Walraversijde Archaeology Museum
It is now 1462 and you have returned from sea to this small fishing village near Oostende, Belgium. This is a wonderful museum dedicated to returning you to that time so you can be in the village and see what it was like for the people living there. You get a listening device (programmed to your language of course) to take you around the village. As you go into each house you are "greeted" by the owner who tells you all about their belongings and why they are able to have what they have depending on their station in the village. The big house (on the left in the picture) belongs to the couple that owns the fishing vessels - it is quite large, has a giant fireplace and separate bedroom plus a servant's quarters upstairs. There is also an office and storage area for all that is brought in or waiting to go out. The lady of the house shows you around and she really is quite proud of her station and lets everyone know it - Casey calls her the "posh lady"! The you go next door to a one room home where a widow lives - her husband has been lost at sea and her son is now there and she worries so about him. She makes and mends the fishing nets. Next door to her in the white house lives a family of 5 all in one room with only a small fire hearth and no chimney. The husband smokes the fish that are brought in and makes the breads that they take with them when they go out to sea. They have a servant to help him, but she says he is a cruel man and can't wait to be able to leave him. Originally, the village would have had about 200 houses - these 4 have been rebuilt as they would have been then, using materials found on site when possible. They are still in the process of digging and going through everything.
There is also an indoor part of the museum where many small bits are housed and there is a lot of information and videos and so on - it was all fascinating and we spent quite some time there.
These pictures above are all from the Big House where the "posh lady" lived - you can see she had nice things!
This is the widow's house - she stores the nets in her loft.
This is the well out back.
This is the fish smoker - the wooden slides on the wall let them control the smoke.
A village has to protect itself...
We really enjoyed learning about this part of Belgium - this museum was great!