For almost 200 years, the shoe company "Bally" has shaped the country and the people of the Niederamt in the Swiss Canton of Solothurn. For decades, Schönenwerd and its surroundings lived according to the rhythm of Bally‘s factory sirens.

Bally provided living and working space for the workers and employees in the immediate vicinity and has left numerous traces in the village: first-class architecture, archives, machines and a unique shoe collection are witnesses to a long industrial history. The legacies also include an enormous wealth of documents, pictures, photographs, promotional items and products. Collections, archives, machines, gardens and buildings together make up one of the most complete industrial history documentations in Switzerland. The Ballyana Foundation is committed to the preservation of this historical heritage.

The Ballyana Museum is located in the former production hall of the Bally ribbon weaving mill. Here visitors can get an authentic grasp of an industrial labourer’s working day in the past. The Sulzer steam engine and many textile and shoe production machines come to life in the exhibition. Tools tell of the importance of craftsmanship despite mechanization; pieces of leather can be touched and smelled. In addition to the machines, many other aspects of industrial history and culture are on display: shoes, ribbons, boxes, advertisements, souvenirs, letters and much more.

In addition to visiting the exhibition about the Bally company and family, its history and industrial shoe and ribbon production, a guided tour of the nearby, beautiful Bally Park can also be booked.

BALLYANA Sammlung Industriekultur
Schachenstrasse 24
5012 Schönenwerd
+41 (0) 62 - 8499109

Recommended duration of visit:2 Hours
Duration of a guided tour:90 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:None
Infrastructure for children:
Gift and book shop on site:yes

1st and 3rd Sunday of the month 2-5pm

  • Guided tours optional
  • Tours in other languages
  • Guided tours for children