Open-Air Museum in the village of Vysoký Chlumec
The Museum of Rural Housing Extending along the Middle Part of the Vltava River

The village of Vysoký Chlumec is situated 35 km east from Příbram and 8 km south-west from the town of Sedlčany, in a scenic countryside along the middle part of the Vltava River.

In 1998, the Mining Museum in Příbram bought a piece of land, 3 hectares large, in the territory of the village of Vysoký Chlumec at the town of Sedlčany from the Lobkowicz Family. The following year a construction of the Museum of Rural Housing Extending along the Middle Part of the Vltava River, a Department of the Mining Museum, Příbram, was launched. The folk buildings which are at the risk of going down at their original places are being transferred to the museum. The area of the interest is the Příbram District with focus on the Sedlčany Region.

The exhibits of the open-air museum are being set into a valley of the stream in a sensitive way. The visitors can see farmer´s homesteads, cottages, small houses, farm buildings, technical construction driven by water and some religious objects. Most of them dated back to the 18 th, 19 th and 20 th centuries. The final stage of the plan assumes transferring and re-building of 20-25 buildings.

In 2000, the first object was transferred; it was the house No 4 from the village of Obděnice at Petrovice in the Sedlčany Region. Relocating of the vault of the open-hearth kitchen - in a block of 30 tons was, without a doubt, a very unusual and valuable act in the whole operation of transferring. In 2001 the works on the house were finished and after setting and arranging the interior exposition the house was open to public.

Two timbered granaries from the homestead in the village of Počepice at Vysoký Chlumec were built in the area of the open-air museum in 2001. A stone landmark, a boundary stone and a plinth for a cast-iron cross were transferred in 2002.

In 2001, the Mining Museum in Příbram got possession of a water-driven saw-mill machinery into its collection. It comes originally from the village of Dolní Sloupnice. It is a unique machine dated to the late 19 th century. Its horizontal blade was able to cut the timbers which were wide in the diameter. The construction of the object launched at the end of 2001 with building its basement and its stone lower part. A year later a wooden shelter was built and in the following two years the mounting of the technological machinery started with the aim of putting it into service. The water wheel is 320 cm wide in diameter and 90 cm thick and it works on "upper water", that means, it is driven by water falling on the wheel from above.

In 2003, a timbered house, originally situated in the village of Arnoštovice at Votice, No 3, was completed and the works on a timbered, two-room granary belonging to a homestead in the village of Ratiboř at Chyšky were finished. A new iron cross, which was made in 1880, was set on a pedestal. In the following year a dove-cot on a pillar, coming from the settlement of Pojezdec at the village of Kosova Hora, was repaired and placed in the yard of the house from the village of Arnoštovice at Votice, No 3.

In 2004, a part of the wooden feed pipe, coming from the weir of the pond at the village of Kladrubce in Plzeň District, was transferred to the former hatcheries which were preserved in the area of the museum. The hatcheries and some fishery fortification might serve as the exhibits which illustrate development of fishpond cultivation and fish breeding in the surroundings of the town of Sedlčany.

Without any doubt, the most expensive investment in compiling the open-air museum in the course of 2004 and 2005 was dismantling, transferring and rebuilding of the oldest object of the museum, the timbered house No 10 from the settlement Mašov at the village of Petrovice. It bears date 1739 on the beam in its sitting room. The open-hearth kitchen with its vault and a part of the chimney weighing 32 tons were transferred in a block.

A wooden shed for carts coming from the farmhouse No 3 in the village of Arnoštovice at Votice was re-edified in 2005. Cast-iron crosses, originally situated in the graveyard at the church in the village of Obděnice at Petrovice, were placed on stone pedestals coming from the village of Petrovice at Sedlčany in the same year.

The museum activities are focused on sampling machines, devices and tools as well as equipment of folk houses. The gathered subjects reflect social breakdown of population of the villages situated along the middle part of the Vltava River and living in the late 19 th and the early 20 th centuries. There have been assembled 720 pieces in the collection of the museum in Vysoký Chlumec so far. When displaying exhibits the pieces from the collection of the Mining Museum in Příbram and the Town Museum in Sedlčany are shown as well.

At present the visitors of the museum in Vysoký Chlumec can see nine building structures in its area. The interiors of five of them are open to the public and they offer to see special displays or seasonal exhibitions. In the house from Obděnice there is an exposition showing the history of building the museum, the findings from archeological investigations and from dendrochronological analysis of timbered houses transferred into the museum area. Among the displayed subjects there is a moulded wooden pile originally situated in the timbered farm-out building in the settlement of Mezihoří at Petrovice. The cooper´s tools from the workshop in the village of Sestrouň at Sedlčany belong to other significant displays of the exposition.

The show in the timbered granary from the village of Počepice displays selected tools used for processing, handling and storage of cereals and flour. In the wooden apiary, transferred from the town of Sedlčany, there is an apicultural exposition displaying 12 conserved bee-houses gained from the village of Rovina at Počepice. Some other building structures are going to be joined to the collection of the exhibits and open to public; it is a timbered, two-room granary from the village of Ratiboř at Chyšky, a wooden shed for carts, mentioned above, from the farmhouse No 3 in the village of Arnoštovice at Votice and a part of the furnishing from the timbered house No 10 from the village of Mašov at Petrovice. A wooden piston pump is going to be installed at the yard of the house No 3 from Arnoštovice.

The Mining Museum in Příbram, in cooperation with the municipality of Vysoký Chlumec, organizes several cultural actions every year. They are, for example, a traditional Carnival followed by shroving, an Eastern hiking march to Jakub Krčín´s* places, a celebration of coming spring time, a ceremonial release of the periodical Podbrdsko (the Area at the Foot of the Brdy Mts).

* Jakub Krčín (1535 - 1604) from Jelčany and Sedlčany was a Czech nobleman and designer, a founder of fishponds. He worked as a burgrave in the town of Český Krumlov and then as a regent of the Rožmberks' manor in the town of Třeboň. He founded many fishponds in South Bohemia (Rožmberk, Svět and others) and the important Nová Řeka Canal (New River Canal).

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