The archaeological open air museum Oerlinghausen brings history to life
From the summercamp of reindeer hunters of the ice age to a farmstead from the early medieval, you'll get a great impression of the praehistorical every day life by visiting the six great units. In our experimental gardens we let you experience the relationship between human and nature. You'll see recultivated medieval pig species and goats in special enclosures.
Every year there's a wide range of programs and events happening at the museum. Contact us to get more information!
Welcome to the Archaeological Open-Air Museum Oerlinghausen!
We look forward to guiding you through your journey through time in one of the oldest archaeological open-air museums in the world!
Our museum brings archaeology to life in an area of about 15,000 square meters, or almost 4 acres. Six groups of dwellings demonstrate life, housing and subsistence from about 12,500 BC until about 800 AD: from an Ice Age reindeer hunter’s summer camp all the way to an Early Medieval complex, the visitor will get an impression of prehistoric daily life. The vegetation in the vicinity of the settlements, such as the mesolithic forest or the prehistoric fields, helps to experience the relationship between people and their environment in their era. Animal lovers will find bred-back Medieval pasture-raised pigs and goats in our museum.
There is plenty to do: enjoy the meditative peace on a misty morning, follow the paths through the museum at your own pace, and perhaps pick up an information leaflet as you enter. You can also take part in a range of smaller events as we offer a varied program with something for everyone: for students of all ages, children and youth groups, adults, and families alike.
Expand your knowledge of prehistory on our regular guided tours and demonstrations open to the general public, and collect new experiences at our larger events. Feel free to interact with our reenactors and bombard them with any questions you may have.
You can also create your own individual stay in our museum using our modular system with over 20 individual programs – for example prehistoric house construction, Stone Age survival or prehistoric crafts. Are you missing a specific program? Ask us!
Are you a nature lover? The museum is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the Teutoburg Forest, one of the largest nature reserves in North Rhine-Westphalia. As part of the nearby nature conservation project “Senne & Teutoburg Forest, forest grazing is used to create a landscape in the next few years that in large parts resembles prehistoric habitats. Our open-air museum is an ideal starting point for long walks through this impressive and scenic piece of nature.
The Tönsberg Trail: from the Archaeological Open-Air Museum, a trail leads to the Tönsberg, a prominent hill in the vicinity of Oerlinghausen, taking about three hours to walk. At the top, significant settlements were located, dating to the first three centuries BC and again to the Early Middle Ages. Information panels at the site explain the monumental ruins. From the crest of the hill on a clear day, you have an impressive panoramic view of the Senne and the Börde landscapes in the North.
All this you can discover and experience in and around the Archaeological Open-Air Museum Oerlinghausen. We hope that you enjoy your visit!
- The information panels in the museum are sponsored by:
- Lions Club Oerlinghausen
- Kreis Lippe
- Stefan Planitz
These texts were translated to English by: Imogen Stansfield and Laura Hogg, Cardiff University, Wales