Southern Slovakia – Maintaining vernacular architecture in a Village Museum 26th May – 2nd June 2018

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NET 4 Southern Slovakia – Maintaining vernacular architecture in a Village Museum

Dates: 26th May to 2nd June 2018

Ideal Number of UK Participants: 6          Duration: 7 days

This placement is based in the village of Lišov, in Central South Slovakia; in a cultural landscape stretching out on the southernmost foothills of the Štiavnické mountains. The village museum of Lišov was registered with the patrimony of the state in 2009. In 2015, under new management they embarked on a development programme based on a research framework which identified …

1)   Researching and reconstructing one of the local cave houses; there are 55 & 300 wine cellars.

2)   Developing an international mask museum.

3)   Training locals and visitors in a range of traditional skills.

4)   Focusing on the Celtic tribes (Cotini and Boii). who inhabited nowadays Slovakia and resisted the Romans.

5)   The mysterious ‘Fossa Giganteum’, a Neolithic wall from the Danube almost to Poland, extending for over 300 kilometres and passing close by the village.

6)   Offer a meeting place and outlet for local sustainable crafts and foodstuffs.

7)   Following the tradition of local artist Fero Liptak, offer a creative space for applied art.

This years programme for NET4 offers…….

DAY ONE. Arrival to Budapest, collected and transferred to accommodation in Dudince, a spa town close to Lišov. If arrival is in time, an hour in the spa is possible with swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and hot and cold plunge pools. After this a traditional meal and discussion about the week ahead.

DAY TWO. To set the scene and sow ideas, a visit to the Brhlovce cave houses (Troglodyte) village for a presentation on how people built their houses into the soft tufa from early medieval times through to the 1960’s. Picnic lunch. Tour of Lišov to see the museum and some of the 55 largely unrecorded and undeveloped cave houses in the village. Evening meal of village food cooked by local ladies from the village. A chance to visit famous local artist Fero Liptak and see his work.

DAY THREE. A practical day. Your visit coincides with that of 2 Italian scientists from CNR IVALSA in Florence, who are at the village to do a diagnosis of insect and fungal attack on museum artefacts, including the international mask collection and timber elements of the buildings. Dr. Nicola Macchioni will show you their work, which identifies negative biotic factors and offers remedies. Begin work on the restoration of a small traditional village house in the museum complex with Jakub Dvorsky. Skills include working with clay, sand, chaff and lime, including lime painting, with opportunities for decorative work. Cleaning and restoring existing wooden doors and window frames. Restoring some original furniture. Tasks are divided according to the interests of the group. Shingle making is another possibility. Break for a picnic lunch. Evening meal from the village ladies.

DAY FOUR. The morning is for setting the scene, the Celts and Romans in Iron Age Slovakia with a visit to the spa ‘hot pots’ used by the Romans, a Celtic village site and the Fossa Giganteum ancient wall that snakes through the forests. Comparisons can be drawn with the Roman edge of Empire presence in Scotland. After lunch return to the museum to hear about the plans for Celtic interpretation and work on the roundhouse constructed over the last 2 years… some practical wattle and daub work and/or wood carving, depending on the interests of the group. Evening meal in Dudince.

DAY FIVE. Nicola’s Italian team leave but will describe their findings and recommendations. The group enjoys a craft day. The restoration of the museums original buildings is for the purpose of using them. Throughout the day, there will be hemp processing, loom weaving, pyrography (including making traditional Fašiangy masks) and rope/twine making. Picnic lunch and evening meal from the village ladies.

DAY SIX. A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Banska Stiavnica to see the German mining prosperity of the mid to late Middle Ages, churches, museums, café’s, shops, antiquarian book sellers. Lunch in the town. On the way back a chance to swim in a local lake. Evening meal in Dudince.

DAY SEVEN. Transfer to Budapest for a last night before departure. Our route is via Esztergom on the dramatic Danube bend. A Roman town and bulwark against the barbarian Celts (similar to Carlisle!!). With a visit to the basilica and picnic lunch looking across the ‘Duna’ to the caves that Finnish American writer Jean M Aul featured in her ‘Earth Children’ novels. Arrive in Budapest for a walk down Vaci Utca before evening meal and overnight.

DAY EIGHT. Departure, depending on flight times, more exploring in this fascinating capital, which once ruled over almost all of nowadays Slovakia in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Empire days.

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