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The association KulturLand Ries e.V.

The association Rieser Bauernmuseum e.V. was founded in 1973 with the statutory aim of preserving rural architecture in the Ries, maintaining suitable buildings for the exhibition of the collected goods and educating the population about the importance of local cultural assets and local customs. In 1984 he opened the Ries Farmer's Museum. In this way, the association was able to collect agricultural tools, machines and objects from cultural life in the Ries and exhibit them in suitable rooms. In 2002, the Rieser Mühlenverein joined the association. Today, the Ries Farmer's Museum is the Museum KulturLand Ries in the sponsorship of the district of Swabia

The Mill researchers
The Mission of the mill researchers:

Mills were very common in the Ries, a granary of Bavaria. Rapid technical development has not spared this cultural asset either. Only a few of the almost 200 mills are still active. Therefore, in 2019, history-conscious friends of the homeland, led by Dr. Joseph Hopfenzitz came together to collect as much information as possible about the Rieser mills, existing and discontinued ones.

The result is contained in the mill directory.


Die Mühlenforscher:

v.l. hintere Reihe: Dr. Josef Hopfenzitz, Gerhard Beck, Manfred Luff, Werner Deixler

vordere Reihe: Franz Friedel, Hermann Kucher, Kurt Kroepelin, Herbert Dettweiler


Zehentstadel in Heroldingen

The Zehentstadel was built in 1739 as a replacement for a previous building. With the basic burden replacement law of June 4th, 1848, the obligation to hand over goods in kind was abolished and the barn lost its actual meaning. In the following years the owners changed frequently.

Since May 7th, 1975, the association KulturLand Ries e.V. (formerly Rieser Bauernmuseums- und Mühlenverein e.V.) has owned the Heroldinger tithe barn. On July 31, 1978, the restoration work was carried out in cooperation with bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Monuments completed. It houses a number of old rural tools, implements and machines.


School museum in Enkingen

The building of the one-class village school in Enkingen was taken over by the municipality of Möttingen in the mid-1990s, renovated and completely furnished with inventory from various Rieser schools. This gives a clear picture of everyday school life in the village, in which all classes were taught in a single room. The raised teacher's desk allows an overview, a small staircase allows even small students to write something on the blackboard. The oven and firewood box and many other details encourage comparisons with today's schools.


Oil mill in Maihingen

The association runs the mill museum in Maihingen. The monastery mill on the Mauch has existed since it was destroyed in the Peasants' War (1525). In 1997, the Mühlenverein set up a complete oil mill in the former stable and Stadel. The more than 100-year-old pan mill and the hydraulic oil press with the transmissions on the ceiling of the building are fully functional.


Museum KulturLand Ries

History and Development

Maihingen on the edge of the Ries basin, 15 km north of Nördlingen, is known for its former monastery.  The baroque monastery complex with the magnificently furnished church and the surrounding farm buildings still form a charming ensemble today.

In 1802/03 Maihingen Abbey was secularized (abolished) and reverted to the princely house of Oettingen-Wallerstein.

1840-1946 the princely art collections and the library were housed in the former monastery. Then a retirement home was set up. Since 1984 it has been the seat of the Catholic Evangelism Center.

Beer was brewed in the brewery until 1935, when it stood empty and fell into disrepair.

In 1951, a farmer who had been expelled from his homeland received the former monastery economy as a farm.

The agricultural school in Nördlingen has been collecting farming implements since around 1968. In Maihingen, the farmer Franz Zekl began collecting and taking care of the dilapidated brewery.

In 1973 the association Rieser Bauernmuseum (today KulturLand Ries e.V.) was founded.

From 1978 to 1984 the association Rieser Bauernmuseum renovated the brewery. The association also acquired the monastery economy. He later sold it to the district of Donau-Ries, which leased it to the district of Swabia.

In 1980, the district council passed the "Museum program for the district of Swabia", which the district homesteader Dr. Hans Frei had presented. With Maihingen, Oberschönenfeld and Illerbeuren, three museum focal points were planned for Swabia, with the museum in Maihingen being intended to document the agricultural and rural cultural history of northern Swabia.

The Rieser Bauernmuseum was opened in 1984 and has been continuously expanded ever since.

In 1985, the district of Swabia took over responsibility for the Rieser Bauernmuseum. The district of Donau-Ries contributes to the costs.

In 1987, the district of Swabia set up a museum directorate. With this new office, the district home caretaker at the time, Dr. Hans Frei took charge of the district museums in Maihingen and Oberschönenfeld and expanded them in the years that followed.

In 1989, the district of Swabia acquired the monastery economy and began to renovate it.

In 1998 the permanent exhibition "Ries Agriculture in Transition" was opened.

On December 31, 2002, Prof. Dr. Hans Frei retired.

In 2003, the district of Swabia was able to purchase and renovate the former residential part of the monastery economy and finally inaugurate it in 2006.

In 2004, the district of Swabia dissolved the museum management.

The museum management of the Swabian Folklore Museum in Oberschönenfeld was replaced on August 1st, 2004 with the folklorist Dr. Beate Spiegel occupied.
Dr. Ruth Kilian, folklorist and since 1987 scientist at the Rieser Bauernmuseum in Maihingen, was officially appointed museum director there.

In 2007, the district council approved the museum building plan for its three museums. For Maihingen, this meant funds for an increase in jobs, the redesign and redesign of the brewery and an inventory.

In 2008 a passenger elevator was installed in the brewery.

In 2012, the electrical installation and alarm system were modernized and a fire alarm system was installed.

In 2015, after more than two years of planning and construction, the new presentation “300 years of everyday culture in the Ries” opened in the brewery.

In 2015, the name was changed: the Rieser Bauernmuseum in Maihingen became Museum KulturLand Ries.

Today, the Museum KulturLand Ries, as a regional museum sponsored by the district of Swabia, occupies two extensive, listed buildings of the former monastery:

  • The brewery of the monastery

  • as well as the elongated monastic economy.

Altogether, the exhibition area of the museum covers approx. 2,200 square meters.

The field and village nature trail in Maihingen

The educational trail leads, beginning at the museum, through the Mauchtal to the Langenmühle, around the Klosterberg and back to the sights of the place. 


The field and village nature trail in Maihingen

The educational trail leads, beginning at the museum, through the Mauchtal to the Langenmühle, around the Klosterberg and back to the sights of the place. 

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