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Waldkirch, a town with about 20,000 inhabitants, has for more than 200 years been famous beyond the borders of Europe for the production of mechanical musical boxes. In the 19th century the town profited from the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the inventor Ignaz Bruder and the musical boxes made in Waldkirch. Around the brilliant inventor there quickly developed a flourishing musical instrument industry that amazingly succeeded in conquering the world market in the 19th century.



The Elztal Museum, located in the former home of a priestly order (an 18th century Baroque mansion), displays a range of cultural-historical topics on four floors totalling 1700 m². The Museum put together a valuable collection of melodious mechanical instruments from the town’s rich artistic handicraft tradition – and has doubled it during the last 17 years. The Museum that was originally set up to display regional history shifted the emphasis of its exhibits as the collection of mechanical musical boxes grew. The Elztal Museum is now the destination for an international public.




The cultural history of mechanical musical instruments in the 19 century is illustrated with interesting examples.






Guided tours

in German, English and French


Museum education:

Interesting activities and workshops for schools and kindergartens


Children’s birthdays: Why not celebrate your birthday in the museum?


Rentals: Have your celebration in a venue suiting the occasion or rent the Altobella Furiosa organ, a mechanical ten man orchestra.


Museum coffee shop: 19th century coffeehouse flair


Also: Holiday activities, workshops, creative courses….



© copyright 2006-2009 Stadt Waldkirch