Historischer Friseursalon – Altenburg, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Altenburg, Germany

Historischer Friseursalon

An incredibly well-preserved barbershop from the 1920s was transformed into a tiny local museum. 

The German town of Altenburg in the state of Thuringia hosts a singular museum in a perfectly (if accidentally) preserved 1920s hair salon. The original interior, early electric hair dryers, outdated electrothermic appliances, curlers, cosmetics, and lots of other curious objects related to the craft of hairdressing create a unique atmosphere in this unlikely museum.

Interestingly, the entire ensemble was created not by curators or historians, but, unintentionally, by a hairdresser himself. When local hairdresser Arthur Grosse retired in 1966, he shut down his salon forever. After 35 years, the small shop located on a quiet side street had sunk into oblivion. When the building went up for sale in 2001, the owners discovered the forgotten salon that had been hardly touched since Grosse left it for the last time.

A local society was founded in order to preserve the historic barbershop and turn it into a museum, which is now open to the public. The former salon spans two rooms: The front is a preserved barbershop for gentlemen, and in the rear room visitors get astonishing insights into the bizarre and time-consuming hairdressing and beauty procedures ladies went through the 1950s and 1960s.

Know Before You Go

The museum can be visited from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (during summer months from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m).

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