Explore Ukraine’s Largest Open-Air Museum

Situated on the outskirts of Kiev, the National Museum of Ukrainian Architecture and Culture, more commonly referred to as Pyrogovo or Pyrohiv, is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe and offers fascinating insight into Ukraine’s past. Occupying an area of more than 1.3 square kilometers, the museum features more than three hundred historical architectural specimens from around the country, as well as over 70,000 household, cultural and religious items. Guides and workers dressed in authentic costumes as they go about demonstrating ancient crafts enhance the old-world charm of the museum which offers an entertaining and educational day’s outing for the entire family.

Located in a picturesque setting alongside the Holosiyivskiy forest, the museum stands on the ground that was once occupied by the Pyrogovo village. Through a public initiative, backed by the Ukrainian Association of Historical and Cultural Heritage Preservation, the area was declared a museum in February 1969, and historic buildings were disassembled in different parts of Ukraine, transported to the museum and then reassembled exactly as they stood in their original positions. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to view slices of history from all the geographical regions of Ukraine dating to between the 16th and 20th centuries. The types of buildings on display include watermills, windmills, village administration houses, forges, a traditional sauna, a church school, a priest’s home, cafés, barns, huts and cellars. In the various buildings visitors can view a wide variety of traditional handicrafts, both decorative and practical, including textiles, embroidery, ceramics, carpets, metalwork, woodwork, glassware, musical instruments, housewares and paintings.

Three historic Christian orthodox churches provide regular religious services, with special celebrations for Christmas, Easter, Harvest Festivals and other special occasions. Moreover, Pyrogovo is the venue for memorial ceremonies and state holidays, such as the day dedicated to remembering the victims of the Chernobyl disaster, the memorial day of Ukraine’s national poet Taras Shevchenko, the remembrance of the Famine-Genocide (Holodor) of the 1930s and Ukraine’s National Independence Day.

On weekends visitors can enjoy the outdoor markets, take part in workshops to learn traditional crafts and skills, join in traditional Ukrainian songs and dancing and other interesting activities. When visiting Kiev, be sure to set an entire day aside to explore Pyrogovo Museum – the National Museum of Ukrainian Architecture and Culture.