We would like to welcome you to the Regional Museum of Folk Architecture and Art from Chernivtsi.

We extend to you the invitation to visit an old village from Bucovina, following the tourism route “Folk architecture and the life of rural population from Northern Bucovina between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.” Before starting our trip, we would like to specify that the museum in which you are now is an outdoor museum (scansen). The specific feature of such a museum is the display of folk exhibits in an appropriate natural environment.

The idea of setting up such a museum appeared at the beginning of the 19th century.

The first museum which reconstituted old settlements was set up in 1891 in Sweden by the Swedish ethnographer Artur Hazelius. This museum was located in a mountainous area called Scansen (this name was subsequently given to all outdoor museums).

The idea to set up such an institution was discussed as early as 1906, at the scientific reunions from Salzburg (Austria). In the 30s, a Hutsuls house, including a sculpted gate, was placed in the suburbs of Chernivtsi, at the foot of Ţeţena hill. These were the first architectural exhibits of the folk museum. Unfortunately, a fire broke out and the museum was destroyed from the beginning. Only the gate – which is shown later on our tour – was saved.

In Ukraine, the first museum of this type appeared in Pereiaslav Hmelniţki town, in 1964; later on, other museums were set up in Keiv (Kiev), Livov, Ujgorod, in Precarpathia, close to the town of Halici. Our museum was set up in 1977, but it was open for visitation only in 1986.

The current collection of the museum is arranged according to the principle of ethno-geographical representation (on ethno-geographical regions) and includes 35 architectural objects and over 1500 ethnographical exhibits. These architectural objects and exhibits are concentrated in two exhibition areas: Hotenşcina (Hotin) and„West-Dniester”, stretching on a 9-hectar area. The future development of the museum includes the creation of two more exhibition areas: – Precarpathia and Huţulşcina. Moreover, the historical reconstitution of some old constructions, which will make up for the exhibition area „Old Bucovina” is considered. At present, the museum includes an area of 16 hectares, and the „Fond” collection comprises over 8000 ethnographic exhibits.

In order to make our trip as complete as possible, a few important moments in our history must be reminded: the present territory of Northern Bucovina was populated by tribes and peoples from ancient times. According to the written sources, it is known that, the Getae lived north of the Danube starting with the 9th-8th century before Christ. In the 1st century before Christ, the Dacians, probably coming from Thrace, started to settle here. By the middle of this century, the strong Getae-Dacian state was founded, which stretched south, to the Balkans, and north, to the Carpathians. Starting with the 3rd century after Christ, the great migrations begin.

The Slavic population from 7th-century Bucovina belonged to the alliance of „dulibe” tribes, which was the first alliance – „pre-state union”- on the territory of Ukraine. In the 8th – 9th century, it belonged to the alliance of „tuverţi”. In the 9th century, Bucovina territory was part of the White Croatians state and in the 10th century, it was included in the old Kyivan Russian Principalities and later on, it was incorporated in the Principalities of Halici and Halici Volâni. Due to the military weakness and the decline of Halici Volâni Principality, Bucovina territory was occupied by Hungarian and Polish kings. For a long period of time, the 15th-18th centuries, Bucovina was part of the Moldova Principality. In time, the situation became complicated, because Moldova Principality was a vassal to the Ottoman Empire. During the Russian-Turkish war and after the subsequent peace treaty signed at Kiuciuc-Kainardgi (1774), a part of Bucovina was annexed to Austria-Hungary, and Hotenşcina (Hotin) remained in the Ottoman power. In 1812, following another peace treaty and after a prolonged Russian-Turkish war, Hotin County was set up, included in Bessarabia Province belonging to the Tsarist Empire. The division of Bucovina into the Austrian part and Russian part resulted in social, economic and cultural differences. Between1918-1940, Northern Bucovina and Hotenşcina (Hotinul) were included in the Romanian Kingdom. In 1940, our region was included in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and, starting from 1991, it is an indivisible part of the independent state of Ukraine.

0.1. (Hotenscina) HOTIN

Hotin – is a territory which comprises the land between the Prut and Dnieper Rivers (today, Hoteni District, the eastern side of Novosuliţa District, as well as Kelmeneţ and Sokereani Districts of Chernivtsi region). This region is often called Bucovinean Podolia, because geographically it belongs to the Plateau of Podolia.

The main activity of the population was agriculture (land farming). The most spread was corn (approximately 25-30% of the arable land), followed by wheat, oats and vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, beans, vetch, cucumbers), hemp, flax, tobacco. Trees also found a good environment here.

Traditional crafts were: carpet weaving, furriers, pottery and blacksmithing.


Podnistrovia lies between Prut and Dniester and occupies the current departments of: Zastavna, Kiţmani and Novosuliţa.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was behind many European states in terms of economic and social development, which reflected in the development of newly-acquired states: Bucovina and Galicia. Agriculture remained the main occupation of the area. The population was burdened with different types of duties and taxes – such as the smoke tax. The existence of this tax is emphasized by the absence of chimneys in the localities of Austrian Bucovina. The scarcity of land, the low level of knowledge in terms of agriculture, the insufficient development of industrial processing and agriculture as a main living craft in villages were the main economic problems which defined the existence of population in Austrian Bucovina. The destitute life forced the peasants to look for a better life abroad. In 1891-1910 alone, more than 48,000 people emigrated to Canada, Russia, Argentina and the United States.