The Museum of Appenzell Traditions (or Appenzeller Brauchtumsmuseum Urnäsch in German) is located in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, an incredibly traditional canton in the northeast of Switzerland. A small picturesque village called Urnäsch houses it and helps preserve Appenzell’s traditions.
Overview: Museum of Appenzell Traditions
The Museum of Appenzell Traditions shows the daily life and customs of the Appenzell people, including carnivals, costumes, and folk art, along with rural ways, alpine living, and traditional workshops. Located in a 400-year-old house, the museum has permanent and temporary exhibits.
Appenzell has a unique characteristic that you won’t see anywhere else in Switzerland. Traditions and folk art are important to them, and it is easy to see why they are committed to preserving them. There is no place in Switzerland where you feel this commitment like Appenzell. The village of Appenzell is an outstanding example of how beautifully they decorate their homes and how well they preserve them.
Carnival costumes and traditional clothes are displayed in the museum. There are even displays of their homes, including how intricately decorated they are. Aside from their high craftsmanship, products made in Appenzell possess a beautiful aesthetic sense.
Museum of Appenzell Traditions: What to Expect
The museum is based on the collection of Ernst Alder-Nef who died in 1971. A passionate collector, he gathered many interesting objects while visiting many houses for work and left them to the local municipality of Urnäsch shortly before his passing.
Throughout the Museum of Appenzell Traditions, you will find wonderful artifacts that represent Appenzell’s culture and traditions. There are a variety of treasures you can find in the museum regarding the following topics:
- Carnival – Appenzell’s carnival traditions are celebrated with colorful costumes, headrests, and bells on display in this museum.
- Rural life – Besides providing an insight into the typical rooms in the region and the furniture they use, it also gives a sense of how people generally live. On display are old pots and pans, chairs, and tables. Some of the rooms feature gorgeous furniture decorated in folk art, such as the bed and cabinet.
- Folk Art – Folk art and hand embroidery show the amount of effort put into intricate details.
- Alping Living – Advertising that depicts Appenzell herders in traditional red vests isn’t just a marketing ploy. Real-life images of these scenes can be seen when cattle are brought down from the alps after a summer season.
- Music Instruments – You can try out a variety of Appenzell music instruments and bells at the Museum of Appenzell Traditions.
- Temporary Exhibitions – Changing exhibits will include Walter Irniger’s works (year 2023), Appenzell women’s works (2021), traditional carvings (2019), and village stories (2018).
How to Get to the Museum of Appenzell Traditions
The Museum of Appenzell Traditions is located in the center of Urnäsch, a small village This is also a nice place to stop en route to Appenzell.
Final Thoughts: Museum of Appenzell Traditions
The Museum of Appenzell Traditions provides visitors with a chance to learn about Appenzell’s culture, rural life, and customs. A unique Swiss region, this area offers a wealth of cultural history and customs that are not easily found elsewhere.
This museum serves as a reminder that no matter where one comes from, it is imperative to preserve our own cultural heritage and respect local traditions. It is for this reason that the Museum Of Appenzell Traditions is so wonderful. This small museum in Appenzell shares a picture of their people and tries to make us understand them better. Furthermore, we are grateful for their dedication to preserving their own traditions and beliefs.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.
Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.