The Project Gutenberg EBook of Tyrol and its People, by Clive Holland

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Title: Tyrol and its People

Author: Clive Holland

Illustrator: Adrian Stokes

Release Date: September 28, 2012 [EBook #40889]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Anglicized, archaic, or otherwise unusual spellings of proper nouns were retained as printed. Examples include "Botzen", "Kapuzingerberg", "Schonberg" and "Wencelaus". Inconsistent use of diacritics was also retained as printed. Obvious typographical errors were corrected.

Book Spine
Map of Tyrol



The Goat Herd






First Published in 1909



In the following pages, which in addition to being a record of travel in a delightful and too little known portion of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire, are also an attempt to present within a reasonable compass an account of the national history of a singularly interesting people, the author has sought to deal more fully than is usually the case in books of the kind, with the romance and legend which is closely interwoven with the past of "the land within the mountains," as Tyrol has not inaptly been described.

It is truly a land of mountains, valleys, lakes, and rushing torrents that may well have bred the race of romance-loving, poetic, and hardy people who dwell in it. In the minds of those who know it there arises almost inevitably a comparison with the nowadays overcrowded and over-exploited Switzerland—and the comparison is, both as regards scenery and general interest, greatly in favour of Tyrol. The tourist and holiday-maker who frequent Pontresina or St. Moritz will find in this comparatively new "playground for Europe" beautiful counterparts of those places in Innsbruck, Meran, Botzen, Kitzbühel, and other delightful towns; whilst the more strenuously inclined who delight in mountain ascents will find the Dolomite region especially attractive, and in many other districts also interesting climbs. By the shores of the placid, translucent lakes, and in many a happy, secluded valley, those in search of rest and quietude will find their desire fully satisfied. And in such old-world towns as Innsbruck (of many historical memories), beautiful Salzburg, vi charming Bregenz, Botzen, and Meran the traveller with more artistic, literary, or antiquarian tastes will delight.

That Tyrol deserves to be better known few who have once come under the spell of its charms of scenery, and the frank hospitality and friendliness of its people, or have wandered amidst its lovely valleys and mountains, will deny.

The early history of this interesting country is shrouded in much mystery, and to place accurately and date many events is a matter of very considerable difficulty, and in some cases of well-nigh impossibility, owing to the fragmentary nature of many of the existing records, and the contradictory nature of the accounts and evidence afforded by these. The greatest care, however, has been taken to make the dates given as accurate as possible, and the best authorities and descriptions of events have been consulted. Amongst others the works of Dr. Franz Wieser, Hans Semper, Von Alpenburg ("Mythen und Sagen Tirols"), Perini ("Castles of Tyrol"), Weber ("The Land of Tyrol"), an excellent and interesting anonymous guide to Salzburg, Scherer, Albert Wolff, V. Zingerle, Steub ("Die Verfassung Tirols"), Miller, and the excellent publications of the Tirol and Salzburg Landesverbaende für Fremdenverkehr, and other organizations.

The spelling of names has presented much the same difficulty as the correct dating of events. There are several, and in some cases many, ways of spelling a large number of these. That of the latest edition of Baedeker has been adopted where this has been the case and doubt has existed.

The author's especial thanks are due to Herr L. Sigmund, the Secretary of the Austrian Travel and Information Bureau, not only for much valuable information, but also for practical assistance whilst travelling in Tyrol, facilities afforded for research, and the use of some excellent photographs.

To W. Baillie Grohman, Esq., of Schloss Matzen, Brixlegg, the well-known authority upon Tyrol, for the settlement of several disputed dates and accounts of vii historical events. Also for permission to make use of information (not otherwise easily procurable) contained in his exhaustive work "Tyrol, the Land in the Mountains," and for the beautiful photograph of Schloss Matzen reproduced as one of the illustrations in this present volume.

To Dr. Richard Muendl, Imperial Councillor, Chief Inspector of the Imperial Southern Railway, and a member of the German and Austrian Alpine Society, for many valuable notes upon the Dolomite Region incorporated in Chapter X.

To Dr. Otto Rosenheim the author's thanks are given for permission to reproduce some beautiful photographs of Tyrol scenery and Tyrolese subjects in place of less pictorial work by the author himself.

To many others, who gave information to the author during his travels in Tyrol, relating to many interesting matters, acknowledgment is also here gratefully made.

C. H.
June, 1909

















176 x
















From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim
From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim
From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim xiii
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim
From a Photograph by Clive Holland
From a Photograph by Dr. Otto Rosenheim
By kind permission of W. A. Baillie Grohman, Esq.
From a Photograph by Clive Holland





As early as the eighth century Tyrol received a name which could not be bettered as descriptive of its scenery and institutions—"das Land im Gebirge," the Land in the Mountains. Fascinating alike is the scenery of Tyrol and its history. When one crosses the Swiss frontier by the Arlberg route one at once enters upon a land of mountains, rivers, and pleasant valleys. And with equal truth it may be said that when one crosses the frontier of Tyrolese history one is at once plunged in the midst of stirring, romantic, and gallant deeds enacted throughout the centuries from that far-off age, when the Cimbri penetrated and traversed the country and swept into north-eastern Italy, down almost to our own time.

That Tyrol should have proved the battle-ground of nations is, of course, largely due to its geographical position. In early days it formed a "buffer state" between the Roman empire and the territory of the Cimbri and Alemanni.

The question of the original inhabitants of Tyrol is still a much debated one, and appears to be as far off final settlement as ever; and this notwithstanding the enormous amount of interest which has been manifested in the 2 subject by scientists, archæologists, and students during the last two centuries. Whether they were Cimbri, Etruscans, or Celts is still doubtful, although many learned authorities—more especially linguists—incline to the view that the earliest inhabitants were mainly of the Ligurian race, who were followed by Illyrians and Etruscans.

And also regarding the manners, customs, and general characteristics of these early inhabitants, whoever they may have been, very little conclusive evidence is yet available. By both Greek and Roman writers they were referred to as Rhætians, in common with the inhabitants of Eastern Switzerland; and Horace himself speaks of "The Alpine Rhæti, long unmatched in battle." Thus it is that the most ancient name by which Tyrol is known is that of Rhætia.


To the Romans, however, all-conquering though they were, little was known of the country until the Cimbri penetrated its mountains and traversed its valleys and passed on their way to the north-eastern frontier of Italy about 102 B.C.

By what route these barbarians crossed the Alps on their march to invade north-eastern Italy there has been as much discussion as over the question of the original inhabitants of Tyrol. And, although the event to which we refer occurred scarcely a century prior to the conquest of Tyrol by the Romans there is little information other than of a speculative character to throw light upon the question at issue. For many years the weight of opinion was in favour of the contention that the Cimbri entered Southern Tyrol and eventually reached the Venetian plains by the Reschen Scheideck and the Vintschgau, but the later researches of Mommsen have served to give additional, if not absolutely conclusive, weight to the view that the Brenner was the route taken by the Cimbri[1] on their way southward from their Germanic fastnesses, just as it was undoubtedly the route, but, of course, reversed, 3 chosen by the Romans under Drusus by which to enter Tyrol on their march of conquest.

One piece of evidence which would appear to be of considerable weight, and as conclusively favouring Mommsen's view, is the fact that the Brenner route forms not only the one of lowest altitude, but also the only one by which the whole Alpine system and its parallel chains can be crossed by passing over one chain alone, and in no other spot in the range do two valleys on either side cut so far into the centre of the principal chain of the Alps.

Moreover, from Plutarch's "Marius" one learns the spot where the Roman general, Quintus Lutatius Catullus, and his legions, which were sent from panic-stricken Rome to check the advance of the invaders, first encountered the Cimbri on the banks of the River Adige between Verona and near the foot of the Brenner. The encounter ended in the triumph of the host of skin-clad invaders who descended the snow-slopes of the mountains with an onslaught so terrible that even the trained and well-armed hosts of Rome had to give way before them. But the power of Rome was not easily shaken, and the triumph of the Cimbri was but brief. Their southward march was destined very soon to meet with so severe a check that further advance on Rome, or into the heart of Italy, was rendered impossible. In 101 B.C., the year following their appearance in the beautiful province of Venetia, where they created, so historians tell us, a terrible panic, the Roman arms triumphed at Vercelli, when the invaders, led by Bojorich, suffered a crushing defeat in one of the bloodiest battles ever fought, in which it is said 320,000 were slain, and were driven out of Italy.

The moral effect of this invasion upon the Rhætians, through whose territory the Cimbri had passed, bore fruit a few years later, when they attempted the same tactics, making frequent raids into Roman territory. Some sixty years after the incursion of the Cimbri they were defeated 4 and driven back into their valleys and mountains by the Roman general, Munatius Plancus; and a few years later, in 36 B.C., not only was a fresh raid repulsed, but the invaders were followed home, and a considerable portion of the district in the neighbourhood of what is now known as Trent was taken possession of by the Roman forces.


The Rhætians, however, were a hardy, valorous, and pugnacious tribe, and so frequent were their attacks upon the Roman forces left to hold the conquered country that the Emperor Augustus, about twenty years after the subjection of the Trent district, decided as a measure of self-protection on the conquest of the whole of Rhætia, as far as the River Danube.

And for this work he deputed his two stepsons, Drusus and Tiberius. The campaign, historians are agreed, was planned with great skill, and probably by the Emperor himself. The Roman forces were divided, one portion, under Drusus, entering Tyrol from the south, having Tridentum (Trent) as its base; and the other, under Tiberius, delivering its attack from the west across what is now Switzerland. Tiberius took this route (the most direct, though a difficult one) because at that time he was absent from Italy, in Gaul, as governor. Drusus had a more easy task, and pushed his way up the wide valley of the River Adige[2] to the present site of Bozen. His objective was the Pass of the Brenner, which, once seized, would give him the command of the country. His advance was not, however, made without opposition, for the Breones and Genones, who dwelt in the vicinity of the Brenner, attacked the Roman forces, and a fierce battle and series of skirmishes ensued. Horace, in Book IV., Ode 14 and 4, gives a vivid if, possibly, highly coloured account of the struggle which took place in the gorge near Bozen. The river Icarous ran red with the blood of both conquerors and conquered. And—as has been the case on many subsequent occasions when fighting has had to be done 5 by the Tyrolese—the women played a valorous part, even, according to the historian, Florus, throwing their infant children into the faces of the Roman soldiery when other weapons failed.

The campaign of the two stepsons of Augustus resulted in the complete and final conquest of Tyrol. The victory, won in the narrow gorge of the Eisack, was commemorated in the name of the bridge Pons Drusi spanning the river, hard by which now stands the interesting mediæval town of Bozen.

Successful as Drusus' forces were, none the less so were those of Tiberius. There, however, is less record of his battles, and the actual ground on which they were fought forms still matter for conjecture. And equally uncertain is the exact spot where the two victorious generals ultimately met. It is, however, thought by several reliable authorities to have been somewhere in the valley of the Inn, and probably not far distant from the present site of Innsbruck. This view is made the more probable from the circumstance that a Roman post was established at Wilten (now a suburb of Innsbruck) then known as Veldidena.

Here probably both armies rested after a campaign of great fatigue and severity owing to the nature of the ground over which it was fought and the stubborn resistance offered by the inhabitants.

Soon Veldidena, from a halting-place of armies, became a town with houses of considerable size, temples, baths, and surrounding vallæ, or earthen fortifications formed to defend the inhabitants from sudden attack. Although precautions of the nature we have indicated were taken wherever a Roman post or station was placed, there is no historical data to show that the Breones and other adjacent tribes who were thus brought under the Roman sway did not very speedily accommodate themselves to the new condition of things and become good and peaceful citizens of Rome. It appears probable, however, that the 6 Rhæti did not adapt themselves to the altered conditions as speedily as did their northern neighbours, the inhabitants of Noricum, with whom certain Roman habits and customs (including the system of municipal government) already obtained.

From the evidence adduced by several diligent historians and from that of one comparatively modern writer[3] in particular it is almost certain that after the sanguinary and decisive battle on the banks of the Eisack Tiberius set his face once again westward to resume his governorship of Gaul, leaving his brother, Drusus, to continue the subjection of Tyrol, and ultimately to found the important settlement of Augusta Vindelicorum, now known as Augsburg. Here the Roman general not only threw up a fortified camp, but also built a forum to encourage commerce; and soon the settlement became the most important Roman station to the north of the Central Alps.

Some writers, doubtless bearing in mind the hardihood and bravery of the native inhabitants and the mountainous and thus easily defended nature of the ground the Roman legions had to traverse and fight over, have expressed some surprise at the comparative ease with which Drusus and Tiberius appear to have accomplished the conquest of the country. More perfect discipline and arms of greater effectiveness will not, however, we think, altogether account for this, for history has over and over again proved that knowledge of the ground by the defenders and mountainous regions count heavily against successful attacks on the part of an invader. It can only therefore be supposed that the various tribes who formed the inhabitants of Rhætia were either antagonistic to one another or at least were not welded together in a common cause against the invading Roman hosts, and thus the country was conquered and kept in subjection with greater ease than would otherwise have been the case.


As a result of the invasion by Drusus and Tiberius and the Roman legions the tract of country then and for some considerable time afterwards known as Rhætia, but now known as Tyrol and the Vorarlberg, ultimately became Romanized, and by the making of the Brenner Post Road, which was constructed by the direction of the Emperor Augustus between Verona and Augsburg (Augusta Vindelicorum), communication between the Germanic Empire and Italy was opened up. Thus was the lowest and most accessible of the passes over the mountains which separated Italy from the barbaric regions beyond crossed by one of those splendid military roads, which has endured nearly two thousand years until the present day.


The Roman occupation of Rhætia lasted for five centuries. Under the rule of Rome the inhabitants learned much of those arts which remained the heritage of conquered races long after the sway of the great Roman Empire had come to an end. And traces of that rule, in the form of weapons, ornaments, articles of jewelry and the toilet, and other relics have from time to time come to light throughout the portions of Tyrol settled by the Romans.

Soon along the great Brenner Road, which formed a highway from Italy to the northern lands beyond Tyrol, activity evinced itself. One of the most important of the early stations upon it was Veldidena (Wilten), where the road after crossing the main range of mountains emerges from the Alpine gorge on the northern side into a wide and pleasant valley. From this point—close to which, later on, the capital of Tyrol was destined to be founded—the great Brenner Post Road branched. One fork led by two divergent ways to the same objective—Augsburg. The other led in a north-westerly direction by way of Masciacum (Matzen) and Albianum (Kufstein) to Pons Aeni, which in all probability closely approximates to the present-day site of Rosenheim. This road 8 ran down the wide Inn valley, nowadays known as the Unter Innthal to differentiate it from the valley of the Upper Inn which runs from the frontier of Switzerland to Innsbruck.

It was along the great military road leading from Verona to Augsburg that the chief Rhæto-Roman stations were placed. Amongst these were Tridentum (Trent), Pons Drusi (Bozen), Vilpetenum (Sterzing), Matrejum (Matrei), Scarbio (Scharnitz), Veldidena (Wilten).

At first, doubtless, these outposts of Roman civilization were little more than isolated fortresses, or even perhaps merely speculæ or watch towers, and of these many examples still remain, from which not only could the road and its approaches be reconnoitred, but also signals both by day and by night could be made. In the first case by means of smoke or semaphores, and in the second by bonfires kindled in cressets or on the hillside itself.


Another highway into Tyrol through the Vintschgau came to be known as the Via Claudia Augusta, which name was also improperly applied to a portion of the Brenner Road. After much contention we think it is now generally accepted that Mommsen, who has investigated and weighed the evidence with astonishing care, is correct in assuming that the only portion of the road via the Reschen-Scheideck Pass which should be called the Via Claudia Augusta is that traversing the Vintschgau Valley. The road was constructed not in the reign of Augustus, who initiated the Brenner Road, but in that of his grandson, the Emperor Claudius, about A.D. 46-47. It was intended to connect up the River Po with the River Danube by the Reschen-Scheideck route, and along it at various times since the middle of the sixteenth century milestones of Roman origin have been discovered. Though from the fact that little reference is made to it by the better-known Roman writers of the period, one may assume that the Via Claudia was of quite secondary 9 importance to the Brenner Road. But nevertheless it seems probable that it was the route used for the transportation of stores for the Roman forces of occupation during the fifth century not long prior to the evacuation of the country. The Brenner Road for a considerable period after its construction appears to have been rather a highway for commerce than a military road in the usual sense of the term.

The chief article exported from Tyrol was salt from the still famous salt mines at Hall, near Innsbruck, on the northern bank of the Inn. There were also sent southward into Italy raw hides, timber, Alpine herbs used in the preparation of medicines, liqueurs, and the purposes of the toilet; and dairy produce of various kinds, of which cheese was probably (according to Pliny) one of the chief articles. In those far-off days, too, much excellent wine was grown far further north in Tyrol than nowadays when the vine is not cultivated, for vintage purposes at all events, further north than the southern slope of the Brenner.

In Roman times the Brenner also formed a link between Aquileia, one of the most flourishing and important seaport cities on the Adriatic, and Noricum. As did also another, then important but nowadays almost deserted route, that of the Plöcken Pass, of which it is believed Cæsar made frequent use. Along this several important stations were founded, amongst them Tricesimum, Julium Carnicum (Zuglio), Aguntum (Innichen), Lonicum (Lienz) and Sebatum (Schabs). Time, however, was destined to divert the trade from the Plöcken Pass route to that of the Brenner, and the settlements along the former gradually declined in importance.

As we have before stated, the Brenner Pass was not originally used so much for military purposes as was afterwards the case. And it is not until the latter half of the second century of the Christian Era that we find it assuming importance as a military highway. Then the frequent incursions southward of various Germanic tribes caused 10 the Romans to fully comprehend the strategical value of northern Rhætia.

Two decades at least were occupied in the reconstruction of the surface and bridges along the road which had owed its origin to the Emperor Augustus, and the result was the building of a highway suitable for the speedy passage and massing of large bodies of troops. Of the stations which were founded along it we have already spoken, it only remains to say that these were supplemented by "posts" which were dotted here and there as they were along most other roads made by Roman builders. They were, however, chiefly used for military and state rather than for ordinary purposes.

An interesting writer,[4] who has made the history of the Brenner a special study, has thrown considerable light upon the inns and hostelries which little by little sprang up to meet the requirements of the travelling public of those days, who were not, as a rule, permitted to make use of the official posts. Apparently, these refuges from the other alternative of spending a night upon the road were by no means luxurious. In fact, they were probably far otherwise, and their chief redeeming feature was the undoubted cheapness of the accommodation they offered. It could not be considered an extravagant charge for a night's lodging with food of sorts when the bill amounted to rather less than the equivalent of an English halfpenny! a sum which would nowadays surprise the modern oste or innkeeper of the Italian Tyrol as much as his own charges would the Roman wayfarer of long ago.




On the heels of Roman civilization, represented by commerce and travel, which was destined not only to permeate conquered Rhætia, but to penetrate the regions beyond, in course of time there sprang into existence a fortress here and a castle there which not only served to hold the land, but also to encourage and initiate civilization and bring security to those residing in its immediate 11 vicinity. Of these, happily for the historian and antiquarian, many traces yet remain. All along the Brenner the Romans found and were not slow to seize upon natural coigns of vantage where their unexampled skill as military builders and engineers permitted them to speedily convert not easily accessible spurs of the mountains into impregnable fortresses. Upon some of the castles, the ruins of which nowadays serve to render these rocky crags of undying interest, the stars must have looked down ere the dawn of the Christian Era.

Of the occupation of Rhætia by the Romans, unfortunately comparatively few authentic details have come down to us. But long ere the power of Rome had waned, never to reassume its pristine greatness, the problem of resistance to the invasion from the Teutonic tribes to the north and north-east had become a very real one. Towards the end of the third century A.D. the Alemanni crossed the Danube and threatened Rhætia, and through it Italy. They were, it is true, defeated by the Emperor Maximianus, but the check inflicted was but temporary. About A.D. 260 Rhætia was invaded several times by the same barbarian tribe, and on one occasion, at least, Tyrol was ravaged from end to end, and the invaders afterwards entered Italy, which they penetrated as far south as Ravenna, having first plundered and destroyed Verona. In the reign of Claudius (about 269) there was yet another invasion, and although the forces of Rome ultimately proved victorious in the struggle with the Teutonic hordes in a battle fought at Naïssus on the borderland of Tyrol and Italy, when 320,000 are said to have been slain, there was no lasting peace.

