Renovation

Renewing of a farm house

 

A recurring theme in the more than 80 year's existence of the Open-Air Museum has been the maintenance of the many buildings, their contents and their surroundings. Right from the opening of the museum in 1927 its employees have been working against time - time that sometimes has been quite hard on the old houses. The primary building materials - straw, clay and wood - used in the construction of the houses require constant maintenance so that they do not fall into disrepair and make maintenance a major operation. There have been periods in the history of the museum (the years after the war) when it was not possible to undertake repairs to the buildings for economic reasons. Unfortunately, this has meant that restoration work has been extensive and demanded much from the craftsmen. Luckily, the museum received economic support for the extensive renovations so that the museum and many of the contents of the houses were able to undergo a major restoration in the 1960s and 70s.

 

Today, maintenance of the Open-Air Museum's buildings is carried out on a running basis and in many cases the museum endeavours to do this in connection with some of the events that are held there. For instance, the museum holds a lime washing, timber frame and thatching day in May, which precisely focuses on the materials from which the houses are built. During these days, work has been done to renew the sills in the farmhouse, houses have been lime-washed and maybe some of the many thatched roofs have been repaired. Once a year the museum holds a regular tradesman's day where up to between 25 and 30 of the old crafts are represented. This day is used to illustrate old craft traditions and shows that the museum tries to maintain the place with historic authenticity. The museum also makes different experiments in partnership with Jura-Kalk, with slaking lime, and tests are made with different kinds of mortar, such as mediaeval type mortar.

 

Sometimes there are large extensive renovation projects at the museum, e.g. when one of the houses needs a new roof or when the museum's old post windmill from Fejø was totally restored and rebuilt from 2009 - 2011.