Ballenberg Open Air Museum

Ballenberg Open Air Museum

view from the hardergrat

We each got to choose a part of the trip, and our youngest wanted to do part of the Hardergrat trail above Brienz, which goes along the ridge line of the mountain with sheer drops off both sides. You can see the photo of her doing that dangerous trail in bad weather above; a 12″ wide trial with an abyss on either side. To make it worse, she had fog, sleet, rain, snow, and yes, a fleeting amount of sun.

Meanwhile, the rest of us enjoyed a day at Ballenberg, which I highly recommend. Near Brienz, they have pulled together 100 historic Swiss homes from the 13th to the 19th centuries, scattered on 50 acres, which you can go through. The whole open air museum was exceptionally well done, and it was fascinating to see how people lived so long ago.

I was particularly interested in the thatched roofs, and the homes where both house and barn were under the same roof. I also took many black and white photos here, because the historical aura and the chiaroscuro lighting lent themselves so well to it. I’ll show you those later.

We had a good food day too, and were grateful to rendezvous with a safe but exhausted daughter, on the shores of (gorgeously turquoise) Lake Brienz.

Ballenberg photos








An unusual harmonica.
















A bee hive.





Thatched roof.













Both home and barn are under each of these.



Kiln for roof tiles.


Stoking the kiln from below.


The kiln was the whole right hand portion of this building.
















apricot pie





Our hotel in Brienz.





I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John+gregory 8 months ago

    Must be a sensational experience! What a trip!

  2. Liz 8 months ago

    The photos are wonderful! I have so many from Ballenberg too. I’m curious if there were cows anywhere, or maybe they were all in the high pastures for summer. When I went in October, the sound of the tinkling cowbell was everywhere, as were the cows. Love to see what you see!! Hugs.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 8 months ago

      The cows were up on the mountain pastures.

  3. Diane Williamson 8 months ago

    I’m just loving your pictures Polly . Some are inspiring me to paint … even in a traditional style !! ( quelle horreur!) 😂 you really capture the atmosphere and the light and your composition is beautiful in these shots

  4. Laura Beckering 8 months ago

    Incredible trip! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Meg+Hanson 8 months ago

    Love love love! I did not know the thatched roofs were so thick!


  1. […] post is a sequel to yesterday’s post, since our visit to Ballenberg was so ripe for black and white photography.  This was largely […]

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