Svájci Lak Panzió és Étterem
4431 Nyíregyháza - Sóstógyógyfürdő, Fürdőház tér 3.
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 Open-Air Museum
Sóstói Múzeumfalu - Open-Air Museum

Sóstógyógyfüdő, a fashionable and popular spa and leisure center since the nineteenth century, is only five kilometres from the centre of Nyíregyháza. Built in 1971, the Sóstó Village Museum, located near the spa in the north-western corner of the country is the only open air ethnographic museum in Eastern Hungary. The decision to create this museum saved numerous local buildings which would certainly have disappeared had they remained on their original sites. Proving the decision right, the museum has had 100,000 visitors flocking here every year, a great variety of arts and craft workshops, numerous folk art displays, and a growing number of private events held by companies, institutions, and private individuals. In 1997, it was named "Museum of the Year," a tribute to its status nor only in Hungary but abroad as well.

As the northern part of Tiszántúl region is a place where various cultural influences from different directions have always met, folk architecture here has blended numerous features, resulting in a characteristic style that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. Exploring an area of 2300 sq. mi. (6000 sq. km.), visitors can enjoy buildings and fireplaces designed in the distinctive styles of Transylvania, Upper Hungary, and the Great Plain. In the museum area itself, the farmyards and houses are grouped according to their region of origin. As the purpose was to display a real village, the communal buildings, like the houses, have been located in the most frequented spot, the centre of the village.

Upon entering the main gate, visitors will feel as if they are in a real village from the last century. In every season, visitors can see the village from a different perspective. The sun, whether from directly overhead or casting long shadows, illuminates the roofs of the buildings and the carved pillars of the terraces. The shadows projected on the white washed walls multiply the fascinating images.

The following is a summary of the major points of the procedure for bringing a new house to the museum. Work commences with selecting a suitable building. Architects survey the selected building, then the difficult task of demolition begins. The house, or farm building is prepared for transportation. During this phase, hidden elements such as remnants of old fireplaces, etc. are often found, necessitating the modification of the original blueprint. These elements provide us with hints for restoring the building to its original state. The various elements of the building are numbered in order to insure that they will be reinstalled back to their original position when the building is rebuilt. A video tape and a large number of photographs are also made on site to assist in proper restoration.

When the components are transported to their new location, they are repaired and restored prior to full reconstruction of the building. It is not possible to use all the original materials again, as thatched roofs or parts of a wattle and daub wall for instance, cannot be reused. In such cases, we use identical materials and technologies when reconstructing the building.

Sometimes it is not possible to obtain all the buildings selected – especially in the case of public buildings – we cannot and do not wish to deprive a village of its church, for example, which may be the only real historic building there. Our solution is to copy the building, reconstructing it by examining historical documents and photographs, but using new materials. A similar procedure is used when constructing old buildings that do not exist in their original form anymore.

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