Transfiguration cathedral, 1713, Kostroma region (reconstructed)

One of the largest open-air museums of Russian wooden architecture  is located in the town of Kostroma, around 330 km to the north from Moscow.  It hosts an impressive collection of  secular and religious wooden constructions from various parts of the Kostroma region and is one of the key heritage sights in the area.

There are several open air museums of wooden architecture in Russia, some of the most well-known include those in Kizhi, Irkutsk, Velikiy Novgorod, and Suzdal.  The Kostroma museum, with its size and variety of sample items,  certainly stands out.

The museum was founded in the 1960s.   It brings together unique pieces from different regional villages and of different times, the most ancient item, the  church of the Most Holy Mother of God, is dated 1552!   They are all clustered around a small river (Igumenka), imitating an old village. Among the many samples are peasant log huts, spacious and lavishly decorated merchant houses, bath houses on piles, windmills, tiny ancient chapels, storehouses, and a forge.  Most houses have excellent reconstructed interiors.  You can book guided tours around the museum or just enjoy a slow walk around the “village”.  The place also hosts craftsmen centers where you can have workshops (e.g. pottery) and get some excellent crafts.

Where: Prosveshenia street 1A, Kostroma Russia

Official website: 

Photos by: Lyubov Zolotova