In the land of the teddies

We were supposed to visit the Teddy-Oldithek in Freudenstadt. We have passed by once. You can hardly miss the giant teddies sitting in front of the door. Therefore we were not sure what to expect and went with mixed feelings.

Like I said you can hardly miss the Teddy-Oldithek. The teddies greet you at the colonnades in the spa gardens in Freudenstadt. So first thing we did was taking a selfie.

When you enter the exhibition you are thunderstruck by the amount of stuffed animals. Unbelievable. Teddies are everywhere.

Teddy Oldiethek

Then the first questions pop to your head:

  • which one has travelled farthest?
  • which is the oldest?
  • which is the most odd one?
  • which one is the biggest?
  • … (your question)

To every question the owner and collector Gabriele Prinz has a charming answer and a related story for you. She brought most of the teddies with her as souvenirs from her travels and therefore she can tell something about every one of them.

Teddy Oldiethek

Sometimes she gets a teddy from people thinking of her when it comes to the subject ‚teddy bears‘. She tells you how the Ferris wheel came to her and how she is connected to each bear. And it never gets boring. With her slight nordic accent she never tires of talking about her stuffed animals. Nearly every one has a name by the way.

There is a mascot from a worldwide known sports event and a lot of football teddies, which are arranged on a playing field. There are several of these subject areas. There is even one for ocean, sand, shells and sea bears.

You can also see how a teddy is made. Nearly 200 teddies Gabriele Prinz made herself. Hand sawn! That is important to her! If you like you can learn it from her. She loves to share her knowledge. It takes 12 – 18 hours. Mrs. Prinz also visits schools to show how it is done and the kids make their own teddy.

The farthest travelled teddy comes from New Zealand. The oldest is teddy ‚Opa‘. The most odd one you have to find yourself. The biggest you won’t miss anyway.

Teddy Oldiethek

And then there are those bears that we know from our youth from the commercials. And there are country related shelves with british teddies or koala bears. There are middle ages bears and a Mozart bear and much more.

Teddy Oldiethek

Somehow the bears get to the collector. From airports or shopping windows. They are brought to her or left to her. One looked at her in a way that she had to buy him. The other one was carried to her when it didn’t release enough money at an auction…

Oh Dear! You could listen to her for hours. All these stories. About teddy ‚Opa‘ who is more than 100 years old. Or these teddies that come on vacation to Freudenstadt. Yes! There are really people who bring their teddy bear to the Oldiethek over the summer. One comes from London and this year has brought a book with it. Another one has a spear pair of socks. If it gets hotter in the summer it can change the self knitted socks to the lighter ones.

In the Teddy-Oldiethek you may touch, pet or carry around the stuffed animals. But you may not take them with you. Than you get into trouble. With a teddy of course. One with a boxing glove…

You just have to experience this yourself. Go there, watch and ask questions, questions, questions. And listen to a thousand stories.

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