As the only open-air museum in Switzerland, Ballenberg provides insights into the country’s everyday rural and commercial life. Covering an area of 66 hectares, Ballenberg is the largest museum in Switzerland. It welcomes around 200,000 visitors during its season.
You can visit and admire over 100 rural houses and farm buildings from all over Switzerland. Magnificent farmhouses, humble workers’ quarters, alpine huts and stalls, barns, store-houses, wash-houses and drying ovens provide architectural as well as socio-historical testimony to the everyday life and rural culture of the past.
These historical buildings could not be maintained at their original location and were, therefore, carefully dismantled and transported to the museum’s 66 hectares of land to be reconstructed. Kitchens, parlours, and other quarters provide insight into the daily life of rural Switzerland.
Representative houses of the different farmhouse styles of Switzerland make up, how-ever, only a part of the Museum. Gardens, fields, pastures and meadows, set up according to historical models, surround the farmsteads and houses. In the buildings, there are craftspeople who work with traditional tools, while various theme exhibits give you an insight into scenes of rural former days. Moreover, about 200 farm animals, representing the whole gamut of native domestic animals, provide lively and interesting scenes at Ballenberg!
The Swiss Open-Air Museum Ballenberg is not only an important cultural, research and tourist institution (although it does attract about 200,000 visitors from around the world every year), but with almost 200 workers at the museum during the season, from the middle of April until the end of October, the museum ranks as one of the most important employers in the area.