Among the hills of Subcarpatian region in Eastern Poland, lies the old city Sanok. It used to be an important place on the trade route which connected Hungary with Poland. Its strategic location by the river San gave the city an opportunity to thrive, but also placed it in danger of battles during the wars.
The sightseeing of Sanok is recommended to start in the nice market square, surrounded by monumental buildings, freshly revitalised. Then you may see the largest icon collection displayed in partly rebuilt XVI – century castle. This is also a nice view point from the steep bank of river San.
The main attraction of Sanok, which is destination of thousands of tourists each year, is an open-air museum. It collects examples of folk architecture from all of the region’s main ethnic groups. They were deported after the second world war, so abounded buildings were carefully moved to the museum in order to safe the memory of the past.
Wooden cottages, with rustic gardens and a church in the centre make an impression of an authentic village. Around 150 wooden structures, all dating from between the 17th and 20th century lie in naturally shaped terrain, between old trees and a stream. You can get lost in time wandering among this picturesque scenery. There are houses, animal sheds divided into residential and utility spaces, as well as public buildings like a school and the churches, but also some industrial structures – smithy and petroleum extraction machinery. The real gem is the Galician town, where houses around cobbled market square host examples of craft and fading professions, with some souvenirs to buy.
The buildings are placed in the sectors, each dedicated to a different ethnographic and ethnic group. Natural topography was used to this purpose – the Lemko and Boyko sectors are settled in the wooded and hilly parts of the museum’s grounds, while the sectors devoted to Dolinians which means Dalemen and Pogórzans (Uplanders) lie below.
After that lesson of historical life in the surroundings of Sanok, you might be willing to explore the mountainous region which is full of natural beauty.
Text & photos: Dorota Gmiterek