Denmark’s Open Air Museum

Our final excursion during last year’s holiday in Denmark was to the Open Air Museum which is very close to Copenhagen. The Open Air Museum, Frilandsmuseet in Danish, is part of the National Museum of Denmark. It is one of the oldest and largest open air museums in the world. It contains over 50 farms, houses, smallholdings and mills from the period 1650-1940. It also features gardens, landscapes and old Danish breeds of livestock. We were lucky to enjoy a beautiful, warm and sunny day for our trip. It is a very large site, but happily you can get a overview of the museum by taking a leisurely trip round the site in a horse drawn carriage. Alessio was most chuffed when he was invited to sit at the front by the horses with our guide. Here is the horse and carriage.
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The site is full of simply stunning farm buildings which have been lovingly transported from their original home and reconstructed here. As with just about everything in Denmark, these buildings were painted in bright warm colours, as you can see from the examples below.
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Most are half timbered constructions, though the first one above used bricks. The roofs are thatched, though rarely as spectacularly as the last one. These were all working farms and some of the buildings were homesteads for the farmer and his family. Others were sleeping areas for hired workers, barns, stables, along with premises for millers, potters or cobblers. Below are some examples of rooms for farmers and their workers. A couple of kitchen ranges, two cots for hired staff and finally a large grandiose room for the farmer and his wife.
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All kinds of work would take place in and around a farm, and the museum has some lovely examples of rural industry. Power was either human effort or water and wind. There are a couple of windmills on the site and below is the smaller of the two. This is followed by a very old watermill.
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The production of textiles was an essential part of rural life and all farms would have their own looms. A couple are shown below, along with an example of some of the lovely woven fabrics and finally a few of the tools used for knitting or weaving.
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Just about everything was made either on the farm or in one of the surrounding villages. I end with some of these everyday items – a display of special plates, shelving with ordinary plates and bowls and finally a cobbler’s room.
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One thought on “Denmark’s Open Air Museum

  1. Oh Alister, what a gorgeous place. I love these museums, I grew up very close to Avoncroft, near Bromsgrove, which was an early adopter of the building rescue movement. Seeing how people lived and worked always evokes strong emotions in me. How I’d love to have a go on that loom – although I suspect I’d have felt differently if I’d had no choice but to make cloth.

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