Gallery: June 1 — Ballenberg Museum 1

From the first day I visited the Ballenberg Museum. The museum's website, which has recently (2008) been renovated (2021 note: and further since then), helped jog my memory throughout the assembly of the captions below. Check out the site and you can find a lot more information about each building — to get to that section, click on the "Buildings" link on the left side of the page. I have also linked to the relevant pages from the site in the captions.

There are two entrances to the Ballenberg campus, which is quite spread out in the east-west direction. The west entrance is in Hofstetten, where I was staying. The east entrance is in the nearby town of Brienzwiler. I always used the west entrance, and on the first day I kept toward that side of the campus and checked out the Central Midlands, Bernese Midlands, West Midlands, and Jura sections of the museum.

This house, a farmhouse from Madiswil, Bern, 1709, has an open fireplace for cooking and heat, without a chimney, and so the resultant numerous health problems for any inhabitants are accompanied by the opportunity to smoke meats right inside the house.

The complex, beautiful framing of, I believe, the same building. There was a large quantity of this all over the museum.

Roughness, simplicity. Farmhouse from Therwil, Basel-Land, 1675.

Farmhouse from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, 1617. I like the semi-random arrangement of windows in the wall. Note the wooden gutter running from right to left; see also below.

Isn't this a pretty cool shape for the window frames?

...shiiiny... (this is a display in the same farmhouse. I unfortunately don't remember anything else about it except that it was rotating and the clockwork was working, and it was mesmerizing.)

House from Villnachern, Aargau, 1630, again with lovely simple massing.

Daaaang that thatch is thick! This is a day-laborer's house from Leutwil, Aargau, 1803.

Here you can see the structure underlying the thatch. This the same house as above.

A cool storage vault in this farmhouse from Oberentfelden, Aargau, 1609. Note that it and the previous house, outwardly similar, differ in age by almost 200 years!

This is an apothecary room in an artisan's house from Herzogenbuchsee, Bern, 1778.

An upstairs back balcony of the same house. The all-consuming green color is mostly an effect of the vibrant vegetation reflecting sunlight inward, although the trim is a little bit green to start with.

The workshop accompanying the Herzogenbuchsee house. Note the Ründi.

The back end of quite an impressive farmhouse from Ostermundigen, Bern, 1797. Note the typically Lower Bernese ramp to the right.

More sweet framing, on the same house. I love it when the structure of a building is the key to its beauty, as here.

Ain't nothin' but a NUMBER OF HUGE BREADS PRESERVED BEHIND GLASS. Those pretzels below are looking pretty good too.

The front of the Ostermundigen house. A couple of things: (1) totally over-the-top Ründi; (2) the windows in the gable are trompe-l'œil paintings. Look closely.

A super-old fire truck. Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to locate the building this is in on the Ballenberg website to relate any more info about it. I wonder, looking at it after this time, what the hose is made of. Rope, mayhaps?

A little dude from, I think, the western French-speaking reaches. Maybe a Speicher.

The cavernous space within the barn-zone of a farmhouse from Villars-Bramard, Vaud, 1800.

Big ol' millwork in a crazy-big farmhouse from Lancy, Genève.

More of the millwork. It seems that it has been blocked from rotating, so as to prevent tourist-squishment.

Framework of a roof hip in the farmhouse. If you tried to keep track of all these angles in a math expression you would be guaranteed to go insane.

A bedroom, with appropriate contents, in the Lancy house. I found the puff somewhat disturbingly looking as though it had been freshly sat on, as you can see.

The vernaculo-modern west entrance to the museum, occluding a view of Hofstetten, a few fields beyond.