This photo was taken many years ago in Gruyères, Switzerland.
It shows the alphorn ( a long horn carved or bored in wood and overwound with birch bark).
The alphorn is one of the original wooden wind instruments. It was first documented in Switzerland in the mid-16th century.
The distinctive sound of the alphorn combines the richness of a brass wind instrument with the softness of a woodwind instrument. It is still a long, conical tube, bent at the end like a cow's horn. Until the 1930s, the alphorn was made from young, crooked pines growing in steep places. Since this Alpine wood grows slowly, the growth rings are very close together. The trunks are cut up, hollowed out and then put back together. Nowadays, alphorn makers also use other types of wood such as ash wood or foreign materials.
The alphorn has long been a tool used by shepherds, used to call the cows from the pastures and into the barn at milking time. After 1800, as the production of cheese increasingly shifted from the Alps to the dairies in the villages, the alphorn was used less and less. It was only with the romanticism of the 19th century and the revival of folklore and tourism that the alphorn experienced a renaissance and even became a national symbol. Although the alphorn had more or less lost its original function in the mountains, it now won the hearts of its audiences as a musical instrument and has become a tourist attraction and a symbol of Switzerland.