The inroads of the Goths vexed many a quickly succeeding Emperor in the days when reigns were scarcely to be reckoned as frequently by years as by months, and it was not until the reign of Aurelianus that the Goths were driven out of Rhætia and Vindelicia.

Under succeeding Roman rulers there were other raids 12 by the Goths, and then at last along the roads of Rhætia and over the passes of the Brenner and the Plöcken poured the invading hosts which were destined to bring about the eclipse of the powerful Empire which had for so many centuries controlled the destinies of the greater part of the then known world.

Just as in our own land, history is almost silent for the period immediately following the departure of the Roman legions, drawn off to save Rome, if possible, from the invading hosts of the Goths and Huns, so was it in Tyrol. Of the years of devastation by fire and sword which succeeded the withdrawal of the Roman forces from Rhætia there have come down to us but very scanty details. During this period much of Roman art and civilization was undoubtedly blotted out by the barbarian hordes; and, indeed, so far as can be ascertained, little of either was ultimately left in Rhætia.

Theodoric, the Ostrogothic leader, who had conquered Italy in about 489, planned Rhætia and the Brenner as a barrier against the attacks of northern invaders, a tribe of whom (the Baiovarii) ultimately possessed themselves of Vindelicia and Rhætia as far as the southern slope of the Brenner Pass. About this same period—the middle half of the sixth century—a very considerable portion of north-eastern Italy and that part of Rhætia in the vicinity of Tridentum (Trent) was seized by the Longobards or Lombards. Their Italian Empire lasted for two centuries, and eventually included the larger portion of what is nowadays known as the Italian Tyrol.

Meantime, the Baiovarii or Bavarians had conquered the upper part of Rhætia, and in the beginning of the seventh century their Duke, Garibaldi II., succeeded in checking the frequent inroads of the Slavs, although he did not succeed in entirely excluding them from the country; in the eastern portion of which they remained for a considerable period. Towards the end of the eighth century (about 789) the whole of what is now known as 13 Tyrol came under the sovereignty of Charlemagne, who crushed the Lombards, and a few years later succeeded in also subduing the Baiovarii.

During the centuries of internecine warfare, with its concomitants of rapine and chaos, which succeeded the evacuation of Rhætia by the Roman forces, most of the original inhabitants or peaceably disposed Romanized Rhætians fled with other fugitives from the southern or northern plains to the valleys and byways amid the mountains which hitherto probably had been almost if not entirely unpopulated. Here they settled, leaving the main routes open to the passage of the Teutonic invaders bent on the plunder of the Italian cities and plains, who, we may imagine, did not greatly trouble themselves regarding the byways or waste time in conquering those who had thus hidden themselves amid the higher Alpine valleys and fastnesses.

The result of this is seen in the circumstance that whilst in many cases the out-of-the-way places and villages to this day preserve their original Romanized Rhætian names, those upon the main routes of travel have in many instances a purely Teutonic nomenclature.


The great Empire which Charlemagne created had strangely enough no natural delimitations, and when it was divided, in A.D. 806, into three portions amongst his sons, the division was not made upon any usually recognized system or plan. Tyrol still was unknown by that name, the country about that time being known as "Das Land im Gebirge," or "The Land in the Mountains." The immediate successors to the divided empire of Charlemagne were far less able than he to cope with the anarchy which so frequently overwhelmed south-eastern and north-eastern Europe in those days. There was practically no such unity as now prevails, and, owing to this, the powerful nobles and ecclesiastics gradually succeeded in dividing up the land amongst themselves according to the almost universal custom of the Middle Ages. 14

The records of Tyrolese history of the period are, however, so wretchedly meagre that few positive and uncontrovertible facts have come down to us regarding the events which immediately followed the partition of Charlemagne's Empire amongst his sons. That the Brenner Pass and Tyrol formed a sort of highway for successive invaders of Italy, who swarmed across it from the East and North, there is, however, little reason for doubt. As has been very truly said, "What these vast expeditions, consisting of more or less disorderly masses of curiously mixed races, all in the panoply of war, all eager for booty, even if bent on a peaceable mission, meant for the countries through which they slowly ate and robbed their way, it is not quite easy to picture to one's self in these civilized days, when, even in the fiercest war, the non-combatant has no reason to go in fear of a violent death or having his women outraged before his eyes, and his house razed to the ground." That such things took place in Tyrol is made almost certain from the statements of contemporary writers, amongst others, Gottfried von Viterbo, Vincenz von Prague, and Otho von Freising.


It is the custom for most people to imagine that the "extras" for lights, tips to servants, and attendance which so often makes the present-day hotel bill exasperating, are a modern institution. This is, however, not the case, for some most interesting and illuminating diaries of early travel which were discovered in 1874 amongst the archives of the monastery of Cividate show that at the commencement of the thirteenth century there were a succession of inns already existing along the Brenner route, where travellers could not only obtain lodgment and entertainment, but even purchase necessary medicines. There are also entries for lights, attendance, and gratuities, which probably vexed the soul of the ecclesiastical diarist we have referred to as much as they do modern travellers.

Of the types who tramped or rode along the great Tyrol highway and lodged at the inns, we have fortunately a fairly 15 detailed and accurate picture handed down to us. If only there had been a Tyrolese Chaucer what a record might have been preserved! From the diaries of the Bishop of Passau (whose notes we have quoted), however, we gratefully gather that in addition to the ordinary itinerant merchants and countryfolk there were bard musicians of both sexes, conjurers (more or less skilful, and many of them charlatans), singers, mendicant friars (some of little holiness), and the far-famed minnesingers who for a considerable period had a great vogue at Courts and castles. Along this famous high-road of the Brenner and through Tyrol passed, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, many of the pilgrims and Crusaders bound for or returning from Palestine or some distant shrine of peculiar merit or holiness.


One of the chief amongst the many changes and reforms instituted by Charlemagne was the sub-division of the countries he had conquered and welded together to form his Empire into margravates or departments which he placed under the rule of his nobles and other officials whom he appointed for the purpose. Although this system undoubtedly worked well during his powerful sway, after his death and during the anarchy and dissension which distinguished the reigns of his immediate successors what might have been expected happened. The more powerful of the nobles and officials and their descendants soon commenced to regard their offices as of the nature of hereditary appointments, and in consequence with the development of this idea small dynasties were gradually founded, and towards the close of the tenth century three of these had sprung into existence in Tyrol. These three Countships or Grafschaften were of Andechs, Eppan, and Tyrol, and the country was eventually divided up amongst them and the great ecclesiastical lords of the Sees of Trent, Brixen, and Coire.

As is the case with so much of early Tyrol history and events, very scanty information of a reliable character has 16 come down to us regarding the origin of these three great families of nobles who held sway in the country. Nor is it for the purpose of this book necessary to enquire closely into the evidence we have. The origin of the family of Andechs is almost entirely unknown, although for a considerable period they were the most powerful of the three families we have named. The Eppans are believed to have been descendants of a natural son of a Duke of Bavaria, and their long and bloody feud with the Bishops of Brixen on account of lands taken from them and given to the See is enshrined in Tyrol history and legend.

The third family, the Counts of Tyrol, though originally by no means the most important, was destined to outlast the other two, and eventually to become possessed of most of the country and give its name to ancient Rhætia. Although even in the days of the Roman occupation there appears to have been a Castle Tyrol, which was the residence of a centurion, the family, as it is generally known, is supposed to have taken its origin from Count Hunfried who lived in the reign of Charlemagne, and was also Count of Vintschgau. This noble came into prominence on the division of Charlemagne's Empire amongst his three sons; but it appears to be probable that it was not until the middle part of the thirteenth century that one of the owners of Castle Tyrol or Teriolis first took the title of Counts of Tyrol.[5]

The earliest reference to the three Counts of Tyrol appears in the archives about the year 1140, and we find the family dwelling in the Castle Tyrol or Teriolis, near Meran. It was from this fortress, now in a ruinous condition except for the chapel and fine porch dating from the twelfth century, that not only the family took its name but eventually the whole country came to be known. Gradually one by one the possessions of the other nobles in Tyrol were taken from them or became 17 absorbed by marriage in that of the Counts of Tyrol. Until about 1240 the then reigning Count Albert was able to style himself Prince Count (or gefürsteter Graf) of Tyrol so widespread and rich were his possessions.

The Principality thus formed remained a fief of the German Empire until the reign of Maximilian I. (1493) when it was incorporated with the other possessions of the Crown.

The first of the Prince Counts of Tyrol was successful, in 1248, in obtaining from the Counts of Andechs the district of the Inn Valley, once the site of Roman Veldidena, which place tradition asserts was destroyed about A.D. 452 by the Huns under the leadership of Attila on their return through Tyrol after their defeat by Aëtius at the battle of Chalons.

During the early Middle Ages the Premonstratensian Abbey of Wilten had been built on the site of the ancient town, and later on the Counts of Andechs, who had become possessed of land in the neighbourhood on the banks of the Inn, became the most powerful and influential nobles in the district. Under them a trading post or centre of commerce was founded near the bridge over the Inn, the importance of which can be easily understood when its proximity to the Brenner high-road, a then busy thoroughfare, is borne in mind. From this bridge over the Inn was derived the name of the town Innsbruck—afterwards destined to become the capital of Tyrol—a mention of which appears for the first time in archives of the year 1327. It was to the foresight and enterprise of Otto of Andechs that the town owed the walls, towers, and fortifications which were to stand it in good stead. Count Otto also built himself a palace, which still is known as Ottoburg.

Concerning the various princes who reigned over Tyrol in succession to Count Albert down to Henry, the youngest son of Meinhard II., who, by marrying the daughter of the King of Bohemia, claimed the throne on the death of his 18 father-in-law and took the title of king, although forced to surrender his claims to Bohemia, and rest content with Tyrol and Carinthia, it is not necessary to say much. This Henry was a good-natured, easily influenced ruler, who by reason of these characteristics fell almost entirely into the hands of the more powerful of his nobles, who by flattery and supplies of money to meet his spendthrift habits were able to acquire not only influence over him, but also gain great possessions from and unchecked by him. Under this ruler Meran became the capital of Tyrol; and Hall, Sterzing, and other places were raised to the dignity of towns.

Though easily led, Henry was not without his virtues, for he granted several privileges which were in the interests of commerce, and under his rule the hard lots of the villein and working classes were lightened, and a heritable system of land tenure for the peasant class devised and established. The effect of this was destined to be beneficial not only to those it was primarily intended to assist, but also to the nobles, and Henry himself. For as the nobles seldom or never paid taxes it followed that, with increased prosperity, the lower orders (who bore the greater part of the burden of taxation) could be taxed to a higher degree without suffering in proportion.

Many stories are current concerning the difficulties into which Henry's wastrel habits got him. One of them is that he was unable at Innsbruck to settle the bill of a fish and wine merchant, and as a last resort gave this man, one Eberhard, the bridge toll, which it is unnecessary to say formed a valuable consideration.




At his death in 1335 he left no male heir, the succession falling to his daughter Margaret, known to history as "wide (or Pocket) Mouthed Meg" on account of her remarkably ill-formed mouth. How her mouth became so ugly is not exactly known. One story states the name was derived from the word Maultasche, in consequence of her having had her ears (or side of face) boxed or struck. The 19 explanation gains some weight from the fact that the blow was said to have been struck her by one of her Bavarian relatives, and the circumstance that she ultimately left her heritage to her Austrian cousins and not to the Bavarian branch of the family, thus causing Tyrol to become a part of the Austrian Empire.

Eventually, after many abortive attempts to arrange a marriage with the numerous suitors who were willing to become allied to perhaps the richest though the ugliest heiress in Europe of that time, for her inheritance comprised the dukedoms of Goricia, Croatia and Carinthia, as well as the beautiful land Tyrol, Margaret was married, in A.D. 1330, to the youthful Prince John of Bohemia, the bridegroom being nine years of age and the bride several years older. The latter was destined to have a troublous career, ugly as her mouth in some of its details; and the young couple, when (a few years after the formal marriage) they came to live together, were almost from the first at variance.

John was feeble and of weak intellect, and Margaret as determined and shameless as were many other women rulers in those times. Plots and intrigues were rife, the former between the two parties who espoused the German or Luxembourg (Bohemian) claims, the latter between Margaret and her courtier and even peasant lovers, some of whom were given privileges and even lands and patents of nobility by the amorous princess of the "Pocket Mouth," who made several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of her husband, until she frightened him into returning to his own country. This desire accomplished, Margaret commenced to put in operation her further plans. John was a fugitive, going from castle to castle in search of shelter or sanctuary, awaiting assistance from his father or the Luxembourg party, which was favourable to the Bohemian side of the question. Soon the Emperor Louis, who was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and a deadly enemy of the Bohemians, 20 saw an opportunity for accomplishing a long-cherished desire, that of the acquisition of Tyrol.

He found a ready accomplice in his good-looking, attractive son, who appeared willing enough to marry another man's wife, however ill-tempered and ugly, even before the first marriage was formally declared null and void by the Pope, provided wealth and possessions were acquired with her. However, when the Pope—who himself had cast longing eyes on Margaret's possessions—heard of the proposed union, he not only declined to annul the marriage between John and Margaret, but threatened the latter with excommunication if she espoused the son of Louis, who was his implacable foe. There were also reasons of consanguinity which made the marriage impossible without the Pope's sanction. Louis, however, not to be thwarted in his desire, set about to find a bishop willing to defy the Pontiff and bold enough to solemnize the marriage. Soon he succeeded in persuading the Bishop of Freisingen both to annul the first marriage and celebrate the second. Accordingly the Emperor, in whose train were numbers of nobles, set forth with the bishop mentioned, and also the bishops of Augsburg and Regensburg, for Tyrol.

But whilst on the journey and crossing a pass (the Jaufen), which afforded the quickest route from Sterzing to Margaret's home near Meran, the Bishop of Freisingen's horse stumbled and threw its rider, killing him on the spot. This accident so sapped the courage of the other two bishops (who doubtless considered the event as a direct message of wrath from Heaven) that they refused to go on with the scheme upon which they had embarked.

This did not, however, weaken the determination of either the Emperor or Louis, who, on his arrival at Castle Tyrol, forced the terrified resident chaplain to celebrate the marriage, although we are told the people protested loudly, anticipating terrible punishments for 21 breaking the laws of the Church and defying the commands of the Pope.

Nevertheless the event was celebrated with great festivities, and, so far as one can gather, no immediate wrath from Heaven was experienced by the evildoers.


During the weak rule of John, the various nobles in Tyrol had gained great ascendency; had extended their possessions and rights; and had in fact seriously weakened the sovereign power of their ruler. Louis proved of very different metal to his precursor. He at once attacked the nobles, who had aggregated to themselves unlawful or dangerous authority, devastating their estates, burning and dismantling their castles and fortresses, and exiling those who did not submit. Civil war of the most bloodthirsty kind ran riot in Tyrol, and other disasters in the shape of fire, which destroyed some of the most important towns, including Meran the capital; swarms of locusts, plague and earthquake, all afflicted the unhappy and unfortunate land. It is needless to say that these terrible calamities were esteemed by many Tyrolese as the direct expression by Heaven of anger at Margaret's bigamous marriage and defiance of the power of the Church.

The ravages of the Black Death were not less severe than in other parts of Southern Europe, and, according to one chronicler, scarcely a sixth of the population of Tyrol were left alive. As was so often the case in the Middle Ages, some human scapegoat was sought for and found; and the very common one was fixed upon—the Jews. The persecution of this unfortunate race which ensued was of so ruthless a character that neither women, children, nor the aged were spared, with the result, we are told, that very few were left alive.

Then succeeded a period of war. The supporters of the discarded husband of Margaret—John of Bohemia—were not slow to seek to revenge themselves upon her, and Tyrol was subsequently invaded by the King of Bohemia, who was joined by the militant Bishop of Trent 22 with considerable forces. An active campaign followed, characterized by great cruelty on the part of the invaders, during which the two chief towns, Meran and Bozen, were captured and destroyed, and ultimately Margaret was besieged in her own Castle of Tyrol. It was so admirably situated for defence that in her husband's absence Margaret, who, with all her vices and failings, was no coward, was able to defend it successfully from all assaults, and did so until her husband was able to return by forced marches, and surprising the besiegers, succeeded in defeating them and forcing them to retire. The country, however, suffered terribly during the enemy's retreat, as, in revenge for being baulked of their prey, they burned and ravaged in every direction, and spared no man from the sword. Indeed, the history of the campaign exhibits in the most lurid light the underlying and primitive savagery of all warfare in the Middle Ages.

It was to meet the heavy charges arising from the prolonged campaign and defence of his territory that Louis had to sell or pawn many of his richest personal possessions, with the result that many nobles (who provided him with money or other support) gained or regained valuable privileges and a considerable accession of power and influence.


Into the whole course of this war and the history of Tyrol—interesting and even fascinating though it be—it is impossible for us to enter. Margaret ultimately (it may be noted) made her peace with Rome, owing to the influence exercised over the Pope by her Austrian cousins of the House of Habsburg, the condition of their mediation being that she should leave to them and not to her Bavarian cousins her heritage should her son and heir Meinhard pre-decease her, and die without issue.

Fate favoured the schemes of the Habsburgs, for both Margaret's husband Louis and her son died before her, the latter at the early age of twenty. As an example of the old saw, "Give a dog a bad name and hang him," 23 popular opinion laid both deaths at Margaret's door. Her husband died in 1361-2 whilst on a journey to Munich in her company. This supposed murder was, according to then common report, a crime passionel arising from Margaret's fear that Louis was about to compass the death of Conrad of Frauenberg, a noble with whom she had carried on an intrigue that had been common talk and a scandal for years. On the death of his father, Meinhard assumed the responsibility of government; in doing this he appears to have placed, or attempted to place, some sort of check upon the shameless conduct and intrigues of his mother, and when he died in January, 1363, his death, like that of Louis, was laid at his mother's door. Popular opinion, however, has been proved to have been in error by historians who do not favour the supposition that she was really guilty of either death; and although no explanation of the actual cause of Louis's death is forthcoming, there would appear some evidence for supposing that Meinhard's untimely end was unromantic and free from mystery, and, in fact, was the result of drinking cold water whilst overheated from exertion.

In those days, although news travelled but slowly according to modern ideas, it was less than a fortnight ere it had reached Vienna, and Rudolph IV. of Habsburg, by travelling "day and night," was at Bozen eager to make certain his position as the eldest of the three brothers to whom his cousin Margaret had agreed to cede Tyrol and her other wide possessions.

Around the picturesque, though licentious and uninviting, figure of "Pocket-Mouthed Meg" has gathered an accretion of traditions and tales unequalled by those attached to any other Tyrol ruler. But, although she was for many years so outstanding a figure in the history of her country and indeed of South-Eastern Europe, strangely few authentic records or documentary corroboration of these stories have been discoverable. 24

Thus, by the death of Meinhard in 1363, the country became a portion of Austria under the rule of Rudolph IV., who, though young, was wise and far-seeing. However, he was not destined to long enjoy the possessions he had acquired chiefly by skilful diplomacy, and on his death, two years after his accession, Tyrol was governed jointly by his two brothers—Leopold and Albert.

During this dual control the Bavarian relations of Margaret made frequent incursions into the country, especially in the neighbourhood of the Unter-Innthal, and in 1369 succeeded in obtaining a large sum from the Habsburgs at a temporary peace made at Schärding. Ten years later the dual sovereignty came to an end, the two brothers dividing the inheritance, Leopold taking Tyrol as his share. He was killed at the Battle of Sempach on July 9th, 1386, where the Swiss gained so signal a victory under the leadership of Arnold Von Winkelried.


In 1406 Frederick, Leopold's youngest son, succeeded to the sovereignty, which during his minority had been held by his elder brothers and his Uncle Albert, who had ruled the country in so lax a manner that the nobles gained a great ascendency.

It was, indeed, no easy task to which Duke Frederick was called. The nickname bestowed upon him, that of "the Empty Purse," was by no means an exact description of his financial condition, save during a comparatively short period of his reign of thirty years. It was given him at the time he was an outlaw by reason of the ban of the Church, and was obliged to fly for his life and take refuge amid the mountains. His was a stormy reign. In the early portion of it he was at variance with many of the most powerful of his nobles, who resisted his attempts to curtail the power which they had acquired during his minority. After the anxieties and hardships which ensued, when the 25 country was over-run by the Bavarians, and even the capital threatened, Frederick was destined to have still greater trouble by reason of his action at the Council of Constance, which was summoned to settle the momentous questions as to who was the rightful head of the Church, and who the ruler of the Empire. There were three claimants for each position, nominated and supported by the rival factions. The spiritual claimants were John XXIII., Benedict XIII., Gregory XII.; and the temporal Kings Sigismund of Hungary, Jost of Moravia, and Wencelaus of Bohemia.



