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    Open Air Museum


Open Air Museums

Distance from base: 100 - 330 km

What is an Open Air Museum?

An open-air museum (or open air museum) is a museum that exhibits collections of buildings and artifacts outdoors. It is also frequently known as a museum of buildings or a folk museum.

Living-history museums, including living-farm museums and living museums, are open-air museums where costumed interpreters portray period life in an earlier era. The interpreters act as if they are living in a different time and place and perform everyday household tasks, crafts, and occupations. The goal is to demonstrate older lifestyles and pursuits to modern audiences. Household tasks might include cooking on an open hearth, churning butter, spinning wool and weaving, and farming without modern equipment. Many living museums feature traditional craftsmen at work, such as a blacksmith, pewtersmith, silversmith, weaver, tanner, armorer, cooper, potter, miller, sawyer, cabinet-maker, woodcarver, printer, doctor, and general storekeeper.

Bad Sobernheim

First opened to the public in 1975 this museum was established to preserve regional historic buildings, landscapes, and culture.

The museum displays over 40 historic buildings from four regions across the federal state, with new dwellings being added regularly. Covering 36 hectares (89 acres) of land within the scenic Nightingale Valley (Nachtigallental), this museum is the largest Open Air Museum of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Most of the historic sites have either been systematically dismantled and re-erected within the museum using the original materials or were transported there as a whole. Altogether they have been carefully arranged to present an accurate and lively depiction of regional history, culture, and everyday life from the Middle Ages until the mid-20th century. The interactive and vividly designed interior displays contribute to an immersive visitor experience. Historic living quarters, workshops, schools, and shops invite you to discover and learn about 500 years of history and cultural heritage.


In the grounds, an area of 100 hectares, you will currently find 69 historical buildings from the former Prussian RheinProvinz. Farmsteads, wind- and water-mills, workshops, communal build-ings, like the school- and bake-house, the dance-hall and chapel, stand as examples of the dwellings, buildings and commercial life of the rural population since the end of the 15th century. The heritage buildings are embedded in a museum landscape with arable fields, cottage gardens and orchards. Have a conversation with Anna Ippendorf, a peasant woman, who lived in the “House from Kessenich“ in 1871, or find out the latest gossip from the mouse-trap pedlar.

What does the event name “Anno Dazumal” mean?

On this special day there will be a fair at the Open Air Museum which gives you some insight in what fairs used to look like in the old days. The fair features candy shops, fire-breathers, tightrope artists, stilt walker, fortune tellers and much more.

You can visit this museum through Eifel Tour 5.


The Hessenpark Open Air Museum was established in 1974 and displays more than 100 houses with more than 200,000 objects from everyday life and about 100 historical farm animals on 65 hectares (160 acres).

The Hessenpark Open Air Museum takes its visitors on a voyage of discovery of everyday life in Hessian villages of yesteryear. More than a hundred buildings from all over Hesse open up areas of adventure to the senses: the cool walls of a 15th century church, hard school benches from the turn of the 20th century, the smells of floor wax, dung and fresh hay permeate the air. Most of the buildings have been reconstructed using the original materials from the relevant period in history.

The special thing about an open-air museum is this: the exhibits are houses, workshops, trees, fields and even live animals. And the visitors? They are right at the centre, experiencing history first-hand through theatrical tours and workshops, and by exploring gardens, barns and kitchens or by dining in a historical tavern.


The LVR-Archaeological Park Xanten on the site of the ancient Roman city of Colonia Ulpia Traiana is Germany´s biggest archaeological open-air museum.

Roman history comes to life in the Archaeological Park Xanten.

The Colonia Ulpia Traiana was one of the most important cities in the Germanic provinces of Rome in antiquity. During its height, it was home to more than ten thousand people whose history can be reconstructed from the traces they left in the ground.

The major buildings in the APX are more than just backdrops. Designed after years of excavation and research, they were built true to scale at the original location. All shapes and materials emulate the Roman originals, helping visitors appreciate the ancient architecture.

Shoemakers, carvers, legionaries - watch the experts at work and try their craft yourself. Many things worth knowing are waiting to be discovered in the Roman world every Saturday and Sunday.

Mühlenhof in Münster

The reconstruction of an historic post mill from the Emsland laid the foundation for the Mühlenhof Open-Air Museum in 1961. Situated in the museum grounds on the banks of Lake Aa, almost thirty further original buildings from the 16th to the 19th centuries from the Münster region and neighboring areas can be visited. Farmhouses furnished in traditional style are also part of the museum just like craftsman workshops, a single classroom rural school from the 19th century, and an old village shop. The museum therefore provides a vast amount of insight into how peasants and craftsmen once lived and worked near the big city of Münster.


The Black Forest Open Air Museum (established 1963) is a forum for the entire Black Forest region. It carries out research projects and explores the cultural heritage and development of all rural areas in the Black Forest. In addition, the museum collects and preserves on 17 acres important cultural assets from the Black Forest to ensure that the people of the region and visitors can access and experience these collections. In this way, the Open Air Museum contributes to the promotion and preservation of the region's cultural identity.

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Spangdahlem AFB
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