*New Course* Community Heritage in Southern Slovakia 4-11 October 2019

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Exploring Community Heritage in Southern Slovakia – Cave Houses, Vernacular Architecture & Diversity in Village Histories

Dates: 4-11 October 2019

Hosts: Lišov Museum (Adriana Patkova & Jakub Dvorsky)

Please visit the reports section of this website to read the reports and view the film from the 2018 NET4 visit.

Lišov Museum came under new management 4 years ago and is now being run as an innovative community driven organisation. Lišov Museum has developed its research and operating model under the 4 pillars of sustainability (environmental, cultural, social and economic).

The Lišov community has a complex and rich cultural history and has come under many different geopolitical, social and agricultural influences in the recent and distant past. The cultural heritage in the immediate surroundings of the museum is exceptional and includes a diversity of tufa cave dwellings, a range of traditional vernacular architecture, and it is very near the Neolithic Fossa Giganteum monument which runs throughout parts of Central Europe.

There are 3 main parts of the museum: the village house celebrating the cultural heritage and vernacular architecture of local rural life; the reconstructed Iron Age round house which celebrates the links with the prehistoric and early historic heritage and provides training opportunities in traditional skills and materials; the International Mask Museum which exhibits masks from around the world.

As with many rural areas of Europe the village has experience of rural unemployment, changes to land ownership and management, and changes in the social makeup of the community. Lišov Museum is beginning the journey of working with local people to tell their stories, celebrate their heritage and to diversify and increase local livelihoods.

All that we do revolves around sustainability, which means using local materials, local skills and creating local products…and linking to like-minded organisations who have other local products, which can be showcased and sold in the museum shop.  Our buildings are restored using traditional methods and we draw from the wealth of local art and craft for decoration. It is important that the museum has a place in the wider community of the village and the Hont region, so we cultivate and enjoy a fruitful relationship with the mayor, local shakers and movers and bottom-up organisation such as the local LEADER group. We welcome visitors from all over Europe, who share our ethos and can swap skills and knowledge to help themselves and the museum to grow into a more sustainable rural future.

Aims of the One Week Structured Course:

  • To explore the community heritage potential for rural museums in Europe for celebrating and increasing community engagement in cultural heritage
  • To explore the potential for community and cultural heritage for diversifying sustainable incomes in rural areas.
  • To understand the cultural and social context of Lišov village museum within the wider cultural heritage of the region including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Banska Bystrica, the nearby Spa town of Dudince and the Brhlovce Cave Village.
  • To explore parallels with community heritage and cultural organisations in Scotland and to investigate routes for sharing best practice.

DAY ONE Arrival in Budapest and travel to the Spa Town of Dudince Discussion of the course content and expectations of participants

DAY TWO. Lišov Introduction to the Museum & discussion of the possibilities of living in rural areas, development, sustainability & meeting local people; Tour around the village of Lišov; Films; Visiting the cave houses of Lišov (houses, store rooms, wine cellars); Traditional Meal in Lišov, wine tasting in local cave cellar

DAY THREE. Lišov Morning: Engagement activities at the Museum – clay plastering of the round house using traditional materials with Jakub Dvorsky; Afternoon Meetings with Members of the Local Community

DAY FOUR. Banska Stiavnica (UNESCO World Heritage Site) a famous mining town with beginnings in the 3rd century BC, rising to be one of the 3 largest towns in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1782:  Local Artisans & Dinner in ‘Stary Hostinec’ in village Sväty Anton – an old house restored into accommodation with a regional shop & traditional Slovak food

DAY FIVE. Lišov Morning: Engagement activities at the Museum: Textiles at Lišov – exploring the textile artefacts, practical opportunity to try weaving on a loom, embroidery, wire weaving – Afternoon presenting Scotland to Lišov, an opportunity for participants to discuss stories of their own communities with local people in Lišov.

DAY SIX. Brhlovce – Visit Brhlovce village which has a wide range of cave houses including renovated houses and a ‘Caffe Gallery’; Lunch; visit to Bee farm and honey tasting; Visit to rural enterprise Olej Hont Oil (Poppy, Rapeseed, Walnut etc) in Súdovce), Artist Fero Liptak’s artwork in a football stadium

DAY SEVEN. Morning – Participants will take part in developing a guide map of Lišov for visitors or an element of interpretation for the museum; Afternoon Final Afternoon with members of the local community


Travel probably to Budapest with the potential for visiting cultural sights on the journey dependent on flight times.

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