The Podorlicko Open-air Museum in Krňovice is the only museum of this type in the Královéhradecký Region. It gathers together architectural structures and technical monuments of the Královéhradecký Region, the foothills of the Orlické Mountains and the Krkonoše foothills. The area of its interest does not overlap with any of today’s existing open-air museums in the Czech Republic, but instead enlarges their network. The expositions consisting of period fixtures and fittings of the 18– 20 centuries are set up in a way allowing the functioning of these facilities to be demonstrated as much as possible.
The centre is the result of the work of enthusiasts and fans who have invested their free time and energy in the project. Financing is provided by a private company - Dřevozpracující družstvo/Wood Processing Cooperative (wooden buildings and repairs of historical structures, solid furniture) and the non-profit organisation - the Orlice unit of the Czech Union for Nature Conservation. Our thanks also go to various donors that financially help us in our endeavours.
The first plans to found a museum, mapping out the architecture of the Královéhradecko area and the foothills of the Orlické Mountains date back to 1997. Originally, the grounds were to be set up in the nearby village of Bělečko. Due to the increasingly hostile attitude of the then Local Authority (mainly the Mayor) in Býšť and in the end also the Pardubice Regional Authority, it was necessary to review the plans. At that time the land for construction had already been bought, the architectural study prepared and the technical facilities for operation and implementation had been arranged. So everything had to start again in 2000, at first by searching for a new suitable spot, which later was found in the village of Krňovice. Here the plan was met with approval from both the original plot owners and the Municipal Authority in Třebechovice pod Orebem. A quick change in the village zoning plan followed, together with several rounds of continuous dealings with the authorities. One must mention the fact that neither the previous nor this wording of the Construction Act provides for similar activities – transfers of buildings, handling the structures outside the protective area, the necessity of gaining permission for each individual construction - etc. The first planning permission relating to the first stage (the entrance area of the grounds) was not granted before 2002 and only then did the actual building work start. The official work commencement took place on May 4, 2002, by erecting a wooden campanile.
From the very beginning the building site of the museum was open to people interested in viewing the ongoing construction as well as the exposition work in progress. In the years to follow individual buildings were erected one by one and amongst them paths, fencing and other structures were installed.