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Ukraine: Pysanka Museum

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Pysanka Museum | Ukraine | Europe

[Visited: October 2014]

On my way from western Ukraine to the central part of the country, I stopped over in Kolomyya just to visit a unique museum. A pleasant walk took me from the bus station in the outskirts of town to the downtown area of the city, where people were selling stuff at a lively street market. Close to the market, I found the Pysanka Museum; perhaps one of the most recognizable museums in the world. Dedicated to Ukrainian Easter eggs, the museum is actually housed in a huge Easter-egg shaped building which, moreover, is painted like a pysanka. I am not sure about visitor statistics, but I am quite sure that numbers to see the huge collection of pysanka must have soured after the pysanka were moved from the church of the Annunciation to the present location, if only because of the curious shape of the building.

Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): The interior of Pysanka Museum

The lady inside sells me a ticket, and is kind enough to take my travel bag - after all, I am in transit here. Downstairs, there is some general info which I quickly scan (most of it in Ukrainian), and I go upstairs where the collection is kept. The walls are circular, there are showcases of easter eggs, and above them, painted Easter eggs, called pysanka in Ukrainian, are on display in various shaped strings. The interior of the egg-shaped building is not well lit, but the adjacent hall in which I find many more eggs, has bright lights. There are explanations on all the different shapes and symbols: religious, geometric, and agricultural. Instead of dull cases, much of the collection is tied together in strings that are creatively attached to the walls.

Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): The museum itself is shaped like an Easter egg

There are pictures of women making the eggs, and explaining the process of the decorative arts of making pysanka. Since painting Easter eggs is done in many more places than just the Ukraine, there are also a few displays of eggs from places like Canada, China, and different parts of Europe. Some of the eggs are painted in bright colours, while others have more subtle hues. Some have straightforward designs, while others have intricately painted motifs on them, making them look precious. This museum is not some strange oddity: it is quite full of visitors when I am there, and there are pictures of the president of the country paying a visit as well. Easter eggs will never look the same to me again, that is for sure.

Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Painted eggs on strings on display in the museum
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Looking into a basket with painted eggs or pysanky
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Painted eggs in strings on a wall of the museum
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Close-up of strings of painted easter eggs
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Showcase with different pysanky, or painted eggs
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Collection of painted eggs from abroad
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Detail of several pysanka, or painted easter eggs
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Pysanky, or Easter eggs painted in all colours seen from the side
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Painted red and black, each and every egg is unique
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Close-up of a wall covered with eggs
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Eggs decorated in red
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Three eggs painted with religious theme in Pysanka museum
Picture of Pysanka Museum (Ukraine): Painted egg, or pysanka, with religious theme

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