Donate now


< Home


The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum is not only situated in the centre of Switzerland but it is also in the middle of a forest. And this forest is more than mere decor. About half of the area of the open-air museum is forest land.

Share page:
Das Naturschutzgebiet Wyssenseeli im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg ist bei Familien besonders beliebt. Es bietet Schattenplätze und lädt zum Bräteln und Verweilen ein.

People’s relationship with the forest was once literally one for life. Without the forest there would have been no heating, no furniture, no receptacles, no houses, no fences and no vehicles. From the cradle to the grave, the forest was the source of raw materials, and it also protected people from avalanches and rock falls. Conversely, exploitation of this resource and the replanting of trees shaped the forest and the cultivated landscape in general.

Der Wyssensee – ein Naturschutzgebiet mit viel Wald – im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg.

Forest trail to indigenous trees and shrubs

Plastic and metal products are everywhere these days. But, how did our ancestors cope without these materials? The answer comes from the forest, which offers a solution for almost all aspects of daily life. The themed trail (forest trail) takes us to a range of different trees and shrubs and shows their vital importance for traditional handicrafts and customs.

Theme trails
Kinder entdecken die verschiedenen Stationen des Waldlehrpfades im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg.

Experiencing the forest through play

The woodland playground aims to focus attention even more on the topics of forests and wood: without forests and wood, there would be no Ballenberg. More than 100 buildings were dismantled in one place and rebuilt in the Open-Air Museum. Support beam by support beam. Without skilled craftsmanship and a feel for wood, this would be almost impossible to achieve. Without forests, most of the houses in Ballenberg and the furniture and tools exhibited there simply would not exist. The individual play stations of the new woodland playground are therefore entirely devoted to the forest or to the raw material wood. In an initial phase, a converted ‘Schürli’ barn, a large sandpit and woodland shelters were be opened to the public. Construction will continue until 2024, when the nature playground offering rich play experiences for children of all ages is set to be completed.

Read more
Im Freilichtmuseum Ballenberg gibt es einen Waldspielplatz mit Siebenschläferbau.

"My Forest" at the Forestry Museum

Check out the updated permanent exhibition in the dwelling from Sachseln OW, "My Forest". Take a tour of the forest with the former occupants of Ballenberg’s Obwalden building, Ignatia and Joseph von Moos. Past, present or future: Throughout the ages, people have pursued various interests in the forest and there have been a number of conflicts, some of which still exist today. Who does the forest actually belong to?

Read more
Die Dauerausstellung «Mein Wald» thematisiert Waldarbeit früher und heute.

Association for the Promotion of the Ballenberg Forestry Museum

Just like agriculture, the forest and the timber industry are part of everyday rural life. It is the aim of the Association for the Promotion of the Ballenberg Forestry Museum(FFMB) to present this idea in a visually attractive form.

Discover now

Swiss Open-Air Museum

Museumsstrasse 100
CH-3858 Hofstetten bei Brienz

+41 33 952 10 30

Opening hours

11 April to 27 October 2024
10 am to 5 pm daily

Follow us