The Rogatec Open-Air Museum is the largest open air museum in Slovenia. It is particularly important to the Republic of Slovenia, because of its cultural, ethnological, regional, historical and other important features. Consequently, in 1999, it was declared a cultural site of national importance by order of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, 18/99). The museum presents the life and work of farmers and craftsmen at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, in the Rogatec area, particularly on the Boč, Donačka Gora and Macelj hills. Fifteen different relocated or reconstructed buildings and associated materials make up the museum space and are separated into three different sections. The homestead section includes the house where poet Jože Šmit was born, with an enclosed garden, an outbuilding replete with manure and outside toilet, a beehive, pig sties and a kozolec (the traditional hayrack). The commercial area introduces the loden, an original market shop with assorted goods, that today also functions as the museum’s shop and administrative space. The third themed area is the eating area, which is characterised by carefully tended vines, with a wine cellar which will function as a pušenšank (a traditional way of allowing farmers to sell their wines directly).
The Rogatec Open-Air Museum was nominated European Museum of the Year in 1997.
In the future we plan to enlarge the museum (as set out in the 1998 Expansion Plan) with the presentation of varied architectural and cultural heritage: the houses of smallholders and stone cutters, a stone cutter's hut, a wine cellar and a drying room for fruit and flax.
The Rogatec Open-Air Museum aims to preserve cultural, architectural, ethnological, regional and historical values and to present culture heritage both in situ and through multi-media, educational demonstrations and research work.