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1361Cheese Dairy

Stone walls surround the large hearth of the open kitchen of the buttery.

Icon Museumsplan Nr.  1361 Alpkäserei aus Kandersteg BE

1700 Metres above Sea Level

In 1780 Colonel Johann Rubin of Reichenbach had this hut built on the Unter-Allmen Alp above Kandersteg. The hut subsequently remained in the hands of the well-situated officer from the Kander valley. It was therefore privately organised, not a cooperative. A barn and a shed also belonged to him here. Most recently the Reichen family of Krattigen farmed the alp. A new building did not replace the old alp hut until 1981.

Normal Construction

The wooden upper portion sits on a masonry foundation and the ground floor spaces serve as stalls. Sudden snow squalls can occur even in the summer; the livestock are also glad to find dry shelter here from long stretches of cold and rainy weather. People live and work in the upper storey.

Cheese Cliché Live

Stone walls surround the large hearth of the open kitchen of the buttery. The great cheese-making kettle hangs over the flames on a swinging arm, the room is black from smoke and soot. For 200 years cheese was made here, tasty little cheeses called “Mutschli”. When the cliché “Switzerland = Milk & Cheese” fits anywhere, then here, where the dairy economy which characterised the life and landscape of the Alps for centuries can be experienced first-hand in the form of cheesemaking.


The side chambers are for the milk room, the salt bath for the cheese and a tool room. The chambers facing the valley are partly dwelling space. The herders and cheese makers scratched their initials and dates in the walls as was often done in spring camp and summer alp buildings, for instance in the house from Buochs (1371).

Swiss Open-Air Museum

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CH-3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz

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Opening hours

6 April to 29 October 2023
10 am to 5 pm daily

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