This Skanzen, one of the largest in the world, was founded in 1969 on the initiative of the public and the Ukrainian Society for Protection of the Monuments of History and Culture as a folk culture preserve, as a landscape-architectural complex of historico-ethnographical regions of Ukraine. The museum was opened for visitors on July 17, 1976. On its territory of 147 hectares there are over 300 structures – monuments of folk architecture of the 16th-20th centuries from 25 regions of Ukraine, displaying the material and spiritual culture of different epochs. The museum collection includes over 70,000 works of arts and crafts, icons, paintings, musical instruments, household and farming equipment, tools, etc.
The museum is divided into areas representing different regions of Ukraine: The Middle Dnipro Region, The South of Ukraine, The Province of Poltava and Slobodian Ukraine, Polisya, The Carpathians, and Podolia. The interiors of houses, household articles, garments, etc., are typical of every region and characterise professional occupation of the folks and their trades: weaving, pottery, fishery, blacksmith’s work, etc. Of interest are the mills (19th-20th centuries) and wooden churches from different regions of Ukraine. At present, at the functioning wooden Cossack Church of Archistratigus Michael, erected in 1600, regular services are held. Another church brought here from the Cherkassy Region is dated 1742.
The museum is a favourite place of Kyivites. Here are held concerts of ethnographic groups, traditional fairs, handicraft master classes, and holidays in conformity with the folk traditions. Such seasonal works as ploughing, sowing, harvesting and threshing are reproduced here in conjunction with traditional rites. The visitors can also watch the work of the blacksmiths, etc.