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Not a 19th century manor
The museum of crafts was established in the mid-1990s by a Lithuanian hournalist who fancied the local ways of Belarus and wanted to restore what you normally don't see on the museum shelves - folk crafts. The museum collected a number of artifacts across the republic of Belarus including a 1905-built restored windmill and allocated them into a number of workshops where the craftsmen are based.
The museum offers to see those craftsmen at work and even take part in the process - become an apprentice to blacksmith or potter. Dudutki is also the first place in Belarus that obtained a license to brew samogon, the famous home-made vodka produced in the countryside of Belarus. That makes a highlight mostly to the Russian-speaking audience although the foreign visitors don't skip it either.
Attached to the museum is a farm with horses, cows, goats and other beasts including ostriches and wild boars and apart from sampling local foods and drinks (your entrance ticket - if you are not with a group - includes 2 such snacks) you can also take a ride on a horse-cart. The museum also has a restaurant but somehow I was not impressed by the atmosphere and service down there.
Conclusion - countryside conveyor belt for tourists.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Village-Museum 'Dudutki' outside Minsk
The museum is 40km from Minsk (~25 miles) on 'Slyzkoe' highway.
You can get there on your own by the minibus 'Minsk-Dudutki' from Minsk 'Central' Bus Terminal. It`s a cheap 1 hour ride, your stop is the last one right next to the museum gates (first picture).
Last year the entrance fee was ~$16 per person.
1) moonshine degustation (3 times); 2) ride in a horse cart to the mill; 3) home-made cheese, milk, honey, bread, butter, tea`s degustation. After that you will have to just buy food and drinks.
But let me start from the beginning:
When we arrived, we were given a guide and rode to the mill. There we tried our first 100 gramm of moonshine and ate some bread with onion in the wooden shed next to the mill. After that we went back to the museum yard where looked at different craftsmen performing for us: at the smithy we were given a horseshoe present (by two blacksmiths), bought a small pot made by a 75 years old potter in another.. Looked at the automobiles` collection in the next room and then went for our second monshine`s shot with honey and pickles on bread (suprisingly it was quite delicious). After that everything was a blur (sorry, moonshine got me) but I do remember drinking some milk and eating fresh cheese with butter in another room and then hot tea next to the fireplace in the last house.
They also have horses there ($5 for a ride on its back) and.. a group of curious ostriches (no idea why).
Over all, it was quite interesting place, I enjoyed it.
P`S` If you have athma, be careful with the horse (we learned the hard way).
I do NOT know if you are required to book in advance (especially if you are a NON-Russian speaker). Better find out. But they do have interpreters/guides there ($25).
- Arts and Culture
Dudutki is in the county, about 45minutes drive from Minsk. It is an open-air museum consisting of different buildings all constructed in the old Belarussian style. You may wander around the buildings yourself, but I recommend taking a guided tour.
The museum has several different parts all exhibiting crafts and trades from Belarus' history. The owners of the museum have travelled Belarus visiting the villages and interviewing the oldest inhabitents to learn, and keel alive these crafts.
You can visit (and try!) the only legal Samagonka still in Belarus. Samagonka is a home-made spirit made from grain, powerful stuff! You will be offered bread with honey and sala (pig fat!) as zakuska (something to eat after drinking).
The museum also houses a blacksmith, pottery, bakery, woodcraft and art exhibition. They have some livestock, horses, foul and bizzarley some ostriches.
You can also have a traditional Belarussian meal, you must order this before your tour, and it'll be cooked whilst you are visiting the museum, then afterwards you travel to another location 5min away and your lunch is served.
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