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Nadja Meister

History of the Museumsdorf

The history of the largest open-air museum in Lower Austria began in 1979 with the transfer of a 200-year-old Weinviertler Streckhof from Bad Pirawarth. The village grew continuously farm by farm until a typical village line was created along the Sulzbach stream.
Over the years, the museum village was supplemented by other Weinviertler residential and farm buildings, followed by craft houses, chapels, a mill and a cellar lane.
In addition to the reconstruction, a large folklore collection was created. Numerous objects that cover all aspects of rural life in the Weinviertel are preserved in the museum village.
By 2007, the museum village, now grown to a size of around 80 buildings, was run by an association. In order to secure the existence of the museum village for the future, new structures were introduced: a foundation and an operating company, supported by the Friends' Association and a technical advisory board.

Prof. Josef Geissler - founder and builder

In the mid-1960s, Josef Geissler, born in 1949 in Niedersulz, the son of a farmer, started collecting "old Klumpert".
He completed an apprenticeship as a church painter in the Archdiocese of Vienna and was involved in the restoration of many churches in Lower Austria.
In 1977 Josef Geissler opened the "Weinviertler Village Museum" in the abandoned elementary school in Niedersulz.
When the collected folkloristic artefacts broke this framework, the municipality of Sulz provided it with a 5 hectares plot along the Sulzbach.
From 1989 until his retirement, Josef Geissler worked full-time in the museum village. During this time, the museum village has grown to almost 80 buildings.
In recognition of his services, he was awarded the honorary title of "Professor" in 2001. He has retired since the beginning of 2011 and is dedicated to projects such as the renovation of the vicarage in Niedersulz, where he presents his extensive sacral collection.

Dr. Richard Edl - basic designer

Since 1981, Richard Edl has been actively involved in the construction, development and management of the Museumsdorf. His main contribution lies in the documentation and writing of the construction and collection activities.
If Professor Josef Geissler was the "craftsman", then Richard Edl was the co-planner of the museum village. Especially the concept of assemblies goes back to him:
The assembly of various components (residential house, barn, exception or cellar floor) of different origins into a farm structure.
All publications of the Museumsdorf were created with the collaboration of Dr. Richard Edl, especially the museum catalogue in 1997. From 2000 to 2008, he published the museum newspaper and published therein the research results on the house history of 11 buildings.
As a member of the board and from 2008 as chairman, he actively supported the integration of the Museumsdorf Niedersulz into the culture region of Lower Austria.
Today, the honorary chairman of the association is "Friends of the Weinviertler Museumsdorf Niedersulz".
Richard Edl is also a member of the board of the Weinviertler Museumsdorf Niedersulz Foundation and the Advisory Board of Weinviertler Museumsdorf Niedersulz GmbH.

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