On Labor Day, our Aunt & Uncle had the day off (his Uncle teaches at a US military base), so they took us to see an old Vogtsbauernhof museum.
A Vogtsbauernhof is an old farmstead, and this open-air museum displays typical farmlife in Germany’s Black Forest in 1612.
I love these thick thatched roofs. Don’t you?
Typical Black Forest style dictated that the the women back in the 1700′s wore this butthe bobble hats. The red hats indicate that a woman is unmarried, and these hats were worn everywhere–just as a simple head cover, or to festivities. Can you imagine wearing big wool balls on your head as the acceptable style in your day?
Apparently women are allowed to wear these 4 pound hats between their confirmation day to their wedding day. Then, married women wear their hat with black bobbles, instead.
I never figured out what these elaborately adorned hats were for. Perhaps wedding days? Still…imagine putting these on your head?
These old farmhouses are really amazing! The style is very popular still today, and old farmhouses are scattered throughout Southern Germany.
The bottom floor of these farmhouses is where the animals, especially cows, are kept. Their body heat fills the bottom of the house, and rises up to help heat the home. The farmhouse is usually built on a hillside, so the upper floors have a mixture of living quarters, workshop, and farm equipment storage. A little bridge connects the hillside to the upper floors, and the farmers would drive their farm equipment right into the house for storage!
Our girls enjoyed a little cow bell display they had in the bottom floor where they would have kept the cows. They could push this rod lined with big cowbells (yes, the cows in Germany really do wear these bells!)–creating a beautiful song of deafening bells!
Living conditions in the farmhouses varied. There was typically a room for the big cooking jobs (always recognizable because their walls were SOLID black with soot!):
Of course, wood was the material of the day. So everything was made of wood!
The dining area always had benches built along the walls, with a free-standing wooden table.
This rooms always featured a tile stove, which had its heyday in the 16th and 17th centuries. The residents would burn wood inside of the tile stove, and the heat projected itself through the tiles to keep the room warm (no–it’s not a stove for cooking)! It is still found in homes today throughout Germany–but it doesn’t come with a cheap price! Our Aunt & Uncle had a price quoted to them for $30K to have one built for them! Wowzers!
The kids enjoying seeing the old farm equipment on the upper floors. They have sleds for wintertime, wagons for hay, people, etc!
Outside they had a nice herb garden set up with labels to show how the people used herbs for common health maladies.
Ella insisted that I take a photo of her being a “flower”…
Besides the main farmhouse, there were many many other buildings to see and visit. Ella & Maiya have immediately attached themselves to their great Aunt & Uncle…so cute!
We saw the old oil mill, where they would dry herbs and then press them in the circular stone basin until they extracted the oil. Wow–that seems like a lot of work!
The milk storage shed had cold water pumped into it, so you could store fresh milk here without worrying that it would go bad.
Apparently they also stored fresh apples here. Not sure why…but the kids had fun!
Did I mention I was sick of Ella’s hair always hanging in her face? I finally insisted on cutting her some bangs.
We visited the Farm Mill, where they ground up their grains using a system that was powered by an old waterwheel and old gear works.
The property went on and on, and we spent many hours there! An English audio guide is available for those who want to hear the full history (we have found that difficult with children at our side). They also had some English placards around describing the different uses of buildings.
Last, but not least, they have a fantastic playground on the property that the kids enjoyed before we packed them back up into the car!
The craziest feature was a slide made from polish rock! It was not a gradual descent…it was a FAST drop! Jared and I each braved the slide…and with much trepidation! Not US-Safety-Standards (which I love)!!
I keep reminding the girls that they will someday be best friends. They fight a lot, but when they get along, they sure are cute!