Visitors can access the open-air site of the museum through the carefully maintained baroque gardens. Over twenty buildings – old farms, buildings for farm work and craft workshops from different valleys in South Tyrol from the 15th to the 19th centuries – show how peasant families, craftsmen, smallholders and day labourers lived, worked and mastered their everyday lives. On the meadows between the houses domestic and grazing animals can be found, while the cultivated fields, scented gardens, flowering balcony blossoms and old fruit trees complete the image of the rural economy and way of life. From the open-air site there is a view over all of Bruneck with its churches, castle and the Kronplatz ski area.
The open-air site
A place to stay
The Mair am Hof residence
Heart of the museum
The heart of the museum is formed by the baroque Mair am Hof residence, built between 1690 and 1700 by the Sternbach family. This grand estate recounts how the landed gentry lived and resided and is home to extensive ethnological collections of items relating to popular piety and folk art. Alongside the residence’s chapel, maintained in its original condition and with a permanent exhibition on popular religion, visitors can view the servants’ quarters, a collection of belts, traditional costumes and zithers, see the exhibitions on Tyrolean cuisine and ceramics from the Pustertal valley and, in the cellar, find out about the inventory management of a large farm.
The Mair am Hof farm building
Working tools offer a glimpse of the past
In the farm building, the three-storey barn of the Mair am Hof, visitors can see numerous implements used in tilling the land, cattle breeding, tending meadows and old handicrafts. The plough, scythe and thresher tell of a time before tractors and combine harvesters. Numerous vehicles, from sledges and carts to carriages, give an idea of the means of transportation and travel at that time. The workshops of the cobbler, tanner, carpenter and rake-maker are evidence of their skills, while the large, heavy cow-bells are reminders of the festive descent of the cattle from the mountain pastures.