Of the Ecclesiastical claimants John had Frederick's support, and when the former, failing to get elected by the Council, had not only to renounce his claims but flee for his life, Frederick assisted him to escape from Constance. This act of loyalty to a friend almost cost Frederick his life, as Sigismund (who of the three candidates had been elected Emperor) was his enemy, and not only succeeded in persuading the assembly to declare Frederick's throne forfeited, but also him and his chief supporters and followers outlaws, to shelter any of whom was a crime punishable with death.

Frederick's evil case was made worse and his difficulties immeasurably increased by the secession to the ranks of his enemies of his brother Ernest, who had taken the Dukedom of Styria as his portion of the inheritance.

Duke Ernest took up the reins of Government of Tyrol, and there ensued a period of bloodshed and disastrous Civil War in which the peasants and the lower classes remained firm and loyal supporters of their ruler Frederick, and the greater number of the nobility espoused the cause of the usurper Ernest. At length a peace was brought about between the two brothers, chiefly through the mediation of the Archbishop Eberhard of Salzburg, and the Duke Louis of Bavaria. The reconciliation of Frederick and Duke Ernest, whose estrangement had 26 been brought about by Frederick's action in relation to Pope John at Constance which had brought him under the powerful ban of the Church, took place at the castle of the Archbishop at Kropfsberg.

The remaining portion of Frederick's life appears to have been peaceable, and notwithstanding his sobriquet of "Empty Purse" he left a huge fortune in treasure, which some authorities assert was the greatest amassed by any ruler of those times. He was undoubtedly one of the most able, and with the peasants and townsfolk most popular, rulers Tyrol has ever had as a separate principality. He carried on a struggle throughout his reign against the encroachments of the nobility upon the lands and liberties of the people, which in itself was a thing sufficient to gain him the love and loyalty of the great masses of his subjects, which his affable manners, generosity, and kindliness served to cement. To him belongs the credit of summoning the first Tyrolean Landtag of any use or importance, held at Meran in 1423. Subsequently the Landtag was convened at Innsbruck, which town in consequence gradually came to be regarded as the capital of Tyrol.

On the death of Frederick he was succeeded by his son Sigismund, then a mere lad of eleven or twelve years of age. The latter lived for some seven years at the Court of Vienna under the control of his guardian the Emperor Frederick III. Whilst in Vienna he became acquainted with one Æneas Silvius de Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II., a widely travelled, able but licentious man who had journeyed so far afield as Scotland, and who poured such glowing descriptions of the beauty of the ladies of the Scottish Court into the young Duke Sigismund's ears that he became possessed with a desire to marry a Scotch bride. Thus it happened that when the daughter of Charles VII., King of France, died (whom it had been intended by his father he should marry) the young Duke Sigismund wooed and won Eleanor, 27 daughter of ill-fated James I. of Scotland, to whom as dowry the Duke gave the historic castles of Ambras, Imst, and Hörtenburg for life. This gifted princess lived in Tyrol for a period of more than thirty years, and by her gentle manners, love of sport, especially hawking and hunting, and social accomplishments made herself much beloved by her husband's subjects. Her Court, for the size of the principality over which her husband ruled, was very large and luxurious.

During the reign of Sigismund the vast mineral wealth of the Unter-Innthal district especially became opened up, and this enabled the Duke to spend lavish sums upon pleasures, entertainments, arts, and science, which soon caused his Court at Innsbruck to be spoken of as one of the most refined, gay, and interesting in Eastern Europe. At the same time Tyrol owed much to Sigismund, as he was a generous patron of art and employer of artists of all kinds.


On the death of his consort Eleanor he married, in 1484, the Princess Catherine of Saxony, who was both young and beautiful. A man of great judgment, he yet committed the grave error of provoking a war with the Venetians, whose trade with Tyrol was an important and valuable asset in the country's commerce and material prosperity. It arose from the seizure of some rich silver mines the property of the Venetians in the Valsugana, and the tense situation arising from this act was aggravated shortly after, in April 1487, by the forcible seizure of the goods of Venetian merchants who had come (as was their wont) to the great fair held at Bozen. Over a hundred and twenty Venetian merchants were also thrown into prison. In the war which ensued the Tyrolese were ultimately victorious; but the victory was a Pyrrhic one as Tyrol lost much by this struggle with the great commercial power of those remote times. The Venetians took a speedy revenge, "boycotting" Tyrolese trade, absenting themselves from the fairs and markets, 28 and avoiding using the Brenner Route which had very materially added to the wealth of the country.

Sigismund, as had other rulers of the Mountain Kingdom, fell out of favour with the Church, owing to a quarrel with the Cardinal Bishop of Brixen, Nicholas of Cusa, chiefly on account of the latter's persistent endeavour to exalt the power of the Church at the expense of the former's temporal authority, and it was only Sigismund's indifference to religious matters and power in his own country which enabled him to treat with unconcern if not positive contempt the ban placed upon him by the Church of Rome. He even went the length of making war upon the Bishop, and of besieging him in his castle at Brunneck; and as a consequence was excommunicated by both Pope Calixtus III. the Courageous and Pius II.

In Sigismund's declining years he applied himself "to the task of purchasing salvation in the manner approved by the Church he had defied, and whose bulls, bans, and mandates he had scorned." He set about founding monasteries, gave largely to charitable endowments, and was generous in other ways to a Church which was anxious to pardon the sinner who was willing to purchase absolution on satisfactory monetary or other terms. One effect of this great expenditure was to impoverish the country, which had already been much "drained" by the demands made upon it by Sigismund's patronage of art, love of women, and lavish entertainments.




Maximilian, his cousin (afterwards the famous Emperor Maximilian I.), succeeded him on his abdication in 1493. He was in a great measure an ideal ruler for Tyrol, whose brave, independent people were touched by the spirit, frankness, and great personal bravery of their new prince. Fond of war, he was equally devoted to the chivalric jousts and games of the period, and, if one may believe historians, to these sterner qualities was united 29 a kindly and approachable disposition which further endeared him to his people. It was only in the latter portion of his reign that he lost touch with and hold upon them, and, owing to the heavy drain that incessant wars and military operations had placed upon the country, necessitating heavy taxation, became in a measure unpopular.

From his biographers one gathers that the Emperor was deeply affected by the change of attitude of the populace towards him, and he referred to it bitterly on several occasions. During some considerable time before his death he always went about accompanied by his coffin, which he is stated to have described as "the one narrow palace which architects can design at small cost, and the making of which does not bring ruin upon princes."

During the reign of Maximilian to Tyrol was added other and considerable new territory, including the Ampezzo district; Rovereto; the three lordships of Rattenberg, Kitzbühel, and Kufstein; the towns of Riva and Arco; a portion of the present Vorarlberg; and a portion of the Pusterthal. Maximilian also did something for education in his capital of Innsbruck, where he built a new palace which was first used at the time of his second marriage with Maria Bianca Sforza of Milan in 1494.

He was succeeded by his two grandsons, the Emperor Charles V. and the Archduke Ferdinand. The former, however, found his dominions so vast that he soon resigned his Austrian possessions (including Tyrol) to his brother Ferdinand, who afterwards became Emperor. The reign of the latter, though long, was not a happy or prosperous one. The religious disturbances brought about by the Reformation, which Ferdinand severely suppressed, and risings of the peasants in consequence, made his name detested in Tyrol, so that in the War of the Schmalkald the inhabitants supported Charles V. 30 It was at Innsbruck (after two unsuccessful attempts to leave Tyrol) that he was surprised by his treacherous friend Maurice of Saxony, who had marched his army rapidly into Tyrol intent upon capturing Charles. The latter, who had no army with him, having arrived at Innsbruck on his way to the Council of Trent, in order to escape had to leave his palace at dead of night in torrents of rain in May 1552—a man broken in health and tired of life.

It was this Ferdinand who founded the famous Franciscan Church at Innsbruck with its world-renowned tomb in memory of his grandfather Maximilian I.

On the death of Ferdinand, in 1564, he was succeeded on the throne of Tyrol by his second son who bore his name. A romantic interest attaches to this Archduke, who after much opposition on the part of his family married the beautiful daughter of an Augsburg merchant, Philippina Welser, who ultimately succeeded in winning the Emperor's sanction to the marriage.[6]

The thirty-one years' reign of Archduke Ferdinand was chiefly notable for the encouragement given by him to Art. Indeed, during this period the country reached its highest culture. The world-famous art collection now in Vienna, concerning which most authorities are in agreement that it was the most extensive and beautiful formed up to that period, owes its existence almost entirely to him. In his Castle of Ambras, near Innsbruck, he gathered together art treasures that are now, as regards many examples, almost if not quite unique; and by so doing ensured his position with posterity as one of the first, most learned, and most discriminating of art collectors and connoisseurs the world has known.


Ferdinand and his beautiful spouse remained throughout their married life devoted to each other, although when the former's father, in 1563, recognized the marriage it 31 was agreed that any children born to the pair should not be recognized as of Royal birth, the alliance being regarded as morganatic. The story that Philippina died a violent death seems to have no basis upon fact.

Ferdinand after the death of his first wife married Anna Katharina Gonzaga of Mantua, to whose devout tendencies and influence over him Innsbruck and the neighbourhood owed many of its religious houses and institutions.

On the death of Ferdinand, as his and Philippina's children could not succeed to their father's possessions and title for the reason we have mentioned, and as there were no children of the marriage with Anna Katharina, Tyrol reverted in 1595 to the Emperor Rudolph II., who soon appointed his brother the Archduke Maximilian as Regent. This prince was the head of the Teutonic Order, and bore the title of Deutschmeister. After his death Tyrol reverted to the Emperor Ferdinand II., who in 1622 celebrated his second marriage with Eleanora Vincenzo of Mantua at Innsbruck. The event was celebrated with great magnificence even for a period when entertainments of the kind were veritable triumphs of splendour and art, and the wedding feast was served by Tyrolese noblemen.

Ferdinand soon appointed his brother the Archduke Leopold as Regent, and on his death in 1632 the latter was succeeded by his widow, the wise and beautiful Archduchess Claudia Felicitas of Medici, who governed Tyrol during the minority of her two sons. Her chief counsellor was the brilliant and distinguished Chancellor Wilhelm Biener. The Archduke Ferdinand Charles came of age (and succeeded to his estates) in 1646, and in default of male heirs was succeeded by his brother Francis Sigismund in 1662. The reign of the last named lasted only three years, and came to a sudden and tragic close on the very eve of his marriage. Popular opinion ascribed his death to poison, given to the Archduke by his physician Agricola, the latter, at the time, being supposed to have been 32 instigated to the crime by some Italian nobles whom the Archduke had banished from his Court. On the death of Sigismund the second Tyrolese-Habsburg line of rulers came to an end.



It was then that Tyrol finally came into the possession of the Emperors of Austria, by whom the ancient title of Prince-Count of Tyrol and other subsidiary titles are still borne. 33



During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) between the Catholics and Protestants of Germany, which was renowned for the victories of Wallenstein and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Tyrol did not altogether escape its influence though playing no very important part in the struggle. One result was, however, of considerable importance to a family of great note in Tyrol. It brought about the ruin of the Fuggers, whose financial assistance to various rulers of Tyrol and Eastern Europe had been generally forthcoming when required. Owing to their possession of the two famous castle-fortresses of Tratzberg and Matzen their prosperity or otherwise was of considerable importance to Tyrol.

From the date (1665) when the country became completely incorporated as a part of the Austrian Empire it did homage to the Emperor Leopold I., sole heir of the joint Austro-German possessions. It was during his reign and on account of this circumstance that Tyrol became deeply involved in the War of the Spanish Succession, and was the object of attack on the part of both French and Bavarians, Leopold being the Austrian claimant to the Spanish throne, and Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., the French aspirant.

In 1703 the French troops, under General Vendome, entered Tyrol from the South and unsuccessfully besieged 34 Trent on their way northward to Austria; and at the same time the Bavarians overran the country by routes which they had traversed from almost time immemorial when making their periodic raids upon the Tyrolese. For a considerable period the invaders were successful, and many villages and castles of the Unter-Innthal and contiguous districts were destroyed. The capture of the capital was the cause of the uprising of the Landsturm, or general levy of the peasants; and during 1703 a number of fierce engagements were fought between these ill-armed but brave Tyrolese and the Bavarian and French troops. One of the most noted battles was that which took place immediately after the Tyrolese had destroyed the Pontlatz Bridge which spanned the River Inn, by which the Bavarians were about to cross. In this engagement the latter, under the leadership of the Elector Maximilian Emmanuel, were utterly routed by a much inferior force of the Landsturm, and driven back from North Tyrol. Following up this success the Tyrolese concentrated their energies upon the French force under General Vendome which they compelled to retire into Italy.

The Emperor Leopold I., not wishing to reside for any length of time at Innsbruck, had created the office of Statthalter or Governor of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, an office which has been filled ever since till the present day, with the exception of the period of the French and Bavarian wars with Austria in the early part of the last century.

The Emperor did not live to see the ultimate triumph of his forces. He died in 1705, and was succeeded by his sons Joseph I. and Charles VI. On the death of the latter in 1740, owing to the fact that with him the Austrian male line became extinct, the Empress Maria Theresa ruled in his stead. During her long reign the Vorarlberg became an integral part of Tyrol owing to the fact that it was an Imperial fief which reverted to the Crown by natural process on the extinction of the line of feoffees. Maria 35 Theresa and her husband the Emperor Francis I. came to Innsbruck in 1765 for the wedding of their son Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany (afterwards the Emperor Leopold II.), with Maria Ludovica, daughter of Charles III., King of Spain. The Tyrolese and the Innsbruckers gave a warm welcome to their sovereigns, and the festivities were upon a most magnificent scale. The gaiety was destined, however, to be clouded and put an end to by the sudden death of the Emperor (husband of Maria Theresa), who expired at the palace immediately after his return from the Italian Opera. It was he, Francis Stephen of Lorraine, also Grand Duke of Tuscany, who founded the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, which still rules over the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


On the death of Maria Theresa in 1780 she was succeeded by her son Joseph II., upon whose accession many innovations were introduced in Tyrol as well as other portions of his wide empire. His salutary and liberally conceived reforms, more especially as regarded the Church, were brought about by a desire to adjust political and religious affairs and do away with anomalies.

Inasmuch as Joseph's scheme embraced the suppression or abolition of numerous priories, monasteries, churches, and other religious institutions, it is little to be wondered at that his action met with the most strenuous opposition from the Church whose property was threatened. One act, the closing of the University of Innsbruck, which had been founded by Leopold I. in 1677, it is not easy for any one at the present day to understand. The Emperor Joseph II.'s scheme of reform was not successful, although it had arisen from honourable motives and a sincere desire to redress some very crying grievances.

He was succeeded in 1790 by his brother, the Emperor Leopold II., who reopened the University, and undid much of the work his predecessor had accomplished with regard to the suppression of religious houses. He, however, reigned but two years, and was followed by his son 36 Francis II. of Germany and Francis I. of Austria. This ruler came to the throne at a great and unhappy crisis in European history. The French Revolution was at its height and the ensuing period of the "blood lustful" Napoleonic Wars made of Europe a vast camp and battle ground. It was also a period destined, as events proved, to make Tyrol famous for all time, to develop the best instincts of her people, and to exhibit the race in a heroic and romantic light.

To understand the position of Tyrol at this epoch it is necessary to briefly sketch the events which led up to the struggle as it affected the "land in the Mountains." Mantua, an Austro-Italian possession, fell before Napoleon in 1797, and immediately the young general sent an army under Joubert into Tyrol, the routes into the country being left almost undefended by the retreat of the Austrian forces towards Carinthia, after their defeat at Lodi on May 10, 1796.


Once more the Landsturm was raised in South Tyrol, and again the peasant forces (to whom the name of "ragged coats" had been contemptuously given) engaged in a terrific struggle for their beloved land with the not only better armed but more numerous detachments of French and Bavarian invaders. Even the well-tried legions of Napoleon were destined, however, to find them as redoubtable as had formerly Maximilian.

Under the gallant von Worndle the Inn Valley Landsturm was led down into the Pusterthal, where it was joined by the Austrian forces under Generals Laudon and Kerpen. Napoleon's troops, although well led, and possessing all the advantages that experience and a knowledge of strategy could give them, nevertheless could not withstand the terrific onslaught and heroic bravery shown by the Tyrolese. A fierce and bloody engagement was fought at Spinges which resulted in the triumph of the peasant forces and the utter rout of the invaders, who were compelled to evacuate the country. About the same time 37 another smaller engagement took place near Bozen, where a mere handful of peasants engaged a much superior force and defeated it. This otherwise comparatively unimportant event has gained fame and significance from the fact that this small body of Passeyer peasantry was led by a tall, broad-shouldered man with a long brown beard, named Andreas Hofer, who was destined afterwards to play so great and remarkable a part in the history of his beloved country.





After the Battle of Spinges hostilities were ended for a time by the Treaty of Campo Formio, October 17, 1797.

During this preliminary struggle against the French it is estimated by several authorities that upwards of 100,000 peasants took up arms in defence of their country, amongst whom were many women and young maidens. The total population of Tyrol at that period did not probably much exceed three quarters of a million.

The peace secured by the Treaty of Campo Formio did not, however, endure very long, for early in 1799 the war broke out again, and the French under General Massena entered Tyrol, on this occasion by way of Switzerland through the mountain passes, the Bavarians supporting the invaders by incursions over the frontier in the direction of Salzburg. In an engagement near Feldkirch in Vorarlberg General Massena was defeated; and upon making a fresh attack the French, hearing all the church bells of the district ringing on Easter Eve and mistaking them for the alarm bells summoning the Landsturm, hastily abandoned their intentions and retreated across the frontier into Swiss territory. The victories of Marengo and Hohenlinden on June 14 and December 3 of the next year, brought about the Treaty of Luneville on February 9, 1801, by which the Bishoprics of Brixen and Trent (already in a sense belonging to Tyrol) were made integral parts of the country.

Hostilities were continued, however, in other parts of 38 Europe, and the long war dragged on, Napoleon over-running the Continent and more especially South-Eastern Europe almost unchecked, till Ulm, where the Austrians were defeated October 17-20, 1805. The French army under Marshal Ney afterwards entered and occupied Innsbruck. Then came the disastrous Battle of Austerlitz on December 2, where Napoleon defeated the combined Russian and Austrian forces. The power of the latter was shattered, and by the Treaty of Pressburg, December 26, 1805, Tyrol, which now for upwards of four hundred years had been one of the chief possessions of the house of Habsburg, was ceded to the victors. The Bavarians took the northern, and the French the southern portion. Not only was the country for a time lost to Austria, but even its name was taken from it. The new owners promptly divided it into three departments known by the names of the three chief rivers—the Inn, Eisack, and Adige.

In the beginning of the year following the Treaty the Bavarians took formal possession of their new territory. During a period of some three years the Tyrolese fretted under the rule of their conquerors. But the time was not spent merely in idle murmurings or in servile acceptance of the conqueror's yoke. The peasants who had fought so bravely for their land and liberty in ancient times, and in 1797 and 1799, were eager once more to take the field to recover their lost freedom, and to drive the usurpers of their beautiful Tyrol for ever beyond its frontiers.


Day by day, week by week, month by month a general rising of the community was being gradually organized by three men more particularly, who were each of them destined to become famous, and to go down to posterity as the saviours of their country. Of these Andreas Hofer, born of Inn-keeping parents at Sandyland in the Passeyer Valley in 1765, was destined to outshine both in his life and death his two companions, named Speckbacher, born at Rinn, and Haspinger, the tall, red-bearded Capucin monk, known respectively as "the fire-devil" and "the red beard." 39

The task that Hofer and his companions set themselves was no easy one. The country swarmed not only with the soldiers of the Bavarian occupation force, but with spies who seem always to spring up whenever the price of treachery is worth earning. The punishment for men taking part in any such schemes as that in which Hofer, Speckbacher, and Haspinger and their faithful companions were engaged in was death. Death not only for the principals, but death for the humblest participant. Nevertheless the plan prospered. It is interesting to remember the very large and important part which was played in the organization of the peasants' uprising by the Tyrolese innkeepers, or wirthe, who were very dissimilar to the ordinary conception which English people have of men of their class. They were usually the most wealthy as well as the most solid members of the village communities in which they dwelt and kept their Wirthshaus, around which, indeed, much of the social as well as the municipal life of the village centred. They were better informed than many of their neighbours, for whatever travellers came to the villages found their way to their hospitable roofs; and what echoes of the outer world ever reached the secluded villages filtered its way, as it were, through them. It was in these men that Hofer found his greatest allies and ablest assistants. During the three years which succeeded the Bavarian occupation and the peasant rising, the innkeepers of Tyrol were busy gathering round them small bodies of trusted men, who, fired by a common desire to free their country, would, indeed, have suffered death rather than betray a single word of the secret arrangements of which they gradually became cognizant.

