With 23 years between the initial concept and the opening, the Upper Silesia Ethnographic Park (Górnośląski Park Etnograficzny) is the element of the Voivodship Culture and Leisure Park that took the longest to complete.
The history of the “Upper Silesia Ethnographic Park” Museum, as it is formally known, is longer than that of the Silesian Park itself, beginning in in a different place – the Kościuszko Park in Katowice to which the wooden church from Syrynia (originating from the year 1510) and the mansion granary from Gołkowice (dating back to 1688) had been relocated. The historic structures were to be the first objects of the new Silesian open air museum in Chorzów, created by Tadeusz Dobrowolski, who then served as the Voivodeship Heritage Conservation Officer and the director of the Silesian Museum in Katowice.
The open-air museum was ceremonially opened on May 5th, 1975. Initially, the museum had 33 rural architecture monuments which were made available to the visitors.
Today, the area of the open-air museum is 22 hectares, with over 70 historic buildings open to the visitors. The museum represents the culture of 5 subregions of the Upper Silesia – the submontane region, the Pszczyna–Rybnik region, the industrial subregions of Beskidy and Lubliniec, and Zagłębie. The ethnographic park in Chorzów is a part of the Wooden Architecture Trail.
The collection of the Upper Silesia Ethnographic Park includes numerous fascinating objects, from peasant homesteads to the windmill from Grzawa, the last of this type in Silesia. Other objects include the church of St Joseph the Worker from the 18th century, a granary from the vicinity of Warszowice, dating back to the same century, or a shepherd’s shed from Brenna with live sheep. The vast collection of the Chorzów open air museum illustrates the overlapping of the industrial and rural world, which is very characteristic for Silesia.