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Peasant cottage from Radłów, 1823

This peasant hut, formerly known as a 'hospital', comes from the north-eastern part of Opole Silesia. The first source records concerning a building playing a role of a poorhouse in Radłów come from 1740. The next record, informing about a very poor condition of the building, comes from 1819. In 1823, the hut was either renovated or completely rebuilt and in this condition it has lasted until the present day. The interior is divided into two large chambers, a hall and three lards. The hut was constructed of spruce and fir logs, with a thatched gable roof. The entrance door is ornamentally boarded with small planks. From the beginning of its existence in Radłów, the hut played a role of the so called 'hospital' for the poor, the old and the infirm. The last residents left the hut in 1950s.

This present exhibition displays the interior of a rural house of 1920s. Modernisation of the village being in progress at that time brought about changes in both furnishing and arrangement of the interiors. These changes occurred mainly after 1924 when, after the crisis had been resolved, the standard of living of the society became higher and the village started to modernise.

At that time, the division of the interior into a black chamber and a white chamber was also no longer valid. The role of a black chamber was taken over by a kitchen, in which the furniture being the dowry of a woman getting married was placed. Among the elements of the set, usually custom made in a carpenter's shop, there was a large, most frequently three door cupboard, a table with chairs and stools placed in the middle of the kitchen, a cabinet for shoe polish and brushes, as well as a stand or a table for a washbasin and a wall shelf (so called romka) for mugs and cups.

In the lard behind the kitchen, foodstuffs and household appliances were kept: a milk centrifuge and a cupboard style refrigerator in which the food was cooled by ice placed in special sections.

The hosts' bedroom located on the opposite side of the hall was furnished with a set of veneered furniture that comes from a carpenter's shop in Opole and was made in 1920s. The following are the elements of this set: a double door wardrobe, double beds, a linen chest also playing a function of a family altar, as well as a table with leather upholstered chairs. Tapestries are elements of decoration in the room – embroidered wall hanging above the beds, a muslin bedspread and an openwork tablecloth. In the larder behind the bedroom, there is a modestly arranged room of the 'elderly hostess'.

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