If the Easter Bunny needed a place to safeguard his eggs off-season, the quaint village of Sonnenbühl in Baden-Württemberg would be ideal!
With its overwhelming hospitality, Sonnenbühl is a little town nested in the Swabian Alb, located just south of Reutlingen and just about one hour’s drive from Stuttgart. You will see signage for the museum as soon as you enter the town, and find easy parking right across the street.
The home to what is surely the largest collection of artistically decorated Easter eggs in Germany was opened in 1993 as an attraction for tourists after the ski season ends, right around Easter time. Housed in a historical renovated schoolhouse, the Osterei Museum (Easter Egg Museum) boasts around 10,000 eggs of different styles ranging from the traditional to the modern, like religious art, popular TV culture but also Coca-Cola ads, with new ones added each year.
You’ll find decorated ostrich eggs and goose eggs in addition to classic chicken eggs.
Many of the eggs on display were donated by local Sonnenbühl residents and were private donations. Most of the traditional eggs are from the Christian farming communities around the area, and the colours and patterns used differ from region to region.
The egg as the world-wide symbol of victory of life over death has a very old tradition and a long history. This museum provides an extensive overview of all you ever wanted to know about Easter eggs from many different lands and cultures.
Of course, the run-up to Easter is the museum’s busiest season. During this peak season, it hosts on-site artists from all over Europe to demonstrate the art of egg decoration. In Germany, the tradition of decorating and giving away eggs at Easter can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and is still an integral part the Christian holiday today.
The oldest of the eggs on display are porcelain eggs from the 19th century, while the two ostrich eggs come from what is Namibia today and both are more than 100 years old. They were brought to Germany by a policeman in 1918 from what was then the colony of German South West Africa.
Also Easter egg accessories have a home here: there is a for example a display titled “multi-colored chickens,” collections of Easter toys, and even decorative egg-holders.
And of course it wouldn’t be Easter without the proverbial rabbit!
On Good Friday, visitors can watch as sugar bunnies are born. Very few bakers in Germany still know how to create these traditional treats, as it takes a great deal of skill to melt, work and colour the sugar that is then poured into rabbit-shaped moulds. While the Easter egg is widely known throughout the globe, the Easter Bunny is a purely Germanic invention going back hundreds of years. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) wrote about children hunting for eggs hidden by the friendly hare.
Images from web – Google Research