"Little Castle" of Effringen
The season in 2018 brings the northern Black Forest to the museum, with the opening of
the Schlössle - or "Little Castle" - of Effringen from Wildberg in the district of Calw. This
former country manor is more than 600 years old, making it both the oldest building and
the first manor house in a Baden-Wuerttemberg open air museum and one of the oldest of any open air museum in Germany. Between 2015 and 2017, in a highly complex restoration and relocation procedure, it was brought to the Black Forest Open Air Museum
In 1379, after the original building had become derelict, building work began on a grand, three-storied mansion with tower. Since then, the building has been referred to as a Schlössle, meaning ‘little castle’ (or palace), both by the locals and in the archives. First used by the steward of the estate, it was then mentioned as a manor house with right of patronage and finally inhabited as a farmhouse. After various phases of renovation, the last occupants lived in the house until 1972.
After years left standing empty and receiving only minimum maintenance, it passed from the owners, the Gauß family, into the hands of the museum. It was now almost derelict and needed a massive amount of work. The ensuing highly complex and costly process of restoration and relocation to the museum took three years.
Thanks to the recollections of the house’s last occupants, the rooms could be refurbished to look more or less as they had when the family moved out in 1972. Historical photos of the interior which were found in the family photo album, though few in number, provided the museum team with valuable additional help.
On the ground floor, in what were once the animal stalls, visitors to the museum will find information material about the history of the building and a presentation of original objects found in the house or during excavation work after dismantling the building.