About 20% of the Hungarian monuments are protected folk monuments, a small slice of them are the Rural Heritage Buildings, those protected folk architectural relics (living-houses, farm-buildings, buildings of handcraftsmanship) which function as museums or with other communal purposes.
The Rural Heritage Buildings represent the architectural culture of a regional or ethnic group from the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century. They demonstrate the traditional folk architecture, agriculture, homes, objects and clothes of a village, region or ethnic group. The Rural Heritage Buildings, through study circles for preserving the tradition and communal programs held in them present and keep alive the local customs, folk art and folk-poetry, preserving the complexity of folk culture. They help a village, region or ethnic group to become a real community, to develop a stronger identity and to stay alive this way.
The Hungarian network of Rural Heritage Buildings introduce the folk culture of every regional and ethnographical group in this area. It is unique in Europe that the monuments representing the folk culture of every region, micro-region and ethnic group are equally preserved and presented with scientific thoroughness, on the basis of common principles. This is of particular significance because since the foundation of the state of Hungary it has been a country of several nationalities and a strongly broken up area from landscapes point of view.