wooden church pyrohovo folk museum kiev ukraine

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Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture


Some 300 traditional structures, some dating back to the 16th century, have been transplanted form various parts of Ukraine to this open-air folk museum. On weekends in the warm months, medieval-themed events and contests take place and the entire compound assumes a festive atmosphere, with much singing, dancing and eating going on. It's about 12km south of central Kyiv; marshrutka 496 from Lukyanivska metro station takes you right to the entrance.

In the summer workers enact different village roles, carving wood, making pottery, doing embroidery, and driving horses and carts. Other activities include a zipline (100uah), horse riding and archery. There is a cluster of outdoor eateries at the centre of the action that serve wonderful shashlyk (shish kebab) and all manner of traditional Ukrainian food and drink. Ukrainian musicians play on weekends.

The quaint 17th- to 20th-century wooden churches, cottages, farmsteads and windmills are divided into seven 'villages' representing regional areas of Ukraine. So in just one long afternoon you can visit the architecture of eastern, western and southern Ukraine.

It's always fun, especially so if you visit during a festival. Pyrohovo hosts several, the biggest of which is the countrywide Ivan Kupala festival.