The Land of Hayracks is the first open-air museum of hayracks. It consists of 19 different drying structures originating from the Mirna Valley, except for one hayrack which comes from the vicinity of Ivančna Gorica. The museum’s purpose is to show the development of hayracks through time, space and social meaning from simple drying structures to complex forms of double hayracks – “toplars”.
A hayrack is a structure for drying crops standing independently or leaning against another outbuilding. Most frequently made of wood, a hayrack is situated at the homestead or separately on the field or meadow. Grains, hay, corn, flax, hemp, legumes, cuttings of tuberous plants and fern were dried and stored in it. A double hayrack is a particularly suitable place for storing tools, agricultural machinery and wagons as well as other building material and modern vehicles.
Hayracks present a centuries-long achievement of agricultural and livestock activities on country, castle and monastic agricultural estates. They reflect an extraordinary sense of using natural materials and mastery of carpenter’s tradition. Mainly in the Slovenian ethnic territory, hayracks evolved into several types and distinctive shapes which cannot be found elsewhere in the world. That is why the hayrack has become one of the most recognisable features of Slovenia. The Land of Hayracks attempts to emphasise as well as to present its cultural value and encourage people to preserve their hayracks.
The open-air museum consists of all six existing types of hayracks in the Slovenian ethnic territory: three single (single, single cloaked, single stretched) and three double hayracks (low, “goat” hayrack, linked hayrack – “toplar”). The museum covers an area of 2.5 ha and comprises 1 km of paths suitable for walks. The oldest hayrack in the museum is called »Luka’s toplar« dating back to 1795, which is also one of the world’s oldest preserved double hayracks.