There is a fantastic open-air museum at Ballenberg, near Interlaken, at the very center of Switzerland. It is beautifully organized in woodland and meadow, to represent a geographical map of Switzerland, depicting by area a historical collection of rural buildings from the 15th to the 19th century. All of the structures were brought from their original locations and rebuilt on the site of the museum. Switzerland, because of its central location has a huge variety of different architectural styles, so no one style can said to be typical or dominant. As a general rule most are built on a stone foundation with the upper levels constructed in wood, with roofs of wooden shingles. The experience of walking through the museum is like physically traveling back through time. You can enter most of the buildings and because they are still mostly in their original state, complete with hanging clothes, kitchen utensils and furniture you really get a sense of how it must have been to live in one of these houses. Real people ate, slept, wept and died many times over in these buildings and there is an almost church like reverence in the atmosphere that is created, by the dark wood interiors with their lingering smells of old smoke, oil and wood.
Ballenberg – Swiss Architecture