Mennonite Heritage Village
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Windmill at Mennonite Heritage Village
|Location||Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.|
Mennonite Heritage Village is a museum in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada telling the story of the Russian Mennonites in Canada. The museum contains both an open-air museum open seasonly, and an indoor building open year round. Opened in 1967 and expanded significantly since then, it is a major tourist attraction in the area. Approximately 40,000 visitors visit the museum each year. The village features original Mennonite housebarns, churches, and other buildings, some of which date back to the 1800s. The indoor facility documents the history of Mennonites from their origins in the Netherlands and Switzerland and focuses on the Plautdietsch-speaking Russian Mennonites who came to Western Canada. Temporary exhibits, also open year round, are held in the Gerhard Enns Gallery.
The museum is famous for its Dutch windmill, a replica of the original windmill built in Steinbach in the 1880s. The first replica was burned down by arsonists in 2000, but was later rebuilt. The outdoor village also displays a section of the Berlin Wall and two important monuments originally erected in Russia to commemorate the centennial of Chortitza and honor the two Mennonite leaders, Jacob Hoeppner and Johann Bartsch, who chose the site and accompanied the first colonists. The museum holds numerous special events and festivals, including the Pioneer Days Parade and festival each August. The museum also has a restaurant that serves Russian Mennonite food (open seasonally) and a bookstore (open year round). In 2018, a statue of Anabaptist martyr Dirk Willems by sculptor Peter Sawatzky was unveiled on the grounds of the museum.
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