Elli Riehl, born in Villach on 19th December 1902, had close contact with nature as a child and loved to go for long, lonely walks with her dog. Later this memory of a happy childhood remained in her heart and to express these feelings Elli Riehl began when she was 28, at times of economic difficulty, with her production of dolls. After the death of her husband with whom she had been together only for a short time nothing kept her in Villach and she moved in with a friendly farmer´s wife in Buchholz in the Gegend Valley. So her dream of the “small house high up in the mountains” became true. There Elli Riehl came into contact with the hard life of the hill farmers and learned to understand and love them. She grew especially fond of the farmers´ children round about her, which certainly contributed to the creation of many wonderful children´s figures. In 1950 Mrs. Riehl moved with Dr. Kraus to Winklern to the family of Thomas Berger where she spent the following 27 years of her life. Together with Dr. Kraus who accompanied her till the end of his life she made many walking-tours, on which he took her, his relatively youthful companion, all over Carinthia. During those walks they had long discussions about history, art or religion and for Elli Riehl a new world opened up. Now the “doll maker” began to portray her fellow-men as well, and these first unmistakable figures are amongst the most beautiful ones. Only now did the making of dolls become Elli Riehl´s life-work. During these years her dolls “her children” as she called them, became much desired collectors´ items. She sat for hours working, in winter in front of her tiled stove, in summer in the aromatic air on the balcony and always again new conceptions of doll figures drove her to untiring work. Soon after the death of Dr. Kraus Elli Riehl decided in 1973 to show her dolls to all interested people and therefore installed in her home flat a small doll's museum. During this time she worked night and day and looking back over her life she felt happy and content to have made use of her talent and to have given joy to so many people. Elli Riehl died on 8th September 1977. Still the Elli Riehl Museum in Treffen is visited by young and also older people and the joy of life that Elli Riehl worked into her dolls is infectious for anyone who looks at them. One really should not miss looking at this unusual woman’s life-work, in spite of many hard times, was always cheerful. In this museum, Elli Riehl´s former home and workshop with the Berger family in Winklern near Treffen, one can today admire about 650 of her most beautiful dolls.

Öffnungszeiten 2023

15.–31. Mai: 10–12 u. 14–17 Uhr
1. Juni – 6. Oktober:
9–18 Uhr durchgehend

Reisegruppen, auch außer
der Zeit, nach Voranmeldung.