When many of the preparations were completed Andreas Hofer commenced a correspondence with the Government in Vienna—which seemed so incapable and unwilling to assist the brave people it had seemingly abandoned in their struggle for freedom—in the person of 40 the Archduke John. But although Hofer and his companions do not seem to have received very much definite or material encouragement from the Emperor or his advisers, they proceeded to Vienna, had several interviews with the Archduke, who appeared to be most favourably inclined to their scheme, and at these interviews the plan of campaign was definitely formulated. In the end Hofer returned to St. Leonard raised to the dignity of Commander-in-Chief of the national forces, and with full powers to do what he deemed best in the interests of the country.

What he did not, however, secure was any support from Vienna in the form of arms or disciplined troops with which to leaven his "ragged coats." The courage of the men who entered upon a campaign against trained and tried soldiers armed with the most up-to-date weapons of those times can scarcely be estimated just as it most certainly cannot be over-praised. Owing to the rigorous search for arms which the Bavarians and French had instituted in almost every dwelling in the land, during the two or three years which intervened between the Treaty of Pressburg and the uprising of the peasants under Hofer, it was not possible to obtain and store new weapons in any quantity even if to do so had not been rendered difficult from the hosts of spies which overran Tyrol and seemed to lurk beneath almost every rock. Thus it was that out-of-date weapons—most of which had seen service in the war of a century before—billhooks, scythes, clubs and pitchforks, with whatever other arms their own ingenuity could devise or the village blacksmiths make, were pitted against the arms of some precision of the French and Bavarian troops. All that the peasant forces had to sustain them in the struggle against well-armed and disciplined veterans, superior as regards knowledge of warfare, was dauntless courage and a greater acquaintance with the country and of hill fighting.



Upon Hofer's return with his companions from Vienna 41 his Inn became the resort—more or less secretly—of all who were truly desirous of joining the popular movement and of freeing the country. Many, we are told, blamed him for trusting so implicitly all who came. But to objectors he made the same answer: "There are no traitors amongst my countrymen." That his confidence was not misplaced was abundantly shown by the fact that the secret of a conspiracy so vast that it may be said to have extended north, south, east, and west almost throughout Tyrol was unrevealed until the ever-memorable night of April 10, 1809, when the time fixed for the uprising arrived.


On the evening of that day the peasants of the Passeyer and other valleys were called to arms by means of great fires which blazed out in the darkness of the clear April sky in long, ruddy banners of flame. Every hill crest in the vicinity of the Passeyer Valley had its signal fire, and these were answered by others on the mountains overshadowing the distant valleys. On the morrow Andreas Hofer found himself at daybreak at the head of nearly 5000 men who had one and all "confessed" and received the Sacrament ere taking up arms in their sacred cause of liberty.

The Bavarians were at once hotly attacked and routed; and on the 12th, soon after dawn, upwards of 15,000 peasants had rallied to Hofer's standard and appeared before Innsbruck. With indomitable bravery they captured the bridge over the Inn, carried the heights by assault, and entering the town engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand conflict with the troops of General Bisson (who was in command of the joint French and Bavarian forces) and compelled him to surrender.

In the deadly conflict of the streets, which ran red with blood, and into whose mire peasants, French and Bavarian soldiers and officers alike were trampled by the on-press of the Tyrolese, the ruder weapons of the latter, consisting of heavily butted fire-locks, broad knives used 42 in husbandry, scythe blades attached to staves, and bludgeons cut from the thickets of the mountain side, were as deadly and even perhaps more so than the weapons of their enemies.

Down the ancient streets, overshadowed by the everlasting snow-clad mountains; into the narrow byways and courtyards of the ancient town; along under the arcades of the old-time Herzog Freidrich Strasse, swept the Tyrolese, slaying as they went, until the invaders, driven from cranny to cranny, struck down in the open, compelled many of them to retreat along the Inn banks till they fell back into the swiftly flowing river, cried for quarter and surrendered.

At Wilten, on the outskirts of Innsbruck itself, the fiery Speckbacher surrounded a Bavarian force of nearly 5000 men and took them prisoners of war. Thus after less than four days' fighting the Tyrolese had defeated the Bavarians, captured Innsbruck, and compelled the French commander to sue for quarter. And in their hands they held two generals, 132 officers, nearly 6000 men, three standards, five pieces of cannon, and 800 horses.

By the end of April, Tyrol was again free of invaders with the sole exception that the Bavarians still held the castle of Kufstein.

It was now that the Government in Vienna made one of the many serious mistakes which throughout its dealings marked the policy pursued in relation to Tyrol's struggle for freedom. General Chasteler, of whom it was said that "he always came too late and went too soon," was given the supreme command. And from that moment the advantages gained by Hofer, his brave companions-in-arms Speckbacher and Haspinger, and the peasant troops, were lost. In an almost incredibly short space of time Chasteler succeeded in losing all that had been won. At length his failure to hold what had been committed to his charge became so obvious that he retreated beyond the Brenner, leaving Andreas Hofer to do the best he could in 43 defence of the portion of Tyrol not then reconquered by the enemy. In little more than a month from the time the French and Bavarians had been driven from Innsbruck they entered it again in triumph; and thus, on the 20th of May, Tyrol was once more to all intents and purposes conquered.

The brave leader of the peasants, however, was determined to make one more supreme effort to free his country from the French and Bavarian yoke, and after summoning to his standard all who were capable of bearing arms, he had the satisfaction of once more driving the invaders from Innsbruck, and freeing for the second time the country he loved so well.


This triumph was not, however, destined to endure, for the Austrian forces under the Archduke Charles suffered a crushing defeat from Napoleon's troops at Wagram on July 5 and 6, 1809, and were forced to sue for peace or at least an armistice at Znaim, in which Tyrol was ignored. Amongst other things, by the subsequent Treaty, Austria ceded all her sea coast to France, as well as considerable territory to Saxony and Bavaria. But it was not until the French, Bavarian, and Saxon troops, straight from their victory at Wagram, to the number of some 50,000 men, entered Tyrol under the command of Marshal Lefèbre, and the Austrian army marched away out of Innsbruck in full retreat before the advancing enemy, that Hofer realized that he and his cause once more were abandoned by the Emperor and his advisers.

Again Hofer came to the rescue; and, though in a measure a fugitive, in one of the little-known gorges, he managed to send forth from valley to valley his summons to the people to gather once more round his standard. That none should certainly know from these summonses where he lay concealed it was his wont to sign them "Andreas Hofer, from where I am "; whilst in return those communicating with him addressed theirs "To Andreas Hofer wherever he may be." 44

He once more succeeded in inspiring his fellow-countrymen with his own undying, unyielding patriotism. Gathering his forces together in a gorge of the Mittewald he awaited the enemy's advance. We cannot do better than draw in part, for a description of what followed, from the stirring and vivid narrative of Albert Wolff. The vanguard of Marshal Lefèbre under the command of General Rouyer advanced to Sterzing; and then a column of Saxon troops to the number of about 4000 was thrown out beyond the village towards the gorge of Stilfes with orders to sweep away the insurgents. The idea that the untrained, ill-armed, and heterogeneous peasant forces could successfully resist the victors of Wagram appeared ridiculous to the Marshal and his officers, even if the Tyrolese were so foolhardy as to make the attempt. For some distance the Saxons advanced without either meeting with opposition or discovering an enemy; and then, when the whole column, had fully entered the defile from the mountain sides above them there resounded a sudden, terrifying cry of "To the attack, and no quarter."

The cry was followed by a starting up of thousands of peasants, men, women, and children, the aged and the young, from behind the boulders on the hillside, from out the hollows. Down the steep mountain gorge crashed rocks, tree trunks, baulks of timber, earth and stones loosed from the restraining ropes by the Tyrolese, sweeping every obstruction before them, and falling upon the penned-up Saxons like an avalanche. Then, as the latter were vainly and fiercely struggling to extricate themselves from the debris and entanglements, the peasants rushed down the mountain side and hurled themselves upon their bewildered foes, shouting Hofer's battlecry, "For God and our Country."

The enemy, utterly routed, turned and fled—what remained of them—towards Innsbruck, pursued by the Tyrolese led by Hofer, Speckbacher, and by the red-bearded Capuchin Haspinger, who held in one hand a 45 crucifix, and in the other a bloodstained sword. Upon the Saxons the Tyrolese had no mercy, and hundreds were cut down as they fled along the road back to Innsbruck.


In little more than a week Hofer, by a vigorous following up of his victory in the Pass of Stilfes, had once more repulsed the invader, retaken the position on Berg Isel, and established his headquarters at Schönberg. These historic eight days of fighting and victory are known in Tyrolese history as "the great week."

Innsbruck still, however, remained in the occupation of the enemy. To take the town was a task that might have given pause to any less brave and venturous a commander than Hofer. But he was not the man to hold back from a complete freeing of his beloved land from those who had invaded it. The plans were laid, the day fixed, and the advance ordered. On the morning of the attack, at five o'clock, Haspinger the militant Capuchin, a commanding figure upon whom the light of early dawn threw an almost uncanny refulgence, celebrated Mass before the assembled peasant host, who knelt in serried ranks, ragged, unkempt, but inspired to great deeds by memories of their past victories. After this solemn observance Haspinger once more became a captain of troops rather than a priest; and springing into his saddle he drew his sword and led on the left wing. Andreas Hofer himself was in the centre, and led the attack there, marching right on to Innsbruck.

A contemporary account describes the hero as being "transfigured with a grandeur scarcely earthly, as, burning with patriotism, he urged his horse forward into battle." With his long beard, which had gained him the nickname of General Barbonne amongst the French, flowing in the wind, and his war cry of "Onward for your country and your Emperor! God will protect the right!" he led his forces so irresistibly that the troops of Marshal Lefèbre gave way and evacuated the town. On the following day, August 15th, which was the fête of the Blessed Virgin, 46 Hofer, at the head of his victorious peasants, made his third entry as victor into the capital.

Around him thronged the citizens, overcome with transports of joy, pressing him so closely that many were trampled beneath his horse's feet. In the enthusiasm, relief, and triumph of victory, Hofer was named with one voice dictator of Tyrol. But there was that strange analogy which links Hofer's attitude in the hour of triumph so closely (notwithstanding the differentiations of sex) with that of Joan of Arc and with Cromwell. Turning to the thronging multitude, which filled the narrow streets to overflowing, he cried out, with a gentle and almost pitiful glance at their upturned faces, "Do not shout in triumph; but offer thanks to God and pray." At the door of the church of the Franciscans he dismounted, and entered the building to return thanks to God, and remained there in prayer, unmoved by the cheers and "Hochs" of the great assembly of his troopers and fellow-countrymen outside, the sounds of which, as they came in through the constantly open doors of the church at that hour, bore no personal significance to him.

On leaving the building he was waited upon by the chief citizens, who expressed their undying gratitude to their deliverer. But in response he said, "By my beard and St. George, God himself and not I has been the Saviour of our country."

Andreas Hofer was destined to show that he was not only a warrior, but also an administrator, actuated by the most lofty desires for his country's good. In every act of his government could be detected the truly religious and patriotic character of the man. And during the short time that he reigned in the palace at Innsbruck, waiting anxiously for the approval and the help from his Emperor in Vienna, his conduct was marked by dignity, kindliness, and strength. But alas, his triumph was but brief. In less than two months after the retaking of Innsbruck, a fresh Bavarian army was entering Tyrol by way of the 47 Unter-Innthal, and taking Speckbacher unawares the invaders gained a partial victory; and ere the disaster of October 10th could be retrieved, the Treaty of Vienna was agreed upon (October 14, 1809), by which the hand of one of the Habsburg princesses was promised to Napoleon as the price of peace.

Tyrol by this new arrangement remained Bavarian, and the Archduke John himself called upon Andreas Hofer to lay down his arms. The latter did not obey. He persuaded himself that the Treaty of Vienna was without substance, or merely a trick to enable the invaders to make good their fresh hold upon the country, and he decided to continue the struggle. His followers, however, were discouraged by the callous way in which the Austrian Government had invariably left them to fight their own battles alone.

Speckbacher, too, was deserted by all save a mere handful of men, and after remaining in hiding for some time and escaping capture by a miracle he succeeded in getting to Vienna. The Capuchin Haspinger afterwards joined him there, and was ultimately made curate of Hietzing, near Schönbrunn. It then became clear to Hofer that to continue the struggle for freedom just then was useless and, indeed, impossible; so he dispersed his own handful of faithful friends and supporters, telling them, "We shall meet again before long, for Tyrol will not perish."


With these prophetic words, which were destined never to be realized so far as the meeting with his faithful comrades in arms was concerned, Hofer took farewell of his companions and fled a fugitive into the mountains of the Passeyer Valley.

A price was put upon his head by the Bavarians and French, who recognized that their peaceful occupation of the conquered and ceded territory depended very greatly upon the capture and imprisonment or death of Hofer, who, as a popular hero, held so high a place in the hearts 48 of his countrymen; and that for him to remain at large would constitute a perpetual menace.

For a long while Hofer was able to elude the vigilance and discovery of his would-be captors. Technically, and owing to his abandonment by the Austrian Government, he was a rebel on account of his refusal to lay down his arms when commanded by the Archduke John to do so. In the end, as so often happens, there was one found base and treacherous enough to betray the fugitive for blood money. Guided by such an one, named Raffl, some Italian gendarmes, supported by a small detachment of French soldiers, made their way amid the intricate mountain paths to the chalet where—near St. Leonard, but far from other habitations—Andreas Hofer had for some months lived with his family, now broken down by despair for his country, anxiety and privation.

He made no resistance, and was immediately taken to Mantua, escorted (such was his fame and the fear lest he should escape or be rescued) by four French officers, a battalion of infantry, and a detachment of cavalry. No effort appears to have been made by the Austrian authorities to save the hero to whom they owed so much, and Hofer was tried by court-martial under the presidency of General Bisson, and condemned to be shot.


On the morning of February 20th, 1810, Andreas Hofer, who lay in prison but a short time after condemnation, was awakened early and led forth to die. At the gates were gathered a handful of his friends and companions in arms who had been captured and brought to Mantua, or had followed him there, and these knelt and entreated his blessing as he passed by them; this he gave calmly, remaining far less outwardly moved than they who received it.

Then onwards to the Ceresa Gate, where the firing party halted. Hofer declined to have his eyes bandaged; neither would he kneel. But standing erect with unwavering courage he faced the file of soldiers, who with loaded 49 muskets were to do him to death. Giving his last remaining piece of money to the corporal, he said to him, "Aim straight." Then he calmly gave the signal to fire.

The muskets rang out, the bullets sped to their mark, and one of the noblest of patriots Europe had ever seen fell without a groan.

At his own last request his body was buried at Mantua in the garden of his friend and father confessor, Manifesti. There it lay for fifteen years, until one night three officers of a Tyrol Chasseur regiment stealthily removed the remains, distressed that the hero of Tyrol should lie buried in foreign soil. The body was first taken to Bozen, and shortly afterwards to the Abbey of Wilten.

When later a funeral worthy of his fame was accorded him, deputations came from all parts of Tyrol to pay their tribute to the greatest hero in its history; and amid a throng which was perhaps never before equalled in the streets of Innsbruck, the remains of Andreas Hofer were with great appropriateness borne to their last resting-place in the church of the Franciscans by twelve innkeepers. On the coffin lay his hat, sword, and decorations, and upon it were the armorial bearings of his family, which had been ennobled by the Emperor Francis I. in 1819. And thus, in a tomb cut from the marble of the Tyrol he loved, his body was laid to rest.

In the same year that Hofer died, Tyrol was divided into three parts. Italy took the southern, Bavaria retained the northern, and Illyria the south-eastern or Pusterthal district. So it remained for three years, until 1813, when the power of Napoleon was once and for ever broken in eastern Europe, when he was defeated at the fierce battle of Leipsic on October 16-18, by the allied forces of Austria, Russia and Prussia. In this battle (known as "the battle of the nations") upwards of 400,000 men were engaged; a fifth of the number were slain. The allies were helped at a critical point of the fighting by the defection from Napoleon of a large force of Saxons. 50

In the following year Tyrol was reunited to Austria with the addition of the Ziller and Brixen valleys and Windisch-Matrei. On May 27, 1816, the Emperor Francis I. (who in 1806 had resigned the title of Emperor of Germany, retaining only that of Austria) entered Innsbruck to receive the allegiance of the people. His reception was most enthusiastic, the people rejoicing unrestrainedly at once more gaining their freedom, and being reunited to the Austrian Empire.

During the revolutionary excitement which pervaded Europe in 1848 the then Emperor of Austria, Ferdinand, and his Empress took refuge in Tyrol; and in the Austro-Italian War of 1848 the Tyrolese greatly distinguished themselves by their bravery and good marksmanship.

There remains little more to add concerning Tyrol's history. On December 2, 1848, the Emperor Francis Joseph I. succeeded his uncle Ferdinand, who abdicated after ruling the country for thirteen years under the guidance of the powerful Prince Metternich whose reactionary policy provoked the Revolution of 1848.

In 1859 the Austro-Italian provinces, with the exception of Venice, were absorbed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, previous to the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. In consequence Tyrol became the frontier of Austria to Italy, and of increased importance. In 1866, during the war between Austria and Prussia, the latter supported the Italians in a scheme to seize Southern Tyrol. The Tyrolese Jager and Schutzen forces took a prominent part in the campaign, and were engaged with great credit at the Battle of Custozza, where the Austrians with 70,000 men defeated the army of Victor Emmanuel, nearly twice as strong. Afterwards, when the Prussians defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Sadowa or Koniggratz on July 3, 1866, and a fresh attempt was made to seize South Tyrol, the inhabitants once more showed that their old-time courage and resource was not diminished. 51


Since then Tyrol has been happily both peaceful and prosperous; advancing in the arts, and with a system of education which is bearing good fruit.

What the future of this favoured and beautiful land may be, who can tell? Perhaps the secret is already locked up in the chancelleries of Eastern Europe.

But the wise and beneficent ruler who now guards the destinies of the many-sided Austrian Empire is old, and when the end comes it does not need the keen observer to possess much gift of anticipating events to predict that Tyrol may be the scene of yet further struggles when Germany's desire for a seaport on the Mediterranean via the Adriatic has possibilities of accomplishment. 52



Just as is the case with Switzerland so in Tyrol the land itself, its history, even its geological evolution, seem in a measure reflected in the character and disposition of its people. One cannot indeed be any long time in Tyrol without becoming aware of and appreciating this fact. In the kindliness and hospitality of the Tyrolese one has reflected the characteristics of aloofness from the outer world, and dependence upon one another, which the position of their "land within the mountains" typifies—characteristics which have grown (and fortunately have not yet become, at least in the more remote parts, to any large extent tainted by considerations of self-interest) from the circumstances of former days, when individual hospitality had to serve for the absence of inns and commercial conveniences of the kind. So, too, in the rugged, patriotic, and sturdy natures of the people one can trace a parallel with the configuration of their beloved land; as one can also trace in their single-heartedness, piety, poetic traits, and simplicity, the frugal and laborious lives which the majority lead, unvexed in former times by the fret of small things, and through succeeding ages strengthened by the great needs of patriotism and self-sacrifice which the political crises outside their own borders often brought home to them by invasion and attempted subjection.


It is not at all wonderful, then, that a people dwelling 53 in a land of such surpassing beauty, where flower-bedecked upper pastures melt away into rocky peaks, glaciers, and snow-clad heights; where the music of tinkling brooks trickling down the mountain side and the roar of greater torrents are ever with them; with the eternal silence of great heights surrounding them and, as it were, shutting them in from the outer world, should be gifted with an appreciation of romantic beauty, legend, and poetry beyond the common run of mortals.

