FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A home fit for a queen (bee)

Posted in Austria, Salzburg by folkestonejack on July 3, 2016

A day trip to the Salzburg Open Air Museum (Salzburger Freilichtmuseum) offered an insight into rural life in the region over the past five centuries.

The museum is located on a splendid site 7km outside Salzburg, spread over 50 hectares, with buildings grouped in clusters that reflect the Salzburger Land districts they originate from. Farmhouses, barns and other outbuildings dominate the collection of buildings that have been preserved but there are also more unusual structures, such as a bowling alley and a tollhouse from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

Early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg

Early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg

The highlight for me was one of the smallest buildings preserved on the site – an early twentieth century beehive from Moosstrasse, Salzburg, decorated with ornately painted landscapes (a close up of the top shutters can be seen here). I don’t know if an artistically inspired bee is a more productive bee, but it was certainly a sweet construction.

It is one of three beehives on the site, with the other two coming from Adnet and Wagrain respectively. The hives of the bee house from Adnet were opened from the inside and the interior is displayed as if a beekeeper has stepped out for a moment, leaving their tools spread across the bench.

Interior of the Bee House from Adnet

Interior of the Bee House from Adnet

A 2km long narrow gauge railway line (600mm) was opened at the museum in 2010 with regular passenger trains (every 30 minutes) hauled by two Schöma diesel locomotives (Type CHL-40G and CHL-45G). One of the locomotives from the Diabaswerk Saalfelden in Salzburg, a dolerite quarry, whilst the other was originally used in the construction of the Channel Tunnel. It’s not the most thrilling or interesting of lines but it does offer a neat way to get to the furthest reaches of the site, followed by a leisurely walk back to the entrance.

The line includes a replica of a railway station from the now closed Gaisbergbahn (1887), a replica of Söllheim station from the Ischl railway (1892) and the former railway station from Lintsching. In the summer new railway buildings will be added to the mix – the original locomotive shed and a station toilet outbuilding from Böckstein/Bad Gastein (both 1909).

The museum is full of surprises, ranging from unexpectedly beautiful bedrooms in the most rustic of farmhouses to an exhibition of historic mousetraps. In short, it is a delight to wander round the museum grounds and comes highly recommended!

Practicalities

We caught the 180 Postbus from outside Salzburg Hbf to Grossgmain (the stop announced in the bus is Salzburger Freilichtmuseum). The bus runs every two hours at the weekends. The bus stops on the road immediately outside the museum and it is an easy walk through the car park to the museum entrance. It must have been a particularly busy Sunday when we visited as the car park was full and each side of the road was lined with cars as far as the eye could see!

Admission to the museum was covered by our Salzburg Cards but would normally be 11 euros for an adult (with a small discount available for anyone that can show they arrived by Postbus 180). It is good value at that price as this covers the whole site, including a ride on the railway.

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