Ethnographic Museum in Zielona Góra-Ochla

We are the unique open air ethnographic museum showing the rural life of our region. Locally we call it „Skansen”. The name comes from Sweden where already in late 19th century something similar showing the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era was first established. Our museum was founded in 1982, however it based on the former so called Zielona Gora Ethnographic Park. We are seated in Ochla (pronounce Óhla, h: like in how) which till 2016 was an independent village near to Zielona Gora. As the commune joined the town, we are now the part of the town of Zielona Gora.

The Museum occupies the area of 13 hectares, and it is located in a very charming place, at the foot of the glacial hills, near the springs hidden in the forests. It has almost 80 old objects and more than ten thousand exhibits. It’s also the best place to get to know with Polish culture and its folk traditions.

Ethnography is the science that describes the folk culture, but also the groups and social behaviors from the past till now. The Museum is the state institution set up to collect, research and take care of monuments, in our case, related to the culture of Poland and Lubuskie province.

Nazi Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, and soon later the Soviet Russia invaded Poland from the east on September 17, 1939 making a specific partition of our country. The whole country was occupied from that time. As you know, the history is written by the victors. That’s why, after the end of World War II, at the turn of July and August 1945, during the Potsdam Conference (sometimes called Berlin Conference), the victors (Three heads of government of the USSR, USA, and UK) agreed on the new division of Europe. As a result of the conference, Poland has lost a lot of land in the East (the so-called Eastern Borderlands). These lost lands for the most part became part of the Soviet Union. Poland has received as compensation, the so called Western Lands (Silesia, Lubuskie Land, Pomerania land of Gdansk, part of East Prussia (Warmia and Masuria)), which before the World War II were under German administration. The Poles from the Eastern Borderlands have had to leave their homes in the east, usually having no choice, and as “displaced persons or emigrants”, in most cases were sent, inter alia, to our (completely unknown) region.  Also as a consequence of the agreements of the Potsdam Conference and the “New Order”, most of the pre-war German inhabitants had to leave their homes in our area and go to the West. Resettlement, a result of World War II started by Germany, therefore hit both Germans and Poles, however not only. A reference to these resettlement may be spotted in many places of our Museum. Many feast and workshops organized by our museum refer to the culture of the forced emigrants.

Furthermore, in our museum we can go back up to the year 1675 ! The oldest building in our collections is a wooden cottage from village Potrzebowo. It comes the 17th century, however most of the objects are dated to the turnover of 18th and 19th centuries. Inside them all you may see the expositions presenting the daily life of the former villages from the regions of: Lubuskie Silesia, Lower Silesia, Wielkopolska (The Great Poland), Eastern Lusatia and reconstructed house from the eastern borderlands of Poland (in this case we should say from former south-east of Poland, the Bukovina, borderland with Romania before WW II). Apart from the “wooden sector”, we also have a stone sector which means the houses built with the use of stones situated just in the neighborhood of the local main road. In our administrative building we have temporary exhibitions showing  mostly our folk craft and folk rituals, as well as local artists. All is available for one ticket (please note that some exhibitions may be closed from time to time due to organizational reasons). 

  • Visiting

The average basic tour takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. After prior notification (by phone or by email) you can hire a certified local guide in English or German, or rent an audio guide (German and English).

We have a parking place adjoining our museum which can be used for free. You can only enter the parking space by our ticket office and administration building by car being a handicapped person having a special document like disability ID card or European Disability Parking Card.

The ticket office is located in the first wooden house to the right, after you finish walking on a causeway separating two lovely ponds sourced with water from nearby forest springs. The one on the left is a commercial fishing pond, offering also a fresh old way smoked fish so consider that leaving our museum. Our ticket office and information point offers not only the tickets but also maps, leaflets and brochures of the local tourist attractions. It’s also a local shop with folk craft like wooden, paper or clay toys and modern souvenirs like postcards, the fridge magnets and many other keepsakes. Inside, you will also find a timetable of the municipal bus (line 27). You may order basic drinks like tea or coffee there, too.

  • Tickets and services

Summer season – May 1st – September 30th:

Adults not entitled to the reduced fares, with access to all expositions

People entitled to the reduced fares, with access to all expositions

Winter season – October 1st – April 30th

Adults not entitled to the reduced fares, with access to all expositions

People entitled to the reduced fares, with access to all expositions

The entrance tickets to our seasonal feasts may slightly differ from the fares given above. Please watch our website.

Guiding service:

Local certified guide in English or German – 100 zł (groups maximum up to 20 people per group), other languages like e.g. Russian, Ukrainian, French, Spanish etc. on prior request and availability.

Renting of the audio guide – free of charge.

People entitled to the reduced fares:

  1. primary, secondary, artistic, vocational school pupils, students of colleges, high schools, universities, including the Ph.D. students and those educating the teachers, workers of social services being the citizens of the European Union, Swiss Confederation and EFTA countries (Parties to the agreement on the European economic area)
  1. people over 65, pensioners, the disabled people with their guardians, being the citizens of the European Union, Swiss Confederation and EFTA countries (Parties to the agreement on the European economic area)
  1. teachers and tutors of primary, secondary, artistic schools and educational centers, correection centers, juvenile educational centers acting within the area of the European Union, Swiss Confederation and EFTA countries (Parties to the agreement on the European economic area)

People entitled to the free entrance:

  1. members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) /you will be asked to present your membership document,
  2. children up to finished 7 year of their life,
  3. tutors of the organized groups (including teachers, tour guides or tour leaders, 1 free entrance for every full 20 people in the group, i.e. 2 free tickets for 40 members of the group and so on)
  • Openig times

We are open from Monday to Sunday.

On Mondays we offer the free entrance, in form of a stroll about our area because the cottages and inside expositions will be unavailable for visiting (we have cleaning and technical days then). You may however see our museum from outside still being fascinated with it.

In winter season (October 1st – April 30th) – entrance from 10.00 till 15.00 (10am-3pm)
The last entrance with a guide at 14.00 (2pm)
You should leave the area of the museum at latest at 17.00 (5pm)

In summer season (May 1st – September 30th) – entrance from 10.00 till 17.00 (10am-5pm).
The last entrance with an audio guide at 15.00 (3pm), you should give the audio guide back till 16.30 (4.30 pm)
You should leave the area of the museum at latest at 18.00 (6pm).

Part of our exposition is available for handicapped on wheelchairs (please note that after some rains the soil may be miry that’s why more difficult to move).

We have a special parking place and toilets for handicapped. The toilets are marked and situated behind the administrative building.

The folk craft shop in the ticket office is closed on Mondays.

Additional offer:

  • Education and folk workshops

Throughout the year we offer educational classes and workshops: painting on glass, manufacture of the butter in wooden plunger -type butter churn and pasting clay cups. In the spring time we invite you to create Easter decorations (like the ritual Polish Easter Palm – a composition of dried flowers and grains or painting (dyeing) Easter eggs – decorated with batique technique or using the beeswax)).

Prior notification required: e.sokolowska@muzeumochla.pl

  • Recreation

In the space of our Museum, we offer the possibility to organize bonfires, horse carriage rides or renting one of the selected objects for meetings, conferences or even a wedding party or photo session etc. Only your imagination and safety reasons are the limits of you fulfilling your dreams.

Prior notification required: j.rybinska@muzeumochla.pl

Contact details:

Muzeum Etnograficzne w Zielonej Górze-Ochli
ul.Ochla-Muzealna 5
66-006 Zielona Góra
woj. lubuskie
Poland

Tel. +48 68 321 15 91

E-Mail: sekretariat@muzeumochla.pl

Watch us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ME.Ochla/

The Museum is located about 7 km from the city centre. City bus No. 27 from the main train station (DWORZEC GŁÓWNY) will take just right near the museum (bus stop OCHLA SKANSEN). Tickets can be purchased inside the bus from the vending machine, please have change with you.

The timetable is available here.

By car, drive to the Botaniczna street and then follow the signs to Ochla.

By bicycle you can reach autonomous network of cycle paths, or walk through the Piastowskie hills (start from the Amphitheatre of Zielona Góra) but still the best and easiest way to get to us is to take the municipal bus.

We will be pleased to host you in our museum. See you soon then !

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