As we have already shown, much history and many stirring events have been enacted within the mountain-girdled borders of Tyrol. And, nowadays, when the country is coming slowly but surely to her own as a delightful holiday ground for weary dwellers in Western cities, many of her valleys bring to the minds of those who know something of the country's story dramatic and romantic memories of the stirring events and legends which have through past ages become associated with their names.

Scarcely a valley, village, or townlet, whether set high or low in this enticing land, but has its own legend or story. And in almost all of the less travelled corners one finds strange, and to most travellers incomprehensible, dialects still lingering amongst the peasantry, notwithstanding the fact that gradually the Germanization of even the southern portion of Tyrol is being brought about. In one or other of these dialects which so survive, scholars and philologists of former times have thought the key to the ancient language of Etruria might be discovered; and in more modern days there has been the same hope expressed, but as yet it is unfulfilled. Müller,[7] for one, thought that in some secluded valley of the Tyrol or Grisons the key to the riddle in the form of "a remnant of the old Rhætian dialect might be discovered." Müller's hope has since then in a measure been realized through the efforts and researches of Steub, who, whilst travelling in Tyrol in Alpine districts in 1842, found some fragmentary remains of a dialect 54 approaching very nearly Etruscan, though not sufficiently full to form any very important or extended key to the tongue. His book[8] contains the results of the inquiries, tests, and deductions which he was at first led to undertake by the strange names of the towns and villages which he came across in his travels. Then he collected these, and we are told set to work "testing them with Celtic, but discovering no analogy he tried other tests, and with the Etruscan met with some considerable success," which was chiefly valuable, however, as confirming the theory and ancient traditions of a Rhæto-Etruria. Many of his conclusions, however, have never been accepted by philologists either of his own day or of later times; and some of the word examples he gives as having analogies are quite incomprehensible to the ordinary student.


To all intents and purposes German and Italian are the languages spoken throughout Tyrol, a knowledge of which will be sufficient for all ordinary purposes of travel. The former prevailing in the Vorarlberg and North Tyrol; the latter in South Tyrol and Wälsch Tyrol, though German is found in both of these districts, and in South Tyrol very considerably.

In the Vorarlberg, however, one comes across numerous words and expressions which are undoubtedly of Italian origin, and are remaining evidences of the periods when the Venetian Republic ruled over a district now a part of Tyrol. The Italian word gútto, a can or feeding-bottle, for example, has its counterpart in guttera; whilst from fazzolétto, a handkerchief, one has fazanedle; and from gaudio, joy, we have gaude; and from cappéllo, a hat, has probably come schapel.



A very considerable number of words of French origin or of marked similarity to French words are found in parts of the Vorarlberg. Gespousa, a bride, has a distinct 55 philological affinity to épouse; and au, water, pronounced very similarly, can be traced to eau, and is found common to both North Tyrol and the Vorarlberg. Shesa, a trap or gig, bears a marked resemblance to the French chaise.

Even England appears to have contributed a considerable number of words to the vocabulary of certain districts of Tyrol, though perhaps they are, more strictly speaking, words similarly derived from German or Norman French which have become common to both. In gulla, a gulley; gompa, to jump; datti, daddy; witsch, witch; and many others this is traceable. It will be gathered from these few examples that the language and dialects of Tyrol are composite of several tongues, as is almost always the case in countries which have seen many vicissitudes of occupation and development.


In Tyrol, which has experienced these and possesses such a large share of romantic beauty, and even nowadays some "solitary places," there need be little wonder that legends, superstitions, and myths are found nearly everywhere. Almost every village has its own, whose origin has been lost in the mists of antiquity, and whose date can only be traced uncertainly by its analogy to some other similar, more widely known, and more easily dated legend, tale, or superstition. Many of them enshrine actual events recorded and re-recorded with poetic license and varying accuracy, so that at last what was originally founded upon fact has in process of time become overlaid with much poetic imagery and fiction. To most of these tales and accounts of events each teller added something of himself suggested by his knowledge, imagination, or art; and thus ultimately what had once been facts became legends common to all throughout the length and breadth of the land till some one set them down in permanent form by writing or printing. Then the variations in a measure ceased.

Tyrol is full of these legendary tales, superstitions, and 56 myths, to which, indeed, the geological situation of the land and the simple habits of the people conduce. When we remember that in ancient times it was the universal custom to ascribe all manifestations of Nature's laws which could not be easily traced and understood to the supernatural, it is little wonder that the simple, unsophisticated, and uneducated Tyrolese should have so attributed many of the wonders amid which they lived. One very noticeable feature of the Tyrolese character is demonstrated by the fact that, notwithstanding the centuries of evolution during which superstition played so important a part in the life of the people, and the existence of an unreflecting belief in the supernatural, their many virtues, especially those of patriotism, industry, frugality of living, morality, hospitality, and religion, have not, as with some other nations, become impaired.

Amongst the many legends of a startling and supernatural character which are found throughout Tyrol, is one connected with the pretty little village of Taur in the Innthal. It has to do with a hermit who lived in the seventeenth century in a cell overlooking the Wildbach. He is often said by the countryfolk to have been St. Romedius himself, though this, of course, could not be the case. One night, whilst the holy man was engaged in his usual meditation and prayer, a tapping was heard against the little window of his retreat. Upon opening the door, what was his amazement to see, not the benighted traveller he expected to find craving his hospitality and shelter, but the spirit of his friend the priest of Taur who had recently died. The latter entreated the holy man to have compassion upon him, saying, "Have pity upon me, Father, for my sufferings are terrible. Once when three Masses had been ordered and the fees paid I forgot to say them, and now for this sin I am being punished more than I can bear."

Then the legend goes on to say that he laid his hand 57 upon the low-pitched roof of the little porch outside the hermit's cell, and the holy man afterwards found that the wood was charred and the impression of the tortured priest's hand was left indelibly in the wood. The poor suppliant begged his old friend the hermit to say the Masses, and to pray and fast for him. This the holy man promised faithfully to do; and keeping his promise, a year and a day afterwards the spirit once more rapped upon the casement and told him that he was now free of purgatory. In the chapel there hung at least a few years ago, and we believe now hangs, the tile with the mark of the priest's hand branded into it, beneath which is written an account of the miracle, with the date February, 1660.

In Wälsch Tyrol, especially, there are many folk-lore tales having a distinctly Biblical origin or suggestion. Possibly they are oral versions of Bible incidents handed down from generation to generation in the early years of Christianity and during the Middle Ages, until they have gradually in process of time and varied repetition lost their strictly Biblical character. One of the most usually met with (it is told by most Wälsch Tyrol mothers to their children, and is a favourite on account of its dramatic end, and because virtue triumphs) bears a very strong resemblance to the story of Joseph and his Brethren. The story runs thus: "Once long ago there lived a king who had three sons. Two were quite grown up, but the third was a child, and was his father's joy and favourite. One day the king, who had been out upon a hunting expedition, returned home from the chase of the bear and chamois fatigued, and dispirited because of the loss of a favourite feather[9] which he was accustomed to wear in his cap. There was a hue and cry raised, but no one could find the lost article. At length little (Joseph) came to his father and urged him to grieve no more but to refresh himself and then rest, "for," said the child, 58 "either I myself or one of my brothers will find the feather."

Then the king, pleased with the child, and doubtless hopeful that he would be the one to find the missing plume, said, "To whomsoever finds the feather will I leave my kingdom."

The three brothers set out on their search, and after much trouble the youngest suddenly espied the object for which they were looking. But the two elder men, consumed by jealousy at the thought of Joseph's inheriting the kingdom, led him away into a wood and killed him, and, taking the feather to their father the king, told him that they both found it and thus jointly claimed the reward. Regarding the missing (Joseph) they said that whilst searching for the feather they missed him, and suddenly looked up to see him being borne away by a bear into the recesses of the woods, and as they were unarmed it was impossible for them to attempt to rescue him. The king was consumed by grief; search was made, but the body was not discovered; and it was not until the proverbial year and a day afterwards that a shepherd boy came across (Joseph's) bones, and, taking one of them, fashioned it into a primitive flute or shepherd's pipe. The wonderful part of the story is still to come. No sooner had the shepherd commenced to play upon the pipe than it told, in the voice of the poor child victim of jealousy, the whole story. The shepherd took the pipe to the king and played upon it before him. The king listened, and, accepting the miraculous tale it told, ordered his two sons, who were present and struck with amazement and fear, to be instantly put to death.

There are scores of other stories of a similar character told during the winter evenings around the fire in Tyrolese huts and houses. Some have a family likeness to tales of our own land, such as Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Jack and the Beanstalk (only the giant is often replaced by an immense toad who guards fabulous wealth, that is 59 only to be obtained by killing the toad in single combat, which feat is, of course, performed by the poor boy who wishes to marry the Princess), Red Riding Hood, etc. An account of these, however, rightly belongs to a volume of comparative folk-lore, and for detailed description we have no space in the present one.


Of the many quaint customs which still prevail in different parts of Tyrol, those relating to Christmas and to All Souls are amongst the most tender and picturesque. In North Tyrol, more especially perhaps in the district of the Unter-Innthal, Christmas, which is called Christnacht and Weihnacht, is celebrated by the gift of Klaubabrod, a strange cake-like compound made of dough, almonds, slices of pears, and other preserved fruits and nuts, which, at least with the generality of foreigners, must, we think from personal experience, be "an acquired taste." The Zillerthal maidens are specially well-instructed in the making of Klaubabrod, and the one prepared for the family consumption, if the maker be engaged, must have the first slice cut out of it by her betrothed, who then kisses her and at the same time gives her some little present as a mark of his affection. In former days it was the custom of the Bishops of Brixen to make presents of fish to members of their household and to all in their employ. The fish came from Lake Garda, and was allowed by custom to pass through the dominions of the reigning Count of Tyrol and the Prince Bishop of Trent exempt from the toll which would otherwise have been levied.

In Wälsch Tyrol there is a curious Christmas custom still to be met with which consists of the arrangement, by the father of the family, of a number of heaps of flour upon a table or shelf. In these are hidden various little presents, and when the children and other members of the household have been admitted they take their heap according to the drawing of lots, or the result of some contest or competition. 60

The belief that animals have the gift of speech, which has during past ages been prevalent throughout Christendom, still prevails in some parts of the more remote districts and valleys of Tyrol; and strange stories are told of things said by beasts and over-heard by human beings which have come true, so that animals evidently are accredited also with the gift of prophecy.

At Epiphany, in many parts of Tyrol, performances very similar in character to the English old-time "mummers" are given. Generally three of the village boys dressed up to represent kings, one having his face blacked, go from house to house singing. Sometimes a Herod will appear at the window of the house and reply to their songs in rhyming couplets. After which the singers stand in turn and sing, and end with a chorus which contains broad hints that they would not refuse some refreshment were it offered them! They seldom or never fail to receive this, as usually some provision has been made by the hospitable village folk for the purpose.

The blessing of cattle on the Eve of Epiphany was at one time an almost universal practice with the Tyrolese. This, however, has been largely discontinued, although still extant in some hamlets of the remote valleys.

As showing the almost universal prevalence of certain ideas underlying customs, though often varying in details, one may quote the observance of All Souls in Wälsch Tyrol, which bears a marked resemblance to the beautiful and even more pathetic ceremonials connected with the Feast of Bon Matsuri in far-off Japan. In parts of Wälsch Tyrol, although the graves of the departed are not decorated nowadays, as is so much the practice in Germany, the parish priests gather their parishioners together in the churchyards and recite the Rosary whilst kneeling amidst the graves. In many parts loaves, called cuzza, are given to the poor with small doles of money, 61 and sometimes bean soup. In former times, however, these doles, which are for the refreshment of the souls of the departed, were actually laid upon the graves themselves, apparently in the belief that the souls would come forth and partake of the food so lovingly provided. Pitchers, cups, and other vessels containing fresh water were also placed so that the souls might slake their purgatorial thirst. It is in this latter and ancient, and not in the less symbolic modern observance that the analogy to the Bon Matsuri of Japan is so distinctly traceable.


Of the curious customs which once prevailed very widely, and are even now to be found in the more remote districts, those relating to marriage are amongst the most quaint. The month of May is, strangely enough, unpopular; with us the opposite appears to be the case. The favourite day is a Thursday. In fact, one writer ventures to say, "throughout Tyrol a Thursday is chosen." Monday, however, is the favourite in one of the smaller valleys of the Windisch-Matrei district.

On the night before the wedding there is usually a great dance given, and in towns often a hall is hired for the purpose, where the contracting parties are well known, in a good position, and have a large circle of friends and acquaintances; and in villages where the same circumstances occur an elaborately decorated barn is often used for the merry-making.

From the time the wedding is announced or the "banns" published the betrothed maiden is known as the "Pulpit Bride" or Kansel-Braut. These village wedding festivities are often rendered picturesque and even mediæval in effect, as the peasants frequently wear the costumes of former times, and the barn is lighted by pine torches or equally primitive methods. The dancing is kept up till early morning, in fact often until sunrise; and not till then do the guests disperse, some of the more favoured going on to the bride's house for 62 a substantial breakfast, or, as it is called, Morgensuppe. Whilst this is in progress the bride is usually attired by her girl friends (quite a number of them frequently sharing in this interesting and even exciting ceremony), and those who have not come in to breakfast may continue the dancing. One of the special adornments worn by brides is a knot of long ribbons or scarlet leather worked with gold thread, whilst blue bands, worn round the arm, and the hat ribbons are of the same colour. These were anciently thought, and are indeed still so, to have special powers to preserve the wearer from goitre and other complaints.

The bride's procession, which forms usually at about ten or eleven in the morning, is headed by musicians. But before starting the guests assemble round the table in the living room and drink the good health of the happy couple out of a large bowl from which the latter themselves have drunk first. The nearest relatives and friends of the bride usually form a kind of guard of honour, being known as "train bearers," although we fancy a "train" is seldom worn by a peasant, or by one of the lower middle class. These "train bearers" surround the bride, and, except in inclement weather, walk with their hats in their hand, and sometimes bear garlands of flowers. In some districts it is the custom for the priest to accompany the bride to church, not as with us to await her arrival there, walking on one side of her whilst the parents walk on the other. Orange blossom is seldom worn, save by the rich; peasant girls wearing as a substitute a spray or wreath of Rosemary, which it is also a common practice for them to do in Italy and Spain. The plant is considered emblematic of the purity of the Virgin, and for that reason highly valued.


Very frequently a Tyrolese bride wears no special bridal dress, but her holiday or fête dress, which has perhaps been retrimmed or additionally embellished for the occasion. This was the case at a wedding at which 63 we were present in the Unter-Innthal, where the bridesmaids also wore their picturesque festal attire, with broad-brimmed velvet hats, elaborately embroidered bolero-shaped bodices, snowy linen sleeves, short velvet skirts, and handsome aprons. Their shoes were mostly of black leather, some of those worn by the well-to-do girls being adorned by huge silver buckles.

On this occasion the bridegroom was scarcely less gay in attire than the bride. Clad in short black velvet knee-breeches, and wearing a green velvet double-fronted waistcoat, a black jacket, thick brown knitted woollen hose, a crown or head ornament of silver filigree work, and a massive silver belt with heavy bosses, he was not only a conspicuous, but also an almost theatrical figure of the procession. A priest also accompanied him, followed by the village innkeeper, who is not seldom the richest man of the community, owner of the largest amount of land, and the holder of a position somewhat analogous to that of a mayor. It is generally agreed that the Tyrolese village innkeeper is a man of superior calibre to his English counterpart. Usually he is a man of upright character, and superior intelligence to the average villager; and carrying on, as he frequently does, several other businesses besides that of innkeeper, he is less interested than in some other countries in the excessive consumption of drink.

At many weddings singers from neighbouring villages and hamlets will come into the bride's native place to assist with the singing and music which form a prominent feature of the ceremony. Lighted tapers are sometimes carried by the bridal party in church; and candles that will not burn well are always avoided and thrown aside by the younger and unmarried members of the company on account of the belief prevailing that to hold such is a sure sign that the bearers will not be married within the year. At the conclusion of the ceremony a cup of spiced wine mixed with water is 64 sometimes handed round by the priest after he has blessed it, out of which the guests all drink to the health of the bride and bridegroom to be. In the old name given to this Johannis segen (literally John's blessing) some authorities are inclined to trace a symbolism having its origin in the miracle performed at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee.

After the ceremony has been performed the wedding-party leaves the church, and, as is the case on similar occasions in Brittany and other countries, dancing almost immediately commences. It is sometimes, indeed, started almost at the church door, and thus the wedding-party proceeds to the village inn accompanied by musicians. In former times it was the almost universal custom in several valleys of Tyrol to proceed in turn to every inn within a radius of some miles after refreshments had been partaken of at the first. A very fatiguing custom one would imagine. Refreshments, we were told, generally marked each visit, and yet the real business of the day, the wedding feast, was still to come!

In ancient times—the custom has now fallen into disuse so far as we have been able to discover—it was also the practice to slaughter a fatted calf, which had been reserved for that particular purpose. Every possible joint and portion of the animal was served up in turn even to the head and feet.


At the end of a feast which even nowadays lasts hours, and formerly, so one old writer says, "consumed much time so that the whole day was frequently given over to feasting till few who sat down to the board were capable of much exertion," the best man or some prominent groomsman rises and asks the guests whether they are satisfied with the fare provided. It is needless to say that such a question is invariably received with rounds of appreciative applause. Then, in former times more frequently than nowadays, the speaker proceeded 65 to preach a little sermonette which generally ran something in the following style, and was little varied from occasion to occasion, or even from one generation to another. "The good gifts of which we have partaken are from the hand of God. Therefore should thanks be given to Him. And yet more should this be done for His mercy in making us in His image and reasonable beings, and not as the wild beasts of the field or crawling things, or unbelievers. We have but to thank Him and turn ourselves to Him in the spirit of humbleness and gratitude, and He will abide and go with us as with those at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee."

Other duties in life and aspirations were usually touched upon, and coming from one of themselves we can well believe the speech was listened to with additional attention by a race of people distinguished for simple piety and homely religion. The exhortation was usually followed by a loud saying of a Paternoster and a "Hail Mary" by all present.

Often this address is followed by other refreshments of a lighter kind than those of the feast proper. Some are of special design, and in their shapes and decorations have symbolic meaning, as is sometimes the case of wedding dishes and decorations in other countries. After this the guests bring forth the gifts they have for the young couple. Coming from a naturally generous and warm-hearted people these are often not only useful but valuable, and prove a great help to the newly established housekeepers.

Then, when the most exigent appetites have been more than satisfied, the musicians, who have played at intervals throughout the proceedings, strike up dance tunes, and the younger—and often older, too—members of the party indulge in their favourite indoor pastime—dancing.

Tyrolese peasant dances are many of them exceedingly 66 picturesque and quaint, if somewhat boisterous and lively in their performance. Both the men and the girls in one or two of them beat time not only with their feet but also by means of resounding thwacks on their thighs and hips. And whilst the young men, clad in gay waistcoats, black velvet or leather knee-breeches and high-crowned hats often of a delightful shade of green felt, are getting more energetic, their partner's short, full skirts during their top-like revolutions often ascend waistward until the extent of shapely and sturdy limbs displayed almost rivals that of a conventional ballet girl. Other dances of the waltz, dreher, and allemande type are more graceful, and less "romping" in character. Dancing is carried on far into the night, and it is a notable circumstance that although there is a good deal of eating there is not often excessive drinking on these occasions, and cases of actual drunkenness are very few and far between.

Several of the valleys—the Zillerthal, Iselthal, and Grödenerthal in particular—have their own peculiar wedding customs. And in several, as in parts of Germany, the old custom of stealing one of the garters of the bride whilst she is seated at the wedding feast for the purpose of cutting it up into mascots or souvenirs still obtains.


A love of sport of all kinds seems inherent to the Tyrolese nature; and this in conjunction with the pure air and bracing climate in which the people live, the strenuous struggle for existence with the forces of Nature which is always going on amidst the higher valleys, not only serves to keep the Tyrolese a hardy and vigorous race, but has much to do with the special qualities of industry, religiousness, morality, frugality, and straight-forwardness for which they have long been distinguished.

Their athletic festivals parallel those of Westmorland, Cumberland, and the Highland gatherings of our own land 67 and the sports are to a considerable extent similar in character. The most popular, however, are undoubtedly shooting at a mark, or Scheibenschiessen as they are called, and wrestling.

