Ballenberg

Open Air Museum

Sandra Handley

New Zealand

Member since 2018

This awesome open air museum displays over 100 traditional Swiss buildings, gardens and architecture plus has traditional artisan demonstrations, runs farmyard animals and you can buy the resultant products as well.

We spent a whole day walking around this amazing place. They group houses and farm buildings from the same Canton together with connecting paths. Each building is perfectly set up for its traditional use plus they have changing exhibitions. So an old pharmacy full of equipment sits in a beautiful medicinal garden, while a furnished manor house included a clothing and musical instrument museum.

During the day we saw a weaving demonstration on a mechanical loom, watched cheese being made, went into an old

 © Sandra Handley

smokehouse where they were smoking sausages, and ate a delicious traditional farmers

soup that was made on a fire by women in traditional dress. It was a lot of fun and very interesting. It would also be a great thing to do with kids as there’s lots of animals and fun things to see.

My favourite building was a huge old Ticinese 11th century farmhouse (picture above) that was demolished stone by stone, transported across the country to Ballenberg and then rebuilt exactly the same – including the cobblestone courtyard in the middle of it all. It showcases traditional silk making so they've planted thousands of mulberry trees and grow silk worms then spin their silk. Amazing!

Kid / Family Friendly?

Yes – Children of all ages

Important to know 

This place is huge so comfortable walking shoes are a must.
 
This is a whole day excursion. 
 
You can buy reasonable price food and drinks here.
 
Heaps of car parking available

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