Discover Switzerland at the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg using all your senses
Every time you visit the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg you’ll discover something new. Start your Ballenberg visit with a stroll through one of the 109 historic buildings. From the modest home of a day-labourer to the impressive farmhouse of a large Bernese farming family; take a look into parlours, kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms and imagine the daily life of the inhabitants. The residential and farm buildings at Ballenberg couldn’t be preserved in their original locations and were therefore carefully taken down and rebuilt in the 66 hectares of museum grounds. Besides the residential buildings there’s a whole host of fantastic things to discover.
66 hectares of cultivated landscape
The buildings in the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg are all situated in well-tended landscapes. At Ballenberg, land is traditionally cultivated with old tools and equipment. Seeds are still sown in the fields using horses, a team of oxen ploughs furrows in the field. Farmers’ gardens are laid out according to historical patterns and a wide variety of vegetables and fruit are often grown in them. In Switzerland, gardening and care of the countryside were essential for survival for centuries. This ancient knowledge is actively fostered, maintained and passed on in our open-air museum. Discover the varieties that grow and flourish in the Ballenberg gardens and experience all the care and maintenance work that is necessary during the seasons. Watch our employees sowing and harvesting, learn how vegetables and fruit were preserved in the past and make sure to fill your bag with freshly picked produce before heading for home!
Over 30 traditional crafts
Can you smell it too? The smell of freshly baked bread is in the air! In the bakery belonging to the ‘Stöckli’ from Detligen/Radelfingen BE, fresh Ballenberg bread is baked every day. Watch the bakers as they carry out their work or pay a visit to the alpine dairy from Kandersteg BE to discover how tasty Ballenberg “mutschli” are made using fresh milk. Many old crafts are also actively practised in the workshops. The Ballenberg experts present over 30 different traditional crafts, skills and professions. Maybe you’ll discover a new hobby on your next visit to Ballenberg!
Step into the Course Centre to try your hand at many of the crafts displayed around the museum.
More than 200 farm animals
Besides architecture, crafts and numerous exhibitions and activities, more than 200 farmyard animals bring life to the open-air museum. Observe the powerful oxen grazing or watch the awkward foal taking its first steps. Here and there flocks of chickens cluck their way through the museum’s grounds. There is always something going on in the pastures and stables at Ballenberg.
All fired up
In 2021 coal and lime are going to be burnt! In the autumn a unique experiment will begin at the tilery from Péry with the first brick firing at the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg. We’ll bake and cook on an open fire, heat our “Ofenbänkli” (stove benches) when it’s cooler and demonstrate the importance of fire both past and present.
Easy to reach by car, train and bus
It’s never boring at Ballenberg. Walk through woods and over meadows and experience Switzerland with all your senses. If you are hungry and thirsty after all your discoveries, have something to eat in one of the Ballenberg restaurants or buy a snack from a food stall directly inside in the museum’s grounds. The Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg is open daily from the middle of April to the end of October from 10am to 5pm. You can enter the grounds directly from the entrances at Hofstetten (West) or Brienzwiler (East). Parking spaces are available at both entrances. If you are using public transport take the train to Brienz or up to the Brünig Pass and from there take the “Postauto” (post bus) directly to the open-air Museum. Please visit the Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg’s website for information about admission fees, special offers and packages – www.ballenberg.ch
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