The Tyrolese gun, usually a short-barrelled rifle, known as stutz, has played an important part not only in the history of the nation, but also in the domestic life of the people. In many of the more remote valleys, in the past at least, it has deserved its name of the bread-winner, for upon the game shot with it many a household has largely subsisted; whilst from the skins of the deer, chamois and other animals killed, articles of clothing are made. To the constant use of the gun in all its evolutionary stages, from the flint-lock musket down to the more modern rifle of to-day, the Tyrolese owe their renown as being amongst the finest marksmen in Europe, a characteristic which has counted so tremendously in their various struggles with the invaders of their country.

Wrestling is popular throughout the Tyrolese valleys, but nowhere more so than in the picturesque and romantic Zillerthal. The champion wrestler of a village, as used to be the village "bruiser" with us, is a person of importance who would not barter the distinction for love nor money. The wrestlers are divided into three kinds, the "Roblar," "Mairraffer," and "Haggler," who follow the rules of different schools of wrestling. In former times this love of the sport, or perhaps one should say supremacy in it, frequently led to scenes of crime and bloodshed. Often in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries noted robbers and freebooters were those who had acquired great physical powers as wrestlers, and in consequence took to brigandage as a means of livelihood. Indeed, there are stories told of fair maidens in past ages having been carried off from their betrothed by force, when the rejected suitor (or perhaps the unknown rival who had set his heart on a particular girl) had killed his rival in a wrestling bout. To prove murderous intent under such circumstances was not only 68 extremely difficult but also somewhat against the "sporting" instinct of the race, and the primeval idea that the woman should fall to the strongest.

Bowling and the game of skittles are also favourite pastimes, and to the latter especially several romantic stories attach. Indeed, even at the present day one can find traces of the belief that the game is also popular with the elves, gnomes, goblins, and "little folk" who are supposed to dwell in or haunt certain mountains, woods, and streams, only these supernatural folk mostly play with gold and silver balls and skulls in the legends and folk tales one hears around the firesides in Tyrolese chalets.


There is a strange story in connection with this game and the spirit players attached to the now ruined and once strong and famous castle of Starkenberg, which was destroyed by Frederick with the Empty Purse in the fifteenth century.

Once, so the story goes, a pedlar was overtaken by darkness upon the mountain side, and losing his way, he came to the ancient schloss, in which he decided to take shelter for the night. He lay down on the grassy floor of the ruined hall, and placing his pack beneath his head went off to sleep. He slept for some hours and then was awakened by the clock of a neighbouring village striking midnight. As the last stroke reverberated amongst the rocks of the hillside he was astonished to see twelve spectral figures clad in complete armour file into the hall, and set to work to play a game of bowls, using skulls in place of balls.



Now it happened that the pedlar was not only a fine wrestler and a man of great physical strength and courage (otherwise he would scarcely perhaps have chosen a haunted ruin in which to pass the night), but was the champion bowler of his native village. So he offered to pit his skill against that of the spectral knights. His challenge was accepted, and in the end he beat them all, 69 and to his astonishment, instead of disgust being shown at his victory, his prowess was hailed with shouts of joy, and one of the spirits speaking to him said that now they were released from purgatory, and then they all vanished. Much mystified, the pedlar turned to see where they had disappeared to, when his eyes were greeted by the sight of ten more men in armour, who entered the hall by separate doors. After having carefully locked the latter they all brought the keys to the pedlar, and entreated him to try and discover the right one for each door. Nothing abashed he undertook the task which was a difficult one owing to the fact that each key, door, and ghostly visitant were exactly alike. He managed, however, to accomplish his task successfully, and was overwhelmed by the thanks of the spirits, who told him, as had their bowl-playing counterparts, that he had by this feat released them from torment.

As was to be quite expected, it was now the devil's turn to appear upon the scene, which he immediately did, roundly upbraiding the pedlar for having thus robbed him of some of his victims, and declaring that he (the devil) would now inevitably manage to gain the pedlar's soul instead. The latter was not to be so easily disposed of, however, and he offered to stake his soul upon a game of bowls to be played between himself and the Evil One. Needless to say that the latter was beaten, and when dawn came at length he fled away with a horrible rushing of his bat-like wings, and his hot sulphurous breath tainting the air, so that the grass was withered in places.

The pedlar was not likely to keep such an interesting experience to himself, and so when in due course he came to the village, towards which he was making his way when overtaken by nightfall, he told the tale. The villagers amazed went to the ruined castle, and lo and behold there was the scorched grass as the pedlar had declared.

It would be easy to quote other equally quaint and romantic stories which are told in connection with the 70 sports and pastimes of Tyrol, but that of the pedlar and the ghostly knights or men-at-arms must suffice. It will, at all events, serve to demonstrate how inextricably interwoven are the threads of legendary lore and romance, even with the commonplace daily life and amusements of this interesting people. 71



The approach to Innsbruck, whether one come to it by railway or by road from the west, north, east or south, is picturesque and even wonderfully beautiful. Most English and American travellers, however, we imagine, come to the old-time capital of Tyrol via Zurich and the Arlberg railway, with its marvellous tunnel all but six and a half miles in length, above which tower snow-clad peaks and glaciers. This route provides a wonder-world of delight, a succession of deep gorges lying at the foot of towering mountains covered on their summits with a mantle of spotless and eternal snow. At one moment the train traverses a steep gradient climbing slowly along the hillside as though the line were laid upon a shelf of rock from which nothing but a miracle can keep it from tumbling into the foaming torrent below; the next plunging into the darkness of one of the many tunnels, to emerge a moment or two later into a blaze of light and vistas of still greater beauty. The Arlberg railway is not alone an engineering triumph; it is also an artistic one. Few lines in Europe present greater charm or variety of scenery in so comparatively short a distance. To enter Tyrol by it is to see the country as it is, largely unaltered from the days when Napoleon's armies entered it also from the Swiss frontier with the same objective, Innsbruck.

Soon after leaving Feldkirch the valley commences 72 to contract as the line climbs upwards from Bludenz and passes through the beautiful Kloster Thal; and at Langen one suddenly comes into the region of Alpine pastures, and from the valley below one can hear the musical tinkle of cow-bells, and discover on the hill-slopes picturesque groups of peasants minding their flocks. Then comes the ascent through the famous Arlberg tunnel, which is 26 feet in width and 23 feet in height, with its six and a half miles of gloom succeeded by magnificent scenery as St. Anton is passed, and the line proceeds through the narrow Stanzer valley, between towering mountains, many of whose peaks are snow-covered. Soon it crosses the wonderful Trisanna Viaduct which, in one arch of nearly 150 yards in length, spans the gorge of the Patznaum valley, at the bottom of which, nearly 200 feet below the line, rushes the glacial stream, and thence past the ancient Castle of Wiesberg onwards to Landeck, which is set in a wide valley with its commanding castle.

From Landeck by taking a carriage one can reach Innsbruck in a leisurely way along the Finstermunz high-road via Sulden and Trafoi, and thence along the Stilfserjoch, the highest carriage road in Europe, which climbs to the height of 9055 feet above sea level. This was constructed between the years 1820-25 by the Austrian Government, and traverses a wonderful variety of exquisite scenery, from the region of the eternal snow on the Ortler and Monte Cristallo to the vine-clad slopes of the Val Tellina. The most impressive scenery is, however, found on the Tyrol side of the pass.

From Landeck the line passes many another picturesque village; castles, whose history would fill volumes, seem to stand stark and stern almost on every mountain spur, some now mere ruins, others wonderful survivals of a past age, sometimes environed by pine-clad slopes, at others half-encircled by rushing torrents washing the bases of the rocky promontories upon 73 which they stand, whilst above one towers on either hand the illimitable glaciers and snow slopes of the Eastern Alps. Thus through ever interesting and beautiful scenery one at last approaches Innsbruck.






Innsbruck is not only the capital of Tyrol, a town of upwards of 50,000 inhabitants, renowned historically and climaterically, but it is also the junction of two important lines of railway by means of which one can get eastward to Vienna and the East, and southward into Italy.

It has been said that of all Tyrolese towns Innsbruck is the least national. Such a statement, although tinctured with truth, needs some qualification. In the season it certainly puts on a cosmopolitan air, and one meets numbers of English, Austrians, Germans, French, Americans, Italians, and Anglo-Indians in its streets; and games and entertainments make up a social round of considerable gaiety. But the town nevertheless retains its native charm, bred of historic memories, ancient buildings, and the hospitality of its people.

To the northward, sheltering it from the cold winds from off the Bavarian plains, stands the bulwark of the eternal heights which literally wall in Tyrol. There rise the magnificent groups of limestone mountains towering above the fertile Inn Valley, the Frauhitt and Martinswand with their romantic traditions and memories, the Seegrubenspitzen, and Rumerjoch and Brandjoch. In fine weather they appear but a stone's throw from the bottom of the Maria-Theresien-Strasse, or from the Ferdinands Allée which runs along the south bank of the Inn, with its maples and poplars graceful and shady.

Situated amid so much beauty of scenery, favoured by an equable climate and much sunshine, it is little wonder that the town has become a popular resort, more especially during the winter months. The valley is at its broadest where the city stands, allowing a wide prospect and charming views from the slopes of St. 74 Nicolaus and Mariahilf across the river to the Berg Isel, and the wooded sides of the Mittelgebirge, with here and there a tiny village with outstanding spire perched high on the mountain side, or set amid the plain. The valley lies east and west of Innsbruck with the river flowing eastward like a silver ribbon, amid cultivated fields of fertile alluvial soil, threading its way through the gradually narrowing valley to Kufstein and thence through Bavaria to the Danube.

This Alpine city, pregnant with so many historical memories, deeds of blood and chivalry, engirdled by the everlasting hills, is, with the possible exception of Salzburg, the most picturesque and interesting of all German Alpine towns.

The character of Innsbruck of to-day differs very materially in some respects from what it was two decades ago. The modern element, which always comes to such places with greater notoriety and prosperity brought by travellers and tourists, has become developed, but happily as yet not greatly to the detriment of the old-time air which still permeates its narrow, ancient streets, and by-ways, courts, and buildings. In some of the former, the Maria-Theresien-Strasse at the south end of which stands the Triumphal Arch and Gate, and the Herzog-Friedrich-Strasse, for example, the old and the new are strangely mingled. It is not a little owing to this distinguishing feature as well as to its beautiful environment that Innsbruck owes its charm. With much of the convenience, it possesses less of the vexing artificiality of ancient places vulgarized by the exigencies of modern travel than do many similar towns. In some parts one might almost imagine one's self in one of the larger mountain villages, in another at Pontresina, or St. Moritz, minus, however, some of the more artificial gaiety of these resorts.


During the season—more especially the summer—there are numbers of German tourists as well as Austrian 75 to be seen in the streets, and in their almost boisterous enjoyment of their sight-seeing and holiday amusements they form a very marked contrast to the quieter and perhaps somewhat restrained English and American visitors, who as a general rule set about exploring the place and its treasures with a much more preoccupied and business-like air.

From the higher and more distant valleys, too, many mountaineers and peasants come down to enjoy a few hours' marketing or the pleasures of the town. They form not the least interesting feature of the summer crowd which throngs the new as well as the old streets of Innsbruck. The women, many of them, wear picturesque costumes, consisting of velvet bodices, skirts of often beautiful shades of green and brown; aprons elaborately worked, or of lace; and sailor-shaped hats of black or green felt, often ornamented by gold embroidery under the brims and with two long ribbons (frequently also of velvet) hanging down or fluttering in the wind at the back. These hats are singularly like those of the Breton peasants, only they are worn more by the women than the men, whilst in Brittany women seldom wear them.

The fact that Innsbruck is a garrison town accounts for the presence of a large number of soldiers about the streets; green plays a prominent part in many of the uniforms—more especially of Tyrolese regiments—whilst the officers of several wear a particularly smart shade of blue-grey, or "pastel" blue cloth with trimmings of cerise, scarlet, or green, which seldom fail to arouse the admiration of the ladies. The countryfolk, too, crowd the streets on market days with feathers in their hats which are often of beautifully "weathered" golden green or bright green felt.

The history of Innsbruck from the tenth century onwards is indeed largely that of Tyrol itself. The name as a town appears first to have occurred in a document 76 of the year 1027 which was a grant to the chapel of St. James' in the Field (St. Jacob in der Au), which most probably occupied the site on which the stately church of the same name erected in 1717 now stands. Long before this date, however, a settlement of people—small at first—had taken place at this crossing or ford of the Inn, brought into existence by the growing and profitable commerce between Germany and Italy by way of the Brenner. Both the travelling merchants and the Tyrolese themselves soon found the place a convenient depôt for the heavier goods and articles of merchandise, such as skins, wines, cloths, and metal ware; and as the years went by it gradually grew to be more than a convenient halting-place for the merchants and their pack trains on their journeys. Houses fit to accommodate the well-to-do were erected, and Innsbruck as a flourishing town came into being. Towards the end of the twelfth century certain rights over the town were acquired by a von Andechs, Berthold II., from the monks of Wilten to whom it belonged; and in consequence of these rights, Otto I., his successor, encircled it with walls, fortifications, and watch-towers, and also built himself a palace.

The rise of Innsbruck was from the middle of the thirteenth century a steady one. At that period it was made the sole depôt for the storage of goods between the Zillerthal and the Melach; and as the years went by other privileges were granted to the steadily growing town, which not only served to maintain but also to increase its importance.

In 1279, Bruno, Bishop of Brixen, consecrated another church in the Ottoburg, which was called the Moritzkapelle. The town's lords, spiritual as well as temporal, appear to have done what they could to foster and encourage its growth, and there are records of festivities and princely entertainments on a lavish scale within the precincts of the Ottoburg in those far-off times. It was not, however, until after the cession of Tyrol to Austria by the Duchess 77 Margaret, known as "Pocket-mouthed Meg," that the admirable situation of Innsbruck was fully realized. Ultimately, the convenience of its water communication by the Inn and Danube with other distant and flourishing towns of the Empire seems largely to have brought about its adoption as the seat of government for Tyrol.


Innsbruck throughout the centuries, so far as its rulers are concerned, appears to have been "fortune's child." Many privileges were granted to it from time to time, and the staunch fidelity of the citizens to Duke Rudolph IV. of Habsburg at the time of one of the periodic Bavarian invasions resulted in further concessions being granted which served to place Innsbruck in the unassailable position of being both the capital and the most prosperous town in the Tyrol.

Duke Frederick of the Empty Pocket (Mit der leeren Tasche) made Innsbruck his home and base of operations whilst endeavouring to put down the Rottenburgers and other of the powerful nobles, who were attempting to set him at defiance and continue the oppression of the countryfolk which they had commenced and carried on during the unstable and weak government of Frederick's immediate predecessors.

The Innsbruckers gave him loyal and very material support in his endeavours, and reaped a substantial reward in the favours and privileges which Frederick afterwards granted to them.

It was this prince who gained, by contact with his people when a fugitive amongst the mountains and valleys of Tyrol, a knowledge of them (and thereby earned their affection) that made it possible for him ultimately to call the peasantry to arms, and to defy the power of the Emperor Sigismund, Ernest the Iron Duke of Styria, and his other enemies.

The circumstances of Frederick's call of the people to arms was romantic in the extreme. Indeed, his doings in the early years of his outlawry by the Church 78 and State read like pages of the most stirring romance. Perhaps some of the deeds recorded are more or less legendary, but enough remains to fill to overflowing with stirring incidents the pages of any historical romance. Briefly the story of the event is as follows. Assured during his many wanderings of the people's devotion to him, for when pursued they had sheltered him, and when discovered they had boldly refused to surrender his person to his enemies, Frederick devised a plan by which he should appear as the principal actor in an heroic peasant comedy at the great fair at Landeck. This play set forth in stirring scenes the fortunes or rather misfortunes of an exiled prince driven from his throne by his enemies, compelled to wander destitute, and with a price upon his head amongst his people, whom he eventually calls to arms and leads to victory and thus recovers his inheritance.

He must have played his part remarkably well if one may judge by the results. The people, who had come to the fair from all parts of the country roundabout were stirred to the very depths by his acting, and by his pourtrayal of the imaginary prince's misfortunes. We are told the audience were many of them moved to tears and that when Frederick came to sing of the people following their ruler's call to arms the enthusiasm became uncontrollable.

Then, so the tale goes, Frederick threw off all disguise, and made a direct appeal to them. The vast audience vowed to support his cause, and the enthusiasm which swayed the Landeckers was not long spreading through the whole country with the result that shortly afterwards the Emperor Sigismund and Frederick's brother concluded a truce with him and he was allowed to become ruler.



During his reign he did much to show his gratitude to his loyal friends and people by curbing the oppressive power of the nobles, and granting many privileges which 79 were on the whole more for the benefit of the poor than of the rich.


But to many who come to Innsbruck we fancy Frederick's fame rests not upon his wisdom as a ruler so much as upon his extravagance in building the world-famous "Goldne Dachl" to the elegant late-Gothic balcony of his palace at the foot of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse. The nickname of "Empty Purse" or "Pocket" had been bestowed upon him by his enemies, who sought to belittle him when he attained to power. It was not certainly his by common consent. The Tyrolese account rather points to the fact that Frederick at one time had impoverished himself in his endeavours to relieve his subjects from the burdens of taxation, and in consequence the nobles who were no believers in his system of government in this respect bestowed upon him this somewhat approbrious sobriquet. Frederick saw in this a reproach not perhaps so much directed against himself as against his people in general. It seemed to him to indicate that his enemies thought those for whom he had undoubtedly done much kept him poor and would do nothing to keep up a state in character with his position as ruler. He therefore built the famous roof.[10] Outside the house which was then the Furstenburg or princely dwelling, now very ordinary looking and far less imposing and ornate in character than say the Heblinghaus hard by, he in 1425 erected over the two-storied balcony the "Goldne Dachl," on which piece of mediæval display of wealth he is stated to have expended 30,000 ducats or about £14,000. In it there are 3450 gilt upon copper tiles, which have several times since Frederick's day been regilded. The last occasion on which this was done is upwards of twenty years ago.

It is necessary, however, for us to say that considerable doubt exists whether Frederick—who is now supposed not even to have built the house—did construct the roof 80 which has done so much to immortalize his nickname. Loth though one is to destroy a romantic story, truth compels us to state that the most reliable evidence points to the Emperor Maximilian as the originator of the roof and probably the balcony also in 1500, after his second marriage with Maria Bianca Sforza of Milan.

The house has long ago descended from its high position as a royal palace, even at times of recent years having been let to private families or in apartments, but the famous "Goldne Dachl" over the beautiful oriel window, with its Gothic balconies, the balustrades of which are decorated with carved armorial bearings and shields in marble, has been preserved as a beloved relic almost in its original state. Within the house itself is a curious old fresco, the subject of which has been the cause of much dispute. On the second floor is an interesting sculptured bas-relief, depicting Maximilian and his two wives, Mary of Burgundy and Maria Bianca Sforza, with the seven coats-of-arms belonging to the seven provinces over which the Emperor held sway.

Frederick's son Sigismund succeeded him, and for a time kept a brilliant and gay Court at Innsbruck, but being without direct heirs he in 1490 gave up Tyrol to his cousin who, three years later, became the Emperor Maximilian I. Maximilian in turn did much for the town which he adopted as his Tyrol home, and by his residence in Innsbruck, after he had become the Emperor of a wide dominion, he did much to increase its importance and prosperity. He it was who built a new palace in the Rennplatz, called the Burg, which scarcely forty years later was burned down. The Great Hall, called the Goldene Saal, and the state bedroom, the decorations and furniture of which were so beautiful and magnificent that it was known as das Paradies, were eventually totally destroyed, many of the occupants of the palace, including the children of the Emperor Ferdinand of that time, escaping with their lives with difficulty. 81

Maximilian, who became familiar to his Innsbruckers as the "Kaiser Max," especially endeared himself to them by reason of his frank manners and love of the chase and mountaineering.


Amongst the many interesting mediæval buildings which have happily survived in Innsbruck there are several in the immediate neighbourhood of the famous "Goldne Dachl." One of the oldest, if not the oldest, is the Ottoburg of Otto I. standing at the end of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse close to the River Inn; and, indeed, only separated from it by the Herzog-Otto-strasse. This, the residence of the Andechs, was built in 1234, and was the reputed birthplace of Otto III. A quaint motto concerning it remains, which, roughly translated, runs—

"Here the Ottoburg firmly stands,

A house upheld by God's own hands."

