This building had to make way for a new post office in Rapperswil BE in 1974. It was generally known in the village as the «Alter Bären» («Old Bear»). The «Bear» was originally a farmhouse, to which an annexe also serving as an inn was added in 1837. Today, appropriately enough, the building houses a Museum restaurant.
We have retained the name «Alter Bären», mainly because this is a very common name for inns and restaurants in the Canton of Berne. In fact it bears very few traces of its use as an inn. When it was taken over by the Museum, the building was divided into living quarters and working sections (threshing floor, animal stall, barn) which is characteristic of the Midlands.
A large, vaulted cellar is located under the present dining room. It can clearly be seen that an annexe was later added to the house to serve as an inn. From 1837 until 1853, the owners had a licence to serve food.
As a plain building of timber frame construction, the «Alter Bären» testifies to the simplicity of late rural architecture in the Bernese Midlands. On the gable side the roof forms quarter-hips which are known in Bernese dialect as «Gerschilde».
The oven-house from Oberwangen BE (No. 312) belonged to a large mill. It was equipped with a baking oven, an oven for drying fruit and vegetables, and a fireplace for the wash copper.