Tracht is trendy. Tracht is traditional. Tracht is tomorrow.

The Centre for Traditional Costume (formerly named "Trachten Information Centre") located in the village of Benediktbeuern, represents the culmination of decades of research into Upper Bavarian clothing culture during which a collection of traditional costumes (Trachten) was amassed. An institution of the administrative district of Upper Bavaria, the Centre for Traditional Costume is housed in the historic vaulted rooms of the Maierhof, located in the grounds of the Benediktbeuern monastery.
Since it was founded in 2000, the Centre for Traditional Costume has established itself as a globally unique study centre that showcases a collection of historic Upper Bavarian folk costumes.
Its holdings currently encompass around 20,000 original articles of clothing and accessories from three centuries; approximately 40,000 photographs taken mainly during field research; archives – comprising pattern books, documents and manuscripts; and an extensive reference library containing numerous precious books.

Tradition and the future

The Centre for Traditional Costume does not, however, regard archiving, documenting and studying the past as an end in itself. Rather, it seeks to harness the past traditions for the benefit of the present and the future.
Traditions remain alive for as long as they continue to make a productive contribution to present-day life and for as long as there are people who resist their folkloric, political or ideological appropriation. With its competence, experience and educational programs the Centre for Traditional Costume seeks to support a living culture that forms a bridge between tradition and the future.

A brief overview of the Centre for Traditional Costume's activities:

  • Managing, maintaining and conserving the collection and its holdings of clothing and accessories, graphics and photographs and archive records such as pattern books, documents and manuscripts
  • Comprehensive scholarly research; archive work, compiling inventories, conservation work; evaluation and publication of research findings
  • Promotion of traditional craftsmanship within the framework of research projects and practical seminars
  • Educational offers and events such as seminars, exhibitions and lectures
  • Reference library
  • Publications

Engaging in exchanges about traditional dress in the past and the present, answering questions, pursuing new ideas and supporting research projects are some of the most worthwhile aspects of our work.
Please get in touch! We would be delighted to hear from you!

At a table in the historical vault of the Centre for Traditional Costume, Alexander Karl Wandinger prepares an item of clothing for archiving.
Alexander Karl Wandinger prepares a historical garment for archiving (Photography Peter Nitsch)
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