Cloppenburg Museum Village
By Wittkowsky – Oain Wierk, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4151101
Cloppenburg Museum Village
By Bjoertvedt – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42699511
The Cloppenburg Museum Village and Lower Saxon Open-Air Museum (German: Museumsdorf Cloppenburg – Niedersächsisches Freilichtmuseum) located in the Lower Saxon county town of Cloppenburg is the oldest museum village in Germany. The museum is a research and educational establishment specializing in cultural and rural history.
The Lower Saxon Open-Air Museum is a non-profit organisation. Although the museum does not set out to compete for visitors, in 2009 the Cloppenburg Museum Village had more visitors than any other museum in Lower Saxony (250,000). In 2004, the museum was visited by more than 60,000 students as a part of their school curriculum.
Covering an area of about 20 hectares (49 acres), the Lower Saxon Open-Air Museum portrays the history of rural life in the Lower Saxony region from 16th century to the present. Over 50 historic buildings, with their associated rural gardens and surrounding agricultural fields, illustrate the relationship of man to his environment over the course of time.
In the early days a form of reconstruction was chosen that showed the houses in their original state. Important design variants of the Low German house and East Frisian Gulfhaus are presented in this way. Since the 1970s, houses have been re-assembled, conserving the traces of their history and illustrating aspects of the life of their former occupants.
In addition to buildings that underpinned farming and crafts and the residential homes of country folk, the museum terrain also has a timber framed church from Klein-Escherde (built in 1698) and a village school from Renslage (built in 1751).
Outside the actual museum village land, north of Höltinghauser Straße, a large moor plough displayed. More information about the individual exhibits is available in an interactive location plan.
In 2011, planning began on the construction of a new entrance hall and integrated cultural-historical centre. Funding will be provided by the state of Lower Saxony, and the district and town of Cloppenburg. In the same year, construction started on a wheelwrights home dating to 1564. On completion, it will be oldest building on the museum village site.
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