The Transylvanian complex in the Open-air Museum of Ethnography

MúzeumCafé 47.

Since its establishment in 1967 the Hungarian Open-air Museum has presented the folk architecture, interior decoration, way of life, farming and animal husbandry in the regions of today’s Hungary. The museum’s founding document included the future possibility of research over Hungary’s borders, and both professionals and visitors have been urging the museum to display the traditional folk culture of Hungarians living in neighbouring countries. In 2006 the museum, with the help of chief architect Miklós Buzás, prepared a preliminary plan for a Transylvanian section. The aim is to research, collect, interpret, preserve and display the built, material and intellectual cultural heritage of Transylvania, as well as the close connection between its residents and the natural environment. The various levels of minority existence and the factors promoting survival (church, school) are to be given an emphatic role. The colourful range of Transylvania’s ethnicity and religions, as well as inter-ethnic relations, will also be highlighted. Besides documenting and presenting the way of living of traditional Transylvanian society, learning about and displaying the processes of modernisation and social change at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries are also to be involved. The museum aims to include the most characteristic small regional units with twenty households using resettled buildings and, in the case of Râmetea, a reconstruction. The Unitarian church symbolises that Transylvania is also regarded as the land of religious tolerance. At the time of working out the principal concept of the complex, alongside the folk architectural facilities, heritage elements were also taken into account. In addition to traditional interiors, the complex has been extended with interactive exhibitions.