Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Ancient Switzerland - Ballenberg - Impressions #26
Ballenberg is an "outdoor museum" where traditional buildings from all over Switzerland have been moved to. It is set up as a series of villages and farms, grouped by the different regions of the country. During the summer people volunteer to stay there, doing gardening, farming, taking care of the animals and engaging in all kinds of amazing crafts.
This is a typically serene interior. There were so many like this. Utter simplicity but nothing antiseptic or mechanical about it.
Wood, of course, is the predominant material. Ceilings are only as high as they need to be, often no more than 7'. On a cold winter day that wood interior, with the generous windows and a fire in the woodstove ...
When your farm is prospering and you start to have a little spare time on your hands you can make the effort to apply a slightly more refined finish to your interior. The paneling helps to cut the drafts in the log construction. The white paint brightens the interior, though the people who built these homes were not shy of using color. They did it boldly and brightly.
In the corner is a ceramic wood heater. With a wood fire in it the big ceramic and brick mass would heat up and radiate heat for many hours, all through the night. Notice the chair back in the lower left corner. This photo is of the same room as the photo above it but from the opposite corner.
I couldn't resist getting a photo of this roof gutter, a hollowed out log, connected to the roof framing by naturally hooked branches.
A view across the valley in the direction of Meiringen and the mountains beyond.
On my walk back "home", the B&B I was staying, I got this perfect view of the Milibach Falls, which drop gracefully free of the wooded mountainside.
My camera batteries died just about now. So I was only able to take a few photos at Ballenberg. Otherwise I'd have subjected Gentle Reader to dozens more. The place is amazing and delightful. The day I was there volunteer groups of musicians and dancers had gathered in makeshift "parties", drinking beer, doing folk dances. One man got ahold of an Alpenhorn and played the most surprisingly beautiful and lyrical melody on it. You haven't heard music in the mountains until you've heard a skillfully played Alpenhorn echo off the alpine peaks.