presented object is a spherical pitcher with a short, narrow neck to which a convex handle is attached. Its lower edge reaches only down to the upper part of the body, without disturbing the graceful spherical shape. In this type of narrow-necked pitchers usually beverages like mead and wine were served. Upper Orava – in the part located on the Polish side – did not have its own pottery workshop, but it was easily supplied with these products at nearby fairs until World War I, mainly in Trzciana (Tyrstyna).

Orava trousers

The presented object is a pair of white baize trousers, Orava (originating from the area of Zubrzyca-Orava) made of white factory-made baize resembling home-spun cloth. One of the characteristic features which also occurs in other outfits of the Carpathian highlanders is two cuts at the waist, called zwory, trimmed with a black cloth trim, the so-called oblamek, with one red stripe of English cloth called wscyp z angliji [lit. an insert from England].

“Christ in the grave” – a glass painting from Orava

The picture painted on glass depicts Christ lying in the grave. In the centre, above the grave, there is a richly decorated monstrance. The candles in baroque candlesticks standing on both sides thereof suggest that this is a retable. In the bottom part of the picture, the figure of the supine Christ is depicted, quite schematically, from a slight profile. Plant motifs are bulky red-yellow roses, characteristic of Orava ornamentation.

Orava shirt — “kabotka”

The Orava shirt was tailored from light blue fabric. It narrows at the waist and is slightly widened at the bottom. The sleeve is raised high, narrowed from the elbow down with three pleated sections. Black ribbon applications are sewn into the edges at the front. The whole shirt is trimmed with a wide belt of black karakul sheep pelts. The back is fitted to the back line, slightly flared at the bottom.

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