In this ancient building many dramatic scenes of Tyrolese history took place.

Close by is the oldest Inn, the famous and deeply interesting Goldener Adler (Golden Eagle) to which, in former times, before modern hotels and conveniences were esteemed indispensable, every visitor of distinction to Innsbruck came. The "visitors' list" of the Goldener Adler is one long entry of nobles and celebrities.

Indeed, during the time it was the acknowledged resort of the nobility and even monarchs who came to Innsbruck, it sheltered amongst its many distinguished guests and travellers the Emperor Joseph II.; Ludwig I., King of Bavaria; Gustave III. of Sweden; Heinrich Heine, the gifted though melancholy poet; and Goethe, who came to Innsbruck with the Dowager Duchess Amalie of Saxe-Weimar in 1790. In commemoration of this visit a bust of the poet adorns the room which he occupied. And last, but by no means least, the Goldener Adler housed the patriot Andreas Hofer. It was 82 regarding the portraits of the latter, of his enemy Napoleon Bonaparte, and of Ludwig of Bavaria that Heine remarked on seeing them hanging side by side in the dining-room of the Inn that it was strange to see such enemies grouped together even though merely portraits. Tradition has it that it was from the middle window of the famous Goldener Adler that Hofer made his speech to the surging crowd in the narrow street below on August 15, 1809, when he entered the town in triumph after the third battle on Berg Isel. A copy of the speech, which was a modest though stirring oration, has been preserved at the Inn.

One of the most delightful vistas of the old town is to be obtained from the corner where stand the three well-known Inns, the Goldener Hirsch, Rother Adler, and Goldener Löwe; whilst from the balcony of the old Stadtthurm or belfry a fine view over the town and of the environing mountain summits rewards the adventurous climber.

The old-fashioned "lauben" or arcades of the Herzog-Friedrich-strasse in particular, under which are set out tiny stalls often kept by picturesquely attired girls and women, seldom fail to attract the attention of visitors.

On either side of the street these "lauben" stretch under the low arcaded roofs, providing not only a cool promenade in the heat of summer, but a shelter which on wet days can be fully appreciated, for, to speak frankly, Innsbruck in wet weather strikes one if one wanders in the byways as a somewhat muddy though intensely interesting town. In these "lauben" one frequently sees types of the older Tyrolese in the national costume, which in the towns of Tyrol (as in those of other countries) show signs of dying out. Old women in the short skirts, and picturesque aprons, quaint hats and bodices, of the mountain districts and villages, and the old men, wrapped (if the weather be cold) in long, flowing, cloaks of green or russet cloth, smoking their long pipes with painted 83 porcelain bowls, on which are often as not stirring scenes in miniature from the life of Hofer.


By way of these covered promenades one gradually reaches the busier centre of the town where the old-world aspect of Herzog-Friedrich-strasse gives place to the more modern Maria Theresien-strasse, and the Burggraben joins the Marktgraben. There are few more deeply interesting and picturesque places of its kind than Innsbruck Marktgraben on a festival or market day. Here, indeed, is a spot not alone for the artist and amateur photographer, but for the student also, who may see many quaint local customs and costumes, and occasionally even the boyishly attired girl cowherds of the upper pastures in their cloth or velvet knee breeches, short jackets, "sailor"-shaped hats decorated with feathers, edelweiss or gentians, and worsted stockings. Here, too, perhaps, one can better realize from the cosmopolitan throng of market people, than from anything else, the fact that for many generations Innsbruck has been the business highway for Italians, Slavonians, Hungarians, Austrians, and Germans. One can often, indeed, see representatives of Northern, Southern, and Eastern nations gathered together at one and the same time in the Marktgraben, with a sprinkling of tourists to represent the more Western peoples.

If we were asked to pick out the two streets which in different ways would probably most deeply impress the newcomer to Innsbruck, we should without hesitation chose the old-world Herzog-Friedrich-strasse, on either side of whose narrow roadway are so many interesting ancient houses, low-ceiled rooms, and picturesque courtyards, as one; and the Maria Theresien-strasse with its more modern air, exquisite view of the snow-capped Bavarian Alps as the other. But this latter fine commercial street with its up-to-date shops, upon the windows of many of which frequently appears that comfort-bringing (but alas! sometimes delusive) legend, "English 84 Spoken," is not without its old and historical buildings. In the Spitalkirche or Church of the Holy Ghost one has an early eighteenth century Rococo building of considerable interest. And almost opposite stands the house in which Hermann von Gilm, the well-known Tyrolese poet, died in 1864. A little further along is the Rathaus or Town Hall of Innsbruck, which was formerly the Oesterreichischer Hof, a large hotel. In the courtyard is a noticeably fine marble staircase, and there are some interesting and effective frescoes on the walls from the brush of Ferdinand Wagner.

Few visitors but are attracted by the column of red native marble which occupies a prominent position in the middle of and almost exactly midway down Maria Theresien-strasse. Surmounted by a statuette of the Virgin Mary, and with those of St. Anna, St. George, St. Vigilius, and St. Cassian grouped round the base, it was erected as a memorial of the retreat of the Bavarian troops on St. Anna's Day (July 26), 1703.

At the corner of Maria Theresien-strasse and Landhaus-strasse is the Landhaus of Anton Gump completed in 1728, and in the Rococo style of architecture then prevalent. Here are held the sittings of the Tyrolean Landtag which was formerly held at Meran, and on its transference to Innsbruck was one of the main causes of the town becoming the capital of Tyrol.

Close by is the church of the Sevites, with its famous dome decorated by the paintings of the well-known Tyrolean artist, Joseph Schöpf, depicting the death of St. Joseph and his entry into paradise.

The University, which stands in the street of that name, has undergone some considerable vicissitudes. Founded by the Emperor Leopold I. in 1677, it was, by the Emperor Joseph II., reduced to the standing of a Lycée, but was once more accorded the dignity of a University in 1826. In the valuable library of upwards of 75,000 volumes there are many illuminated MSS. 85 of great beauty and value, as well as a number of early fifteenth-century books. The adjoining Botanical Garden, which contains an unrivalled collection of Alpine flora, and was constructed by Professor von Kerner, belongs to the University, and here during the summer months those who wish to study Alpine flowers will find grouped and gathered together specimens which it would take many months and perhaps even years to study and discover on one's own initiative in their native habitats. The University is, however, about to be transferred to a more convenient home on the Fürstenweg near the Inn, and the old building will, alas! probably be pulled down and the site used for modern houses.


Quite close to the latter stands the Jesuit Church attached to it, which is chiefly interesting because of its being the burial place of the Tyrolese Prince Regents, and on account of the paintings by Albrecht Durer which adorn the sacristy. The Capuchin Church and Convent dating from the latter end of the sixteenth century are worth a visit, for in the latter one sees an interesting and historical survival in the retreat of the Archduke Maximilian, known as the "Deutsch-Meister," who here devoted a week in every year to prayer, fasting, and penance.

In his simple cell, which is panelled in plain wood, and has for furniture but a bedstead and chair of the most ordinary make, one can realize exactly the kind of "retreat" which was so often in those far-off days used by the highest nobles and rulers to free them for a time from the cares and vanities of State. The inkstand and other small articles of necessity, which still remain memorials of Maximilian's occupation, are supposed to have been his own handiwork. How complete this ruler's retirement from the world and whilst he was in retreat can be judged by the fact that he not only followed with exactitude the rules of the brotherhood, rising early and 86 also attending the night offices, but in addition he engaged in the manual labour of the garden, and field, and workshop like as one of them. The cell has a little window high up and opening on the chancel of the chapel to enable the noble recluse to take part in the services.

This cell has been in a sense a pilgrim place ever since, and has been visited at various times by many distinguished people. In 1765 the Empress Maria Theresa came to the Convent, and upon entering Maximilian's retreat sat herself in the wooden chair.

She was little used to so hard a resting-place, and after a minute or two she expressed her astonishment, exclaiming, "Heavens! What men of iron our forefathers were!"

There are (so far as we know) no relics of the Empress Maria Theresa's visit, not even an autograph; but another illustrious visitor, St. Lorenzo of Brindisi, who came to Innsbruck on his way to found a religious house in Austria, somewhat strangely one is forced to think, left behind him his staff, breviary, and copy of the Hebrew Bible, which are treasured as carefully as the relics of the Archduke Maximilian himself. During the reign of the latter the religious houses and Churches of Innsbruck all benefited by his generosity and prospered from his devotion to the Church. The effect of his example upon the townsfolk themselves was so marked that after the terrible plague of the year 1611 the burghers founded and built the Dreiheiligen Kirche (Holy Trinity) for the Jesuits as a thank-offering that the ravages of the plague were stayed. It was probably owing to the fact that, during this particular outbreak of the scourge of the Middle Ages, when the old hospital or Siechenhaus was all too small to hold all the victims, two Jesuits, Kaspar von Kostlan of Brixen, and the Professor of Theology at the University, assisted by a lay brother, tended the sick with indefatigable self-sacrifice, that the Jesuits were destined to chiefly benefit by the 87 Innsbruckers' desire to commemorate their gratitude to God, that the pestilence at last had been overcome. They readily subscribed the necessary funds (we are told), and the then Burgomaster took a vow to see that the building was erected. From the time of which vow, tradition tells us, "the pestilence at once began to abate."

An altar-piece, the artist of which was Stötzl, was given by Maximilian himself. It represented the three patron saints against sickness: St. Sebastian, who stayed a plague in Rome by his intercession; St. Martha, who according to tradition founded a hospital and spent the rest of her life attending to the sick; and St. Rocchus, who devoted his life and strength to the care of those suffering from the pestilence.


Some of the most beautiful roads and modern houses of the newer Innsbruck, which is increasing in area year by year, lie close at hand to this votive church, and to the northward, in the part of the town which is best reached by the Universitats-strasse and Saggengasse, alongside of which is the vast Exercier Platz, and at the back of that and nearer the river the beautiful Hofgarten. These never fail to charm the rambler on the outskirts of the town.


But there yet remain many other interesting objects, which the lover of Innsbruck and the visitor who stays for any considerable period of time are sure to gradually discover and enjoy. One of these is the National Museum, known as the Ferdinandeum, in which are gathered together objects, pictures, and relics forming, so it is claimed for them, an almost complete historical record of Tyrol, its people and its products.

The Museum, which is the resort of students from all parts of Europe, and is for even the casual visitor an object of the greatest interest, bears the name of its founder and patron Ferdinand I. Originally intended to illustrate in a vivid and practical way the history and national customs of the country in the various domains 88 of art, science, and industry, the collections have gradually been enlarged and expanded so as to contain examples of art by members of well known foreign schools. The present museum is a comparatively modern building, with a façade in the Italian Renaissance style. The ground floor was commenced in 1842, and the upper story added in 1886.

On the ground floor are some most interesting archæological remains, including several ancient Roman milestones from the Brenner road and elsewhere; burial urns from Matrei; bronze statuettes of Roman days from Brixen and Innicherberg; many ornaments of the Roman period from Meran, Moritzing, Zedlach and other places. From Salurn, in the valley of the Eisack, there are some Roman tombs, with the ornaments of the dead, and household and toilet utensils and articles of great value and interest. One of the most important objects in the archæological section of the Museum is the sarcophagus, arms and ornaments of a Lombardian prince disinterred at Civezzano, near Trent. The coffin was richly ornamented by gold bands, and in it was found a gold cross.

Zoology, Geognosy, Palæology, and Mineralogy are represented with remarkable fulness, and in the last-named section of the Museum is to be found almost every Tyrolese mineral discovered up to the present time. Some of the specimens are of great beauty and value.

In the Armoury, which so far as the general visitor is concerned, appears to be one of the most popular sections, there are many fine examples of the weapons of bygone days, including poignards, inlaid pistols, guns, powder-horns and flasks, helmets, breastplates, etc.



In the Topographical section few fail to notice with interest the many early maps of Tyrol, bearing on their faces the history of the country as is shown by the partitions of it which from time to time took place; and the homemade globes of the self-educated shepherd boy, Peter 89 Anich, who became a famous geographer. In the same room are some fine specimens of peasant costumes, musical instruments (including some Strads, Amatis, and Stainers of great value), the jewel case of the famous Philippine Welser (wife of Ferdinand II.) who lived with her royal and devoted husband at Castle Ambras for many years.

There are also in the Museum some deeply interesting relics, portraits, busts, autographs, etc., of Tyrolese patriots and distinguished citizens of Innsbruck. Those relating to Andreas Hofer, and his two loyal comrades, Joachim Haspinger and Joseph Speckbacher, include many of their personal belongings, and are regarded by the Tyrolese visitors with almost religious veneration—a feeling which the life—history of these men quite justifies.

Amongst the sculpture are some fine specimens of old carved woodwork and interesting German carvings of an early period brought from Tyrolean churches, which were either despoiled during the Napoleonic Wars, or have since for one reason or another been pulled down and their treasures and fittings dispersed.

On the second floor of this convenient and commodious building is chiefly gathered together the Art collection, which so far as native work is concerned is, we believe, unrivalled. There is presented for the information of the student as well as the ordinary visitor an astonishingly complete survey of Tyrolese painting from the earliest times, including the work of the schools of Brixen-Neustift, and the Pusterthal, with representative work by such masters as Andrä Haller and Michael Pacher; and also examples of the old Flemish and German masters, including Lucas Cranach, St. Jerome, Altdorfer, Pateiner, etc., Innsbruck painters being represented by Sebastian Schel.

Well worth the attention of all interested in painting and its development as an Art are the works of the Tyrolese masters covering the period from the seventeenth 90 century to the present day, which are well represented by pictures of the Unterberger family, Joseph Schöph, John Baptist Lampi, Angelica Kaufmann, Gebhard Flatz (Fra Angelico), Joseph A. Koch, Mathias Schmidt, E. von Wörndle, Karl Blaas and others. Amongst the more notable pictures of the modern school are the "Chancellor Wilhelm Biener at the Innsbruck Landtag," of Karl Anrathers, and the historical masterpieces of Franz Defregger.

It is impossible for one to study the latter nine in number, which depict patriotic events connected with the campaign of 1809, without appreciating the vigour of their execution and the charm of their colour, at the same time realizing something of the stirring nature and significance of the events to which they refer. Three are originals, and the remaining six are copies made by pupils of Defregger under his own personal supervision, and supposed to have in some cases been finished or touched up by him. The following are the subjects of the originals:—

(1) The Three Patriots—Andreas Hofer, Joseph Speckbacher, and Joachim Haspinger; (2) Speckbacher and his son Anderl at the Bear Inn, St. Johann; (3) The Innkeeper's Son. The last named is the son of the Tharer Wirth at Olang in the Pusterthal. The copies are of the following subjects: (1) Speckbacher's Call to Arms; (2) The Last Summons, the original of which is in the Imperial Art-History Museum in Vienna; (3) The Mountain Forge, the original of which is in the Dresden Gallery; (4) The Return of the Victors, the original of which is in Berlin; and (5) Andreas Hofer in the Castle at Innsbruck, the original of which belongs to the Emperor Francis Joseph; (6) Andreas Hofer being led to Execution, the original of which is in Konigsberg. These are all distinguished by beauty of colouring, strength of drawing, and dramatic appeal.

There are many other treasures in this Museum, which 91 is national in the true sense of the word. And amongst them is the fine and almost priceless collection of pictures by Dutch masters which has been principally acquired through bequests of wealthy Tyrolese. In it are examples of the work of Van Dyck, P. Paul Reubens, Paul Potter, R. Ruysch, Adrian von Ostade, A. Cuyp, Rembrandt and others. There is also a most comprehensive and valuable Library of works relating to Tyrol, and also the archives of both the Austrian and German Alpine Clubs.

Each year sees important additions made to the various departments of the Ferdinandeum, and so the returning visitors to Innsbruck find an ever new interest in the country and its National Museum awaiting them.


The remaining objects of supreme interest at Innsbruck are the Hofburg or Palace; and the Hofkirche or Church of the Franciscans. They are easily reached from the Ferdinandeum along Museum-strasse and the Burggraben, which may be said to form the boundary line dividing the old town from the new. The archway, through which one reaches both the Palace and the Church, formed, in mediæval times, one of the city gates; and in those far-off times was crowned by a watch-tower upon which the many escutcheons of the Habsburgs were emblazoned. It was taken down in the time of Maria Theresa, as its condition had become too dangerous to permit it to remain standing.

The Hofburg stands at a right angle with the Hofkirche to the north-west. Of the original building erected by the Emperor Maximilian not very much now remains; for after being seriously damaged it was ultimately reconstructed by Maria Theresa. On the exterior are traces of the original baroque style favoured at the time it was built; still also to be found in several of the larger, older, and more important houses in the town. The state apartments are chiefly distinguished for the decorative paintings of the well-known artist A. F. Maulbertsch, principally in the large salon known as the Riesensaal. It was in the 92 chapel, which connects the Palace with the Damenstift or Ladies' Home, that the Emperor Francis I. of Germany, husband of Maria Theresa, died so tragically on August 18, 1765, while the wedding festivities in connection with the marriage of Prince Leopold (afterwards the Emperor Leopold II.) with the Infanta Maria Ludovica were in progress.

It is not the Hofburg, however, but the famous Hofkirche—which has by several writers and antiquarians been called "The Tyrolean Westminster Abbey,"—that attracts most visitors, and has the greatest charm for all who are either interested in Tyrolese history or antiquities. This church was built during the decade from 1553-63 by the Emperor Ferdinand I., then King of Rome, as a memorial to his grandfather the Emperor Maximilian I., who was buried underneath the high altar in the Castle Chapel of Wiener-Neustadt. Tradition states that the building had been contemplated by Maximilian, and was ultimately brought into being in accordance with his will. The architect of the church, which is in the Italian Renaissance style, was Thuring of Innsbruck,[11] and the ground plan follows the lines of a columnar basilica. Lübke, however, states that it was the tomb and not the building which Maximilian himself planned in collaboration with Gilg Sesselschreiber, a Munich artist, who occupied the position of painter to the Court.

The first impression made upon the mind by the famous Hofkirche is one of lightness and elegance, wedded to a somewhat flamboyant decorative scheme, rather than impressiveness or age. The lofty and slender-looking columns which support the roof on either side of the nave are of red marble, and the ceiling itself is elaborately decorated in rococo. The vista on entering is extremely fine, including as it does the wonderful tomb of Maximilian, the organ loft, and the huge crucifix in the 93 centre, and the handsome pulpit on the left of the tomb. The impression of magnificence and beauty grows upon one, thus carrying out what was doubtless the design of the architect and the Emperor who was instrumental in its erection.


The tomb in the centre, with its imposing bronze figure of Maximilian kneeling with clasped hands on the top of the huge marble sarcophagus, at the four corners of which are smaller figures, at once arrests attention. The Emperor is in Imperial dress, with crown, armour, and a robe, and is surrounded by the twenty-eight huge figures which have become world-famous, and all save two of which were once torch-bearers, and are now seen with their right hands extended as though holding torches. The two exceptions are King Arthur of England, and the Emperor Theodoric the Goth. All of the statues surrounding the tomb are thought to have had some real or legendary connection with the House of Habsburg, and it is believed that Maximilian himself chose the characters who were to be represented. They may be grouped into two series. One consisting of his five favourite heroes of antiquity; the other of twenty-three ancestors, contemporary relatives or members of his house, both men and women.

The figures differ very greatly both in style and merit. It was perhaps only natural that this result should have been arrived at when one remembers that several generations were occupied upon the construction of this marvellous example of German Renaissance monumental work erected during the sixteenth century, and that it was necessarily the work of several designers as well as many different hands. The tomb is a wonderful, perhaps even unequalled, example of the German art of a period which marked the blending of the mediæval and the modern. To the Imperial designer of the tomb the chivalric figures he chose to surround it were no mere abstractions but living, breathing entities; just as the old feudal Empires 94 of south-eastern Europe were real. He was unable to realize that even then the old order was about to pass away, to be replaced by a new which was so divergent from that he had known, and of which he himself had been so prominent a figure.

The bronze figures, which twenty years or so ago attracted the notice of but few foreign visitors, but are now objects of keenest interest to all comers to the capital of Tyrol, are by several hands. The two of surpassing beauty of design and execution are those of King Arthur of England, and King Theodoric. They are nowadays pretty generally supposed to have been the work of Peter Vischer of Nüremberg.

