Our open-air site
The rurally shaped Schleswig-Holstein from the 16th to the 20th century
As a museum of folk life and folk art, the Open-Air Museum Molfsee – State Museum for Ethnology has been showing and documenting the everyday and cultural history of rural Schleswig-Holstein for more than 50 years. On the 40-hectare site, 60 historic buildings from the 16th to the 20th century from various parts of the state and the Danish border region are presented in the context of an evolved cultural landscape.
The farmhouses, cottages, barns and the workshops of the village crafts are equipped with furniture, household goods and tools. In addition, there is a historical fairground on the museum site - with two merry-go-rounds, a swing-boat and a ring-the-bell -, three windmills and a water mill, a historical pharmacy, a steam-engine-driven dairy, two poorhouses and the gatehouse of a noble estate.
The historical buildings, which were dismantled at their original locations and rebuilt in the open-air site, are arranged in building groups according to their origin. Thus, building ensembles from North Frisia and Eiderstedt, Dithmarschen and the Elbmarschen, Angeln and Stapelholm, Holstein and the Probstei, Fehmarn and Lauenburg refer to regionally different characteristics of architecture, residential culture, agriculture and rural trade.
These cultural and historical differences, which in some cases are very pronounced, are a special feature of Schleswig-Holstein. They are the result of the special location of our state between Central Europe and Scandinavia on the one hand, and between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea on the other. In the open-air museum, you can discover a variety of influences from different neighbouring European regions.
In some buildings there will be permanent exhibitions on special themes on display: for example, a house from the Hallig Langeneß will be dedicated to the unique life on the water. In a cottage for the poor, the integration of refugees in the period after the Second World War is thematised.
Agriculturally cultivated open grounds and livestock farming complement the exhibition. Therefore, the site itself, with its beautiful meadows, gardens, fields, ponds and forests, makes a stay here an experience.