The oldest in Ukraine open-air museum - Transcarpathian Museum of Folk Architecture and Life – is located at the foot of the majestic Uzhgorod castle (Zakarpattya region) on a relatively small area of 5 hectares.
In the Middle Ages, the Transcarpathian locals suspected of witchcraft, were burned there, and therefore, the place was called "Witch pit". But the tourists and locals are nevertheless not scared away. Indeed, in spite of the architectural features and original plan, all the old buildings constitute a single ensemble that aptly blends into the natural landscape.
There are seven estates, six houses, church, bell tower, school, tavern and numerous outbuildings. The General Fund of an open-air museum includes more than 14,000 artifacts that characterize the culture of ethnic groups and peoples of the Carpathians, their way of life and crafts. Surrounded by ornamental fruit trees from the west to the east there are estates of the Transcarpathians (Hungarians, Romanians and Dolinyans). On the dais - there are Boyky, and Hutsul. The historically accurate estates were designed taking into account specific artistic features of the interior of rural houses.
Fortunately, thanks to the specialists, many old buildings have been preserved in perfect condition. The wooden church in the village Shelestovo of Mukachevo district is the best example of wooden architecture that was built in 1777. From 1927 to 1974, it was located in Mukachevo, and after that - in the Transcarpathian Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Uzhhorod. The church was built of oak beams, and covered with shingles. Simplicity and antiquity of the interior decoration evokes a feeling of peace. The iconostasis chiaroscuro attracts a lot of visitors. Here you can find the incunabula and old prints, decorated with artistic stamping and metal casting. The worship service is conducted in the church every Sunday. In the late XIX - XX centuries, a bell tower was erected near the village Vilhovaty of Rakhiv district. Today, it is the only operating six-sided Hutsul bell-tower in the world.
Folk architecture, construction and culture of Mukachevo peasants are represented by the house in the village Rakoshino that was built in 1869. 100 years later it acquired a new location in Uzhhorod Museum. The house has a stone foundation, wooden walls, clayed inside and outside. The interior items, which are presented in the estates and rural huts, clearly bespeak rich folklore traditions of various ethnic groups. For example, the Hutsul culture is noted for colorful decorated embroidery, sheep skins waistcoats, and carved woodenware. The small hall of the museum regularly hosts art exhibitions and various ethnographic concerts so that every visitor could get acquainted with the preserved traditions.