These two statues have a particularly interesting history which has been brought to light of recent years. Though cast at Nüremberg in 1513, and costing no less than one thousand florins, it was not until nearly twenty years had elapsed that they reached Innsbruck. In the meantime, owing to Maximilian's need of ready money, they had been in the possession of Bishop Christopher of Augsburg, to whom they had been pawned by the Emperor. The Bishop placed them in the chapel at St. Lorenz, where they remained until the year 1532. Ferdinand I. then sent to redeem them, and they were delivered up on payment to the steward of the then Bishop of the amount which originally had been advanced upon them.




The statue of King Arthur is especially impressive and fine. Standing erect, the tall, chivalrous-looking figure has an alertness of pose which is astonishingly lifelike and commanding. It is impossible not to recognize the representation of a true ideal of knighthood "sans peur et sans raproche," and that without any suggestion of aggressive valour. The helmet worn is of the close-fitting type with the visor, which is enriched with ornamentation, raised so that the face of a somewhat Teutonic mould is plainly seen. The breastplate, worn over a coat of 95 mail, is magnificently worked; but the rest of the suit is plain. Arthur supports by his right hand a shield bearing the arms of England, and at his left side is a long sword.

The statue of King Theodoric, although fine in execution, does not possess the same impressiveness and commanding merit as that of King Arthur to which we have just referred. It appears probable that the same model may have been used for both. But, whereas King Arthur is a commanding figure, the pose of King Theodoric is rather a dejected and wearied one. His breastplate is not nearly so richly ornamented, and his helm is also plainer, with the visor of a quite different shape. As is the case with King Arthur, the breastplate is worn over a coat of chain mail, and the greaves worn are plain.

The remaining twenty-six figures according to some authorities were designed by Gilg Sesselschreiber; although opinion is still somewhat divided regarding this point. It may, however, we think be accepted that Sesselschreiber was, at least in part, responsible for the greater number.

The relationship which existed between the Emperor Maximilian and the Munich artist Sesselschreiber, who had been engaged as Court painter in 1502, was not untinctured by an element of romance, which is doubly interesting as showing the relative positions of artist and patron in those stirring and disturbed times.

Happily for lovers of art and antiquities the original designs for the statues surrounding the tomb of Maximilian which Sesselschreiber made have been preserved, and can be seen in the Imperial Library, Vienna. Exquisite pen-and-ink drawings delicately tinted, upon some of which the Emperor himself made corrections and suggestions in his own hand. These are distinctly traceable on some from the unskilled nature of the pen-and-ink alterations.


A curious fact is also brought to light by these 96 sketches. It would seem from them beyond question that Maximilian fully intended being modelled for the figure of himself, which was to grace the memorial, in the suit of exquisite silver armour which he had worn on the occasion of his marriage at Ghent with Mary of Burgundy.[12] Several sketches were made, one, apparently from the notes and alterations upon it, displeased the Emperor from a technical point; in another the face was not as he wished with the result that Sesselschreiber altogether made four or more drawings.

The care which had been taken over this most important figure was, however, never destined to be utilized to the full, for the statue was not even modelled at the time of Maximilian's death in 1519, and the figure clad in coronation robes (instead, as was evidently intended, entirely in armour) which kneels on the top of the cenotaph was the work of Abraham Colin, who had never seen the Emperor in life, the cast not having been made until more than sixty years after Maximilian's death.

How slowly the great work of this magnificent tomb proceeded can be gathered from the dates we have quoted. The delay arose from several causes; amongst others, from the Emperor's shortness of money, owing to the vast schemes of conquest, science, and other matters in which he was engaged; and from the circumstance that Gilg Sesselschreiber appears to have become lazy, intemperate, and dissolute. In the end he took flight to Augsburg in fear of Maximilian's anger. The Emperor, however, was not prepared to yield up possession of his Court painter without a struggle, so the latter was captured and thrown into prison, from which he appears to have been released in 1516 on promise of reform. So that he might be freed from the temptations which Innsbruck afforded in the way of wine, women, and boon companions he was compelled by the Emperor to take up his residence at Natters on the western side of the Sill Gorge above Innsbruck.


The casting of the statues was largely done by the famous Gregor Löffler, who established a bronze foundry near Innsbruck, and also built the Castle of Büchsenhausen, although some of the statues were undoubtedly cast by Stephen and Melchior Godl and Hans Lendenstreich who worked at the Mühlau foundry on the outskirts of Innsbruck. Although the designing and casting of the statues is now generally accepted as being the work of the men we have named, it is more than possible that the idea of the whole complete piece of mediæval and historical symbolism was that of some comparatively unknown brother of the Franciscan order. Originally the scheme was designed to include, in addition to the figures we have mentioned, twenty-three others of saints which were to be placed on raised pedestals or in niches, and were for this reason of much smaller size. They are now to be seen in the Silver Chapel. The following is a list of the large statues grouped around the tomb.

(1) Clovis, the first Christian King of France.

(2) Philip the Handsome, of the Netherlands, Maximilian's son. (1495.)

(3) The Emperor, Rudolf of Habsburg.

(4) Albert II. the Wise, Maximilian's great-grandfather.

(5) Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths. (455-526.)

(6) Ernest der Eiserne, Duke of Austria and Styria. (1377-1424.)

(7) Theodebert, Duke of Burgundy. (640.)

(8) King Arthur of England.

(9) Sigismund der Munzreiche, Count of Tyrol. (1427-96.)

(10) Maria Bianca Sforza, Maximilian's second wife. Died 1510.

(11) The Archduchess Margaret, Maximilian's daughter.

(12) Cymburgis of Massovica, wife of Ernest der Eiserne. Died 1433.

(13) Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, father of Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian's first wife.

(14) Philip the Good, father of Charles the Bold. Founder of the Order of the Golden Fleece. (1419.) Married Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV., in 1468. (1467-77.)

(15) Albert II., Duke of Austria, and Emperor of Germany. (1397-1439.)

(16) Emperor Frederick III., Maximilian's father. (1457-93.) 98

(17) Leopold III., Margrave of Austria; since 1506 the patron saint of Austria. (1096-1136.)

(18) Rudolf, Count of Habsburg. (1273.)

(19) Leopold III. the Pious, Duke of Austria, Maximilian's great-grandfather; slain at Sempach. July 9, 1386.

(20) Frederick IV. of Austria, Count of Tyrol, surnamed "mit der leeren Tasche."

(21) Albert I., Duke and Emperor of Austria. Born 1248, assassinated by his nephew John of Swabia, 1308.

(22) Godfrey de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem in 1099, wearing a crown of thorns.

(23) Elizabeth of Hungary, wife of the Emperor Albert II. Born 1396.

(24) Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian's first wife. (1457-82.)

(25) Eleonora of Portugal, wife of the Emperor Frederick III., Maximilian's mother.

(26) Cunigunda, Maximilian's sister, wife of Duke Albert IV. of Bavaria.

(27) Ferdinand II., of Aragon, surnamed "the Catholic." (1479.)

(27) Johanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and wife of Maximilian's son, Philip I., of Spain.


The cenotaph itself, placed upon three steps of red marble, is about fourteen feet long and six feet high, and is constructed of different coloured marbles. The figure of the Emperor on top with its face directed towards the altar, is a fine bronze casting by a Sicilian named Luigi del Duca made in 1584.[13] Slender columns divide the ends and sides of the cenotaph into twenty-four panels or compartments of white marble in which are scenes in relief (depicting the chief events and achievements of Maximilian's life). These are really marvellous works of art, not alone for their execution but from the care with which accuracy has been attained in the costumes, the architectural and other details introduced, and from the extraordinary finish which marks the whole of the work. Many of the faces are undoubted portraits of the greatest historical and antiquarian value, those of the Emperor at various periods of his life being remarkable for their 99 differing likeness. The variations of the national types depicted are rendered with the most painstaking care. The first four of the panels are filled by the work of Albert and Bernard Abel of Cologne, who began their task in 1561, after a visit to Genoa to choose the marble. They, however, both died two years later, leaving their work to be taken up by Alexander Colin, of Malines, in Flanders, who lived at Innsbruck for forty years, and died in 1612. Aided by a large number of other artists he completed the work of the Abels in a period of about three and a half years. Even the least learned of visitors will recognize the beauty of craftsmanship which so great a master as Thorwaldsen pronounced "the most admirable and perfect of its kind."

The delicacy of execution is, indeed, rather that of ivory than of marble, and it is not without good cause that these exquisite reliefs are nowadays protected by glass and surrounded by a railing in iron work of very beautiful design.


The subjects, a brief description of which may be of interest, are as follows:—(1) The marriage of Maximilian (then aged eighteen) with Mary of Burgundy at Ghent, August 19, 1477. She was killed whilst hunting by the stumbling of her horse, and was buried at Bruges, 1482. (2) Maximilian's victory over the French at Guinegate, in 1479. (3) The taking of Arras, 1482; the fighting men and the fortifications in this are worthy of special note, not alone for historical accuracy of detail but also for the marvellously fine execution; one woman in particular should be noticed, who is bringing provisions to the camp. This figure is a masterpiece in itself. (4) Maximilian is crowned King of the Romans at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1486. The scene is the interior of the Cathedral, Maximilian is seated on the stone chair of Charlemagne (a sort of throne) before the altar surrounded by his courtiers, whose dresses and those of the ladies high above in their gallery are a perfect record of the fashions of the period, so minute is 100 their accuracy of detail. (5) The Battle of Castel della Pietra, or Stein am Calliano, situated between Trent and Rovereto in 1487. The landscape background of this panel is excellent, and the Tyrolese are seen driving the Venetians with great fury before them across the Adige. (6) Maximilian's entry into Vienna, 1490, after it had been evacuated by the Hungarians, an incident in the course of the fight for the crown of Hungary after the death of Matthias Coryinus who had held Vienna for several years. The figure of Maximilian on his horse is very beautifully carved. (7) The siege of Stuhlweissenburg, the city in which the Kings of Hungary were crowned; Maximilian captured it in 1490. The horses in this tablet are worthy of particular notice. (8) The return of Margaret, daughter of Maximilian. This episode, which it must have required some courage to record among the acts of so glorious a reign, shows Maximilian meeting his daughter Margaret on her return in 1493, after Charles VIII. had rejected her hand for that of Anne of Brittany, whom Maximilian himself had intended to marry as his second wife. The French envoys hand to the Emperor two keys, symbols of the suzerainty of Burgundy and Artois, the price to be paid for the double affront of sending back his daughter and depriving him of his bride, Anne. (9) Maximilian's campaign against the Turks in Croatia. (10) The Alliance between Maximilian and Pope Alexander VI., the Doge of Venice, and the Duke of Milan, against Charles VIII. of France; the four allies are shown standing in the hall of a palace in the act of joining hands, whilst the French are seen in full flight in the background. (11) The Investiture at Worms of Ludovico Sforza with the Duchy of Milan. The portraits of Maximilian are well preserved and finely executed on each occasion that he is introduced, but in none better than on this one. The Empress Maria Bianca is seated on the left of the Emperor, Ludovico Sforza kneels before the throne; on the waving standard, the symbol or investiture, the ducal arms are 101 plainly discernible. (12) The marriage at Brussels, in 1496, of Philip der Schöne, Maximilian's eldest son, with Johanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, by the Archbishop of Cambrai.

The remaining panels show (13) The campaign in Bohemia, and victory of Maximilian at Regensburg in 1504. (14) The siege of Kufstein, 1504. (15) The capture of Guelders and submission of Charles d'Egmont to Maximilian, 1505. The Duke is standing with uncovered head, and the battered walls of the city are seen in the background. (16) The League of Cambrai, 1508. The scene is a handsome tent in the camp near Cambrai; Maximilian, Julius II., Charles VIII., and Ferdinand V. are meeting to enter into an alliance against Venice. (17) The siege of Padua, 1509, the first result of this league. (18) The expulsion of the French from Milan in 1512. (19) The second battle of Guinegate; known also as the Battle of Spurs, so called from the fact that the French were said to have used their spurs rather than their swords on that occasion, with Henry VIII. of England in command of the allied infantry, August 16, 1513. (20) The meeting of Maximilian and Henry VIII. before Tournai, 1513. Maximilian and Henry are seen both on foot. (21) The battle of Vicenza, 1513. (22) The siege of Murano, on the Venetian coast, 1514. (23) Maximilian treating with Vladislaw, King of Hungary, for the double marriage of Anna and Ludwig, children of Vladislaw, with Ferdinand and Maria, grandchildren of Maximilian, which event had as one of its consequences the subsequent joining of Hungary with the Empire. (24) The defence of Verona, made by Maximilian's forces, against the French and Venetians, 1516.

Maximilian's splendid memorial is well-placed so that its beauty and impressiveness is given full effect, and the spectator is able to consider it not only in detail but as a whole. As an example of sepulchral art of its kind it is unrivalled. 102

Of a very different character to this magnificent cenotaph is the tomb of Andreas Hofer at the entrance to the left aisle, wrought in Tyrolese marble by Schaller, of Vienna, and with a bas-relief by Joseph Klieber, of Innsbruck, depicting six Tyrolese taking the oath of allegiance to the National flag and cause. On either side of the great patriot lie his comrades, Joseph Speckbacher and Joachim Haspinger. Near them is a tablet inscribed, "From a grateful Fatherland to the sons who perished in the Patriotic Wars," with the date (1838) of erection, and the motto, "Death is swallowed up in Victory."


In the opposite aisle and reached by a flight of steps is the Silberne Kapelle (Silver Chapel), so known because of the silver statuette of the Virgin, presented by the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, who was Regent of Tyrol from 1563-1595, and the embossed representations of the Lauretanian Litany, also in silver, which adorn the altar. Underneath the marble steps by which the chapel is reached is a notable tomb, the work of Alexander Colin, with a reclining figure of Katharina von Loxen, aunt of Philippine Welser. In the chapel itself are the beautiful tombs of the Archduke Ferdinand, and his first wife Philippine Welser in marble, with effigies which are ascribed to Alexander Colin. The first named tomb is adorned with four scenes of events in the Archduke's life in relief; and the latter with two reliefs. There is also a notable life-size bronze figure of the Archduke kneeling, clad in full armour, with his face turned towards the altar, and his hands folded in prayer. These monuments in themselves are sufficient to ensure a degree of fame for the Silberne Kapelle with all who are either interested in art or historical memorials.

The twenty-three statuettes, originally intended as part of the scheme of Maximilian's cenotaph, to which reference has already been made, have been placed in the chapel without following any particular design or order of arrangement. They have a considerable interest 103 from the fact that they represent saints of royal or noble birth whose destinies, legendary or real, have been bound up with those of the House of Habsburg. They are frequently overlooked by visitors to Innsbruck and by even those who enter the Hofkirche; but, irrespective of their individual merits, they should be studied on account of having originally formed part of the scheme for the magnificent memorial to Maximilian.

(1) St. Adelgunda, daughter of Walbert, Count of Hainault. (2) St. Adelbert, Count of Brabant. (3) St. Doda, wife of St. Arnulf, Duke of the Moselle. (4) St. Hermelinda, daughter of Witger, Count of Brabant. (5) St. Guy, Duke of Lotharingia. (6) St. Simpert, Bishop of Augsburg, son of Charlemagne's sister Symporiana, who rebuilt the monastery of St. Magnus at Füssen. (7) St. Jodok, son of a king of Great Britain, wearing a Palmer's dress. (8) St. Landerich, Bishop of Metz, son of St. Vincent, Count of Hainault, and St. Waltruda. (9) St. Clovis. (10) St. Oda, wife of Duke Conrad. (11) St. Pharaild, daughter of Witger, Count of Brabant. (12) St. Reinbert, her brother. (13) St. Ronald, brother of St. Simpert, Bishop of Augsburg. (14) St. Stephen, King of Hungary. (15) St. Venantius, martyr, son of Theodoric, Duke of Lotharingia. (16) St. Waltruda, mother of St. Landerich. (17) St. Arnulf, husband of St. Doda, afterwards Bishop of Metz. (18) St. Chlodulf, son of St. Waltruda. (19) St. Gudula, sister of St. Albert, Count of Brabant. (20) St. Pepin Teuto, Duke of Brabant. (21) St. Trudo, priest, son of St. Adela. (22) St. Vincent, monk. (23) Richard Cœur-de-Lion. All of whom were more or less closely related or associated with the royal house of Habsburg.

The monuments which we have referred to, gathered within the walls of the Hofkirche, serve to conjure up for those versed in Tyrolese history many stirring, romantic, and tragic episodes. To this historic building was the beautiful Philippine Welser borne from Castle 104 Ambras to her last resting-place. And here knelt the Archduke Leopold V. at his marriage with the lovely Claudia Felicitas de Medici, whilst all the while there rolled the thunder and tumult of the Thirty Years' War beyond the frontier of Tyrol. And a few years later came Queen Christian of Sweden to make her abjuration of the Protestant faith on October 28, 1655. We read in one account of this imposing and impressive ceremony that the Queen was attired in a plain black silk gown, and wore no other jewels than a cross on her breast in which flashed five great diamonds of wonderful beauty symbolical of the five wounds of Christ. Her repetition of the Latin profession of faith after the Papal nuncio, we are told, was so clear and emphasized as to attract general comment. Not only was the Ambrosian hymn sung after the ceremony, but "the Innsbruckers celebrated the event of her conversion to the true faith by the firing of cannon and the ringing of the church bells." An ever popular ceremony which marked her stay in the town was the procession of the favourite picture of Tyrol, Cranach's Madonna brought to the country by Leopold V. Mystery plays, which are still popular in Tyrol, were also performed, and the event was made the excuse or occasion for much general rejoicing.

The historic Hofkirche has seen more joyful scenes and sadder than the renunciation of Queen Christian, for in it was held a solemn thanksgiving service on behalf of yet another Claudia de Medici, the Tyrolese princess who was chosen for his bride by the Emperor Leopold I. And here in more modern times knelt Andreas Hofer to receive the gifts of his Emperor, the medal and chain which were hung around his neck when he was made Regent or Governor of Tyrol.

Into this Hofkirche, which was destined to provide him ultimately with a fit resting-place, he also came to return thanks after his greatest triumph over the invaders of his country, on Berg Isel, whilst outside the church 105 the brave citizens of Innsbruck were acclaiming him Dictator, and cheering in a delirium of joy.


No description of Innsbruck, however brief, could be deemed complete without at least a passing reference to the famous Abbey of Wilten which stands on the outskirts of the south-western portion of the town. The present Abbey belonging to the Praemonstratensian Order was founded in the eleventh century upon the site where stood the Roman settlement of Veldidena. The Abbey and Church of that day, however, have been so frequently damaged by fire that during the centuries it has been practically reconstructed. The story of its foundation forms one of the most remarkable of Tyrolese legends, and exhibits in its incidents with extraordinary clearness the conflict taking place in those times between the doctrines of Christianity and Heathendom.


Certain authorities state that the Romans, when they entered the country, found a town already existing, which they adopted as one of their most important stations, and re-named Veldidena. This settlement, however, was, according to tradition, destroyed by Attila on his way back through the country after the desperate Battle of Chalons; but it nevertheless continued to be a largely frequented station in the stretch of country lying between the Po and the Rhine owing to the convenience of its situation and the existence of the famous Brenner Road. Afterwards came the expedition of Theodoric of Verona against Chriemhild's Garden of Roses at Worms; and we are told amongst those who enlisted in Theodoric's service and distinguished themselves at the taking of the famous Rose Garden was one Haimo or Haimon (now believed to be the Heime of "the Heldenbuch") who, after the expedition, came through Tyrol in his master's victorious train. This Haimon was a giant, taller and more powerful even than Goliath himself; and as he approached Veldidena he found barring his progress another giant named Thyrsus 106 (now identified as Schrudan) living near Zirl. This latter giant having heard of Haimon's prowess, and as his own supremacy had hitherto remained unchallenged, determined to force Haimon to fight him.

Theodoric's giant proved willing enough for the encounter, and scarcely, indeed, waited to be challenged. Thyrsus, although the bigger and more terrible of aspect, with a skin bronzed by the open-air life he had led, and his muscles developed and kept in condition by constant exercise, was not so skilful and wily as his opponent, whose every movement showed him to be a master in both the arts of attack and defence.

We are told that Thyrsus grasped in his hand a pine tree which he had torn up by the roots to serve as a weapon, and that at every movement of his the ground shook under his tread, which made a noise like thunder. Rushing impetuously to attack Haimon he found the latter cool and collected, watchful of his antagonist's every movement, