Living History in the Black Forest

Along the Black Forest Autobahnstraße, about an hour and a half from Stuttgart, nestled in the Black Forest is the little valley town of Gutach. With a recommendation from the USO and some friends, we visited the Schwarzwälder Freilichtmuseum Vogtbauernhof.

This living history farmstead of over 400 years old is interactive and fun! My friend Betsey and I brought our older children for kicks and we had a hard time pulling them away. Normally I would say this is a good pick for younger children, but I would be wrong. It’s great for everyone!

Interactive Open-Air Museum

Black Forest original farm house© Wendy Payne

I think hands-on is the best way to learn. A great place for a field trip, the park was filled with children seeing, hearing, saying and doing all kinds of 17th century craft and artisan work. This living history museum also has daily demonstrations during the summer from hand-made crafts, cooking, and milling from the early 1600 to 1700 periods. There are over 16 out-buildings and eight farmhouses to see and experience throughout the homestead.

Black Forest red plume© Wendy Payne

Park workers are in traditional costumes representative of Black Forest cultural history. One of the most interesting costumes was the red plume hats the unmarried, virtuous young women wore during this time in history. It eventually became a symbol of the Baden-Württemberg region.

Black Forest lady weaving© Wendy Payne

The newest exhibit is in the Lorenzenhof House. This building (built in 1608) has moved from its original site in Oberwolfbach in the Kinzig Valley. Right now they have an amazing exhibition on various elements of the forest and forestry that includes a maze for children.

What’s Good to Eat

Black Forest Kasespatzle© Wendy Payne

When you approach the museum, you’ll see nice little souvenir shops and eateries as well as a bakery. We chose to eat at the museum’s restaurant Zum Hofengel. We were delighted with the restaurant’s delicacies of “Käsespätzle mit Speck” (cheese pasta with bacon) and Jägerschnitzel (traditional schnitzel with mushroom sauce).

Black Forest cake© Wendy Payne

Of course, we also had to split a piece of Schwarzwald Kirsch Torte (Black Forest Cake).

The restaurant’s service was impeccable and the decor is warm and welcoming. It’s also worth noting that there is an outdoor patio and larger table seating inside.

General Information

Black Forest chapel© Wendy Payne

The museum’s hours from March 29 to November 8 are the following:
open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 5 p.m.)
in August from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admission 6 p.m.).

Museum’s restaurant is open throughout the season, daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ticket prices are the following:
Adults: €9
Senior Citizens, Students, military/social service, handicapped: €8
Children and Adolescents (6 – 17 years): €5
Audioguide (German, English, French): €3
Family day pass + 1 child
(parents with their minor children): €20.50
Family day pass + 2 children
(parents with their minor children): €22.50
Family day pass + 3 children or more
(parents with their minor children) €28.50
Season card adult: €25
Season card families: €42

Go to the museum’s website for additional information.

How to Get There

Black Forest farmhouse© Wendy Payne

If you are using a navigational or GPS system, be careful what you punch in for your address. We went by the longer route to Gutach and typed in an address that was not on my GPS. We eventually made it, but I made a special note to include the correct navigation here for you. It is Vogtsbauernhof, Vogtsbauernhof 1, 77793 Gutach or Wählerbrücke. Click on DB Bahn for train information.

Black Forest full view© Wendy Payne

It was a beautiful ride through the Black Forest but a few winding roads. My daughter used her sea bands against motion sickness and then she was fine.

Black Forest in attic© Wendy Payne

Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Wendy Payne

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