half-timbered building awaits visitors at the
entrance to the open
N. and Wikimedia Commons)
ounded in 1953, the Kiekeberg Open Air Museum (Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg)
is devoted to 19th-century rural life of the region. It consists
of 30 publicly accessible historic buildings scattered over 120,000 square
meters (or 30 acres). The buildings are typical of traditional farms of the
northern part of the Lunenburg Heath (Low Saxon Lüünborger Heid’, German Lüneburger Heide) just south of the German city and state of Hamburg.
For example, visitors may view the authentically furnished interior of a farmhouse
in which dwellings, stables and storage are situated under the same roof, as
was typical on Saxon-style farms, though these days most of them have been
converted. Region-specific farm animals are on display as well, as are traditional
household and farming implements.
half-timbered, thatched farmhouse with the
characteristic Old Saxon crossed horse heads
at the gable top
N. and Wikimedia Commons)
There are regularly scheduled demonstrations of iron forging, spinning
and other traditional crafts. Bread baked on the premises according to old-time
recipes is for sale and, along with old-time dishes, such as smoked salt pork
baked in bread dough, is also available at adjacent Restaurant am Kiekeberg.
Special events and activities for families or specifically for children
are scheduled throughout the year and are listed at the museum’s website.
From March until October, the museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. From
November until February, it is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
Admission is currently €6 for adults; it is free for children under 16.
Reduced rates are offered on certain days, and combination tickets with admission
to other sightseeing spots are offered as well.
Its name meaning something like “lookout hill,” Kiekeberg (half Germanized
from Low Saxon Kiekebarg) is an elevation in Northern Lower Saxony, just across
the border from Southern Hamburg. It is situated in Ehestorf, a part of the
community of Rosengarten in the district of Harburg. It can be reached quickly
and easily from Hamburg and lies in fairly close proximity of several other
sightseeing destinations on the Northern Heath.
Northern Germany is devoid of real mountains (with the exception of the
Harz Mountains at its southern edge). The area’s original language, Low
Saxon (“Low German”), does not inherently distinguish between “hill” and
using Barg for both. Much to the amusement of visitors from mountainous regions,
this has been carried over to German place name versions of the region,
hence the use of Berg ‘mountain’ even for slight elevations.