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Museums Around Appenzell
Far from being collections of dusty antiques, the local museums here offer truly authentic collections of the culture and traditions as they are still practiced today: see elaborately crafted masks used to ring in the Julian New Year; admire hand-sewn dresses still worn during parades when cows are brought to pasture; or watch enormous cheese wheels being made for sale in supermarkets all around the world. A visit to these museums is easiest by car, as they are outside Appenzell, each about 10 minutes away in different directions. A visit to all three makes for a pleasant little road trip through the countryside.
Appenzeller Volkskunde Museum. The Appenzeller Volkskunde Museum displays local arts and crafts, regional costumes, and hand-painted furniture. Dorf, Stein, 9063. 071/3685056. www.appenzeller-museum-stein.ch. 7 SF. Tues.-Sun. 10-5.
Museum für Appenzeller Brauchtum. Costumes, cowbells, and a cheese wagon are on display at the Museum für Appenzeller Brauchtum, along with examples of farmhouse living quarters. Dorfplatz, Urnäsch, 9107. 071/3642322. www.museum-urnaesch.ch. 6 SF. Apr.-Nov., Mon.-Sat. 9-11:30, 1:30-5, Sun. 1:30-5; Nov.-Mar., Mon.-Sat. 9 am.
Schaukäserei. Modern cheese-making methods are demonstrated at the Schaukäserei, a combination of a factory and a museum. Cheese is made 9-2, so it's worth coming early in the day. A self-guided tour (free with the Appenzell Gold Card) reveals the history of the local cheese, and a movie about the region is a surefire way to whet your appetite. The attached restaurant is one of the best places to sample some tradtional dishes made with Appenzeller cheeese, including a silky cheese soup, gooey fondues and raclettes, and a savory chääsflade (cheese pie). Dorf 711, Stein, 9063. 071/3685070. www.showcheese.ch. Free. Nov.-Mar. daily 8:30-5:30, Apr.-Oct. 8:30-6:30.
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