Drive just an hour south of Munich to the Glentleiten Freilichtmuseum and you go even further back in time… a hundred years or more! The museum is comprised of a large area of land and old Bavarian houses, barns, workshops and mills that have been picked up from their original locations and reconstructed and restored on the museum grounds. It’s a place to learn about the historical life and culture of rural Bavaria.
Since we visited Glentleiten two days after our (fourth and final!) wedding celebration in Munich, their current special exhibit on rural Bavarian weddings was particularly interesting to me. It showed traditional wedding attire and jewelry, descriptions of the dating customs, videos and pictures from wedding celebrations, and also told about the meaning and significance of marriage “back then.” (Love was not the main motivation!)
The main impression to stick with me from our visit to Glentleiten is of the peaceful calm and quiet, the fresh air and majestic views.
Glentleiten is open from mid-March to mid-November, then closes for the winter. We visited on a Monday in early September on a gloriously sunny day. Glentleiten is only open on Mondays during the summer (June until the end of September). Because it was Monday, I suppose, they didn’t have any special demonstrations going. Typically, on specific days of the week, you can see bread baking, wood turning, felting, glass painting, embroidery, carving, basket weaving, clock making, metal work… the list goes on! These would have all been neat to see, but I was content just walking slowly in the sunshine, eating ice cream, snapping pictures, sitting on a bench and appreciating the surroundings.
Some tips if you visit:
- Eating and shopping: There are several options for eating there, including a Biergarten and a café. There are also gift shops and a ceramics workshop where pottery is made and sold.
- Although Glentleiten closes on November 11 for the winter, it reopens for a weekend-long Christmas market November 28-30.
- The place wasn’t especially English-language friendly. There was an English map, but the signage around the museum was only in German. However, my parents were there and seem to have enjoyed the visit even without being able to read all the signs! The website is available in English too.
- Transportation details are also online. You can get their by car, at best, but also by train and bus.
Glentleiten is well-worth the little trip out from Munich for a day. So often, when it is cloudy and gray in Munich, you need only drive a little south toward the Alps to rise out of the mist and into the brilliant sunshine.
Today in Munich, the temperatures have plummeted down close to freezing, and it is drizzling rain non-stop. It’s been nice to look back at the pictures and think of that bright day in Glentleiten.