The open-air museum in Kouřim—an outdoor folk building museum—is one-of-a-kind. It was established in the 1970s, when it began its mission to rescue monuments of folk architecture that would have otherwise fallen prey to water reservoirs or new construction. This means that it offers visitors the opportunity to admire houses from around the Czech Republic.
The focus of the museum of folk buildings in Kouřim—which lies just outside of Prague, in the direction of Kutná Hora—is unique in the Czech Republic. It brings together architectural monuments from the entire territory of Bohemia, and thus offers direct comparisons between the various types of folk architecture from the 17th through the 19th centuries, according to region. Almost all of the buildings are furnished with interior exhibits that document rural Bohemian homes from past centuries.

Rescued timbered houses and statues

The open-air museum currently boasts fourteen large residential and agricultural buildings from the regions of Central, East, and North Bohemia, which are complemented by a number of smaller monuments and a Marian column. One of its most unique items is the ten-sided timbered barn from Central Bohemia, built in 1648, which is the oldest surviving monument of its type in the Czech Republic. You will also see a valuable collection of rural furniture from the turn of the 19th century, originating primarily from the region of the nearby Krkonoše mountain range.
The museum is a year-round venue for countless ethnographic and other supplementary programmes that correspond thematically to the cycle of seasons and related folk customs and traditions.
Recently, the gradual implementation of an expansive project was commenced, including structural additions to the museum and beginning its conceptual transformation into the Muzeum české vesnice (Bohemian Village Museum), which, in addition to architectural monuments, also introduces life in rural Bohemia from the early modern period through the beginning of the 20th century.

Other places to go

In Kouřim itself, you can visit the Muzeum Kouřimska (Museum of the Kouřim Region), with a wide-ranging exposition on the history of the region, or you can also visit St Stephen’s Church, with its unique medieval St Catherine's crypt and bell tower with inverted bells.

During your visit to the open-air museum, you should certainly not leave out the nearby city of Kutná Hora, which has a long history linked to silver mining, and is also home to the Church of St Barbara, a monument included on the UNESCO tangible heritage list.