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Weather houses are a popular décor item from the Alpine regions in Germany and Austra. This popular folk art item are often called weather houses or weather stations. They are a world renowned icon of the Alpine regions in Europe. German weather houses are likely to have originated in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. German weather houses are specifically known for their finely crafted Bavarian style chalet designs. These pieces of artwork feature hand carvings and painting to bring these small chalets to life! They can range greatly in size and ornate designs.
These weather stations often featured Alpine chalet designs and the man and women balanced on a bar are often featured in traditional Bavarian dress. The women is dressed in a dirndl and the man in a lederhosen. There are often other features of life in the Black Forest like cows, beer drinkers, wood choppers and musicians.
The weather house functions as a hygrometer. There is a male and female figurine that balance on a bar which is suspended by a piece of catgut or hair.
A catgut is a type of cord that is prepared from natural fibre found in the walls of animal intestines.
The gut string relaxes or shrinks according to the humidity and moisture in the air. The string relaxes when its wet and tenses when the air is drier. This changing length of the string causes one figure or the other to swing out of the house with the change in humidity. Some variants also function as a barometer which is to do with the pressure of the surrounding air. The air pressure is low in rainy weather and higher in warm sunny weather. Once again, the change in air pressure will change which figurine swings outside the alpine house.