Ballenberg Swiss open air museum

The museum at Ballenberg lies 6 km east of the town of Brienz with which it is linked by a regular bus service. It is a typical open air museum following the pattern set by Artur Hazelius at Skansen, Stockholm, and is managed by a charitable trust established in 1968. It opened with eighteen buildings in 1978, and now extends over 66 ha with 100 buildings and other structures. The museum’s objective is to include rural buildings from all parts of Switzerland but in practice most come from Canton Bern. The interiors of the farmhouses display many aspects of material culture and the buildings are set amongst characteristically Swiss meadows, fields and gardens. There are regular demonstrations of cheese-making, basket-weaving, pottery-manufacturing, spinning, weaving, hat-making, and of wood carving for which the town of Brienz is famous. More than 250 animals live in the museum, including examples of all the native Swiss farm animals, and indigenous plants are carefully tended in the gardens. Visitors can view the outer parts of the museum from a horse-drawn coach. Special events include a wrestling festival, and the Bräohete, the traditional ceremonies associated with the annual scotching of flax.

Ballenberg Swiss open air museum
Ballenberg Freilichmuseum der Schweiz
Museumsstrasse 131
3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz
Switzerland
+41 (0) 33 - 9521030
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