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Museum of the 1846 Chochołów Uprising

 

The exhibition in the Museum of the Chochołów Uprising highlights the 1846 event, an episode of importance to the history of Chochołów. Opened in 1978, the museum is located in a time-honoured cottage owned in the past by the rich farmer Jan Bafia. Typical of the architecture of the region of Podhale, built of logs cut lengthways into halves that cross at the corner, the Bafia cottage consists of a vestibule, the ‘black’ chamber, the ‘white’ chamber, the bedchamber and a small attic storeroom above the bedchamber.

The museum interiors are furnished in such a way as to combine the history of the uprising with an ethnographic exhibition illustrating the living conditions of a Tatra highlander family in the mid-19th century. In the ‘black’ chamber, where the family’s daily life proceeded, utensils necessary for their household tasks are on display. The ‘white’ or ‘gala’ chamber has a different character. Used on festive occasions, it has light walls and decorated furniture, paintings on glass and pottery, in a word, articles testifying to the owners’ affluence.

Boards making up the historical part of the exhibition are displayed in all cottage interiors. Thus we have a cartouche with the chronology of the uprising and weapons used by the insurgents. Texts, documents, facsimiles and prints illustrate the ancient tradition of the royal village of Chochołów. Also highlighted at the exhibition is Seweryn Goszczyński the poet and conspirator connected with the Tetmajer family of Łopuszna. To introduce the visitor into the background of the Chochołów Uprising, the course of the 1846 Cracow revolution is outlined, followed by preparations for the uprising proper, with profiles of its leaders, documents, the participants’ list and the epilogue, i.e. the suppression of the uprising by the Austrians. Though merely an episode, the event is still present in the minds of the villagers. This is proved by the display in the museum of documentation testifying to the celebration of the uprising anniversaries, especially significant in 1913, on the eve of the ultimate stage of the struggle for independence. The exhibition closes with a display of written works, scholarly papers alongside poetry and prose in which the Chochołów Uprising has found reflection.

 

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Translated & edited by: Joanna Holzman, Adrian Smith, Anna Wende-Surmiak