The rooms of the house from Ostermundigen perfectly document representational living in accordance with the late baroque spirit.
The third of April 1797 was Bendicht Gosteli’s blackest day: his house burned down. The well situated officer contracted for a new house that would put all the surrounding big Bernese farmhouses to shame. The inscription on the barn door names Niklaus Althaus from nearby Vechingen as the builder. The work must have been straightforward since the rough construction was finished in the same year.
The garden in front of the house imitated the French style of the 18th century. The arrangement, complete with the Ostermundigen garden fence, was moved to the Open-Air Museum and fits right in with the spirit of the house: stately! The impressive window wall is unusual for a farmhouse. Widely extending eaves and an elegantly swung gable arch reinforce the impression. Gosteli’s house has a width of 19 meters (62.34 feet) including the eave projections, and is not just gigantic but rendered rather pompous by the design treatment of the wall surfaces.
The entire wooden building is painted gray from floor to roof, giving the distant impression of a distinguished stone structure. The paintings in the gable also fool the eye: the round and square windows were glazed with a brush. This elaborate facade reflects the fashion of the times: the main object is the effect. And: these forms could not have been made in stone – or at least not in such a short time.
The rooms of the house from Ostermundigen perfectly document representational living in accordance with the late baroque spirit. In this wealthy farmhouse there was a clear distinction between everyday and holiday, between the help and the family: the front parlour served for representation and official business or was opened only for distinguished visitors – reception of “visits” was an exceptional moment. And the help could only enter certain rooms with permission.