Path: Museum Tour/ The Water Mill Valley


The Water Mill Valley

The Water Mill Valley is the youngest part of the museum. The roofs of its buildings greet visitors upon their arrival and accompany them along their way to the Little Wooden Town. The actual construction of the entire set of buildings was preceded by the idea to document not only everyday life, but also technical skills and efforts to make purposeful use of everything nature has to offer. From this perspective, water current enjoyed an entirely unique position. In addition to its use in households, it was a very useful source of power for propelling simple or complex gears setting into motion the mechanisms of individual machines.

The placement of the Wool Mill, Water Mill and Saw Mill mirrors the layout in Velké Karlovice, Podťatý Valley, from which the buildings have been brought. The Oil Crusher from Brumov is an example of using human power to obtain necessary oil from the pits of fruits and seeds; the Smithy of Horní Lideč documents the skill of artful blacksmiths. However, the real pride of the entire Valley is the reconstructed Iron mill from Ostravice, the hammer and furnace of which are operated by a rapidly flowing stream of water. The operational facilities for the Iron mill are complemented by the Coach House building from Ostravice housing a permanent exposition entitled "Means of Transport in Wallachia" and a simple forester's hut from Trojanovice. The entire Iron mill set also features a little wooden bell tower from Dolní Bečva. The area also features a so-called "living house" for presentations and educational events in an authentic environment.

The exposition of the Mill Valley is closely linked to the Wallachian Village, which documents economic and social relationships in a village in the region of Wallachia. Operational buildings located within the area illustrate the development of specialization of country manors and farms, their social diversification as well as permanent colonization of new areas from the 17th century until the early 20th century.

The purpose of the Mill Valley is to present living buildings with their equipment in operation so visitors can watch how felt is produced, corn is ground, planks are cut, oil is pressed, raw iron is forged and iron instruments are made.

Field documentation and selection of suitable buildings drew researchers' attention to the unique layout of waterside buildings in Velké Karlovice - Podťatý, where historical sources recorded a unique system of processing available natural products - corn, wood and wool. The arrangement of the buildings points out that many miller families would perform both supplemental activities: making cloth and cutting wood, even though the miller had to hire assistants to operate the machines or to assign these works to his older sons.

The building of the Iron mill and its operational facilities call attention to the long tradition of processing iron ore in Moravskoslezské Beskydy, which was closely linked to the operation of technical buildings as well as the social background providing for their operation.

The Smithy from Horní Lideč, which houses an exposition of the blacksmith's craft, presents how the combination of farrier work with the rural professional smith, in which shoeing of farm animals was combined with the production of minor tools. The Smithy and the Oil Crusher from Brumov-Bylnice represent rural technical objects that were reliant solely on the work of human hands.

All our devices and equipment, no matter whether they are driven by water or manually, are marvellous examples of technical perfection; their sophisticated design often surviving over several generations (for instance, the Oil Crusher dates from the 17th century); and a unique understanding of the original design material - wood.

The programmes we offer in the area of the Water Mill Valley during the season are closely tied to the processing of natural materials and, in particular, a sufficient quantity of water in the stream. Therefore, the valley is a place where you can encounter not only carpenters or smiths, but also fishermen.

In the context of a more qualified approximation of the past lives of people, we have built a wooden building, the so-called "living house", the design of which reflects folk architecture. This house enables visitors to participate actively in educational lessons and become familiar with the everyday reality of our ancestors.

All technical exhibits located in Water Mill Valley are still functional. They were built along the old millrace directing water through wooden gutters onto the water wheels of the individual buildings. Given the capacity of the millrace, the valley is open from May to the end of September.

The Water Mill Valley is an area housing technical buildings. The following objects have been built on the flat area along the old millrace since 1982: a water mill with technical facilities, a wool mill where cloth was processed, a saw mill used for cutting boards and planks, an oil crusher, a smithy, an iron mill, a coach house, a forest labourer's shed and an interactive building, the so-called "living house". The individual buildings house remarkable mechanisms driven by water power as well as human hands and are entirely unique examples of human ingenuity, respect for the quality of natural materials and a knack for applying the laws of nature. We are repeatedly reminded here of the unique coexistence of nature and the human race lasting for many generations.

The entire group of buildings including the water mill, wool mill, saw mill, oil crusher, iron mill, coach house, forest labourer's shed and small belfry, which acquire a special significance due to their mutual relations, helps visitors realize and comprehend the lives and heavy work of our ancestors in the past.

 



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