Germany // The Black Forest //

The Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum

Just over 1km south of the Gutach’s confluence with the Kinzig lies the Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum, an open-air museum focused on an old farm – the Vogtsbauernhof – that has been here since 1570. Its huge roof is typical of the local traditional building style and the sort of place that caused Jerome K. Jerome to comment: “The great charm about a Black Forest house is its sociability: the cows are in the next room, the horses are upstairs, the geese and ducks in the kitchen, while the pigs, children and chickens live all over the place.”

The 26 other buildings in the complex – which include a sawmill, granary, bakery, distillery, smithy and chapel – have been moved here from elsewhere to create a rather phoney little village. But great effort has gone into authentically furnishing them all and costumed guides doing craft demonstrations help bring the place alive and broaden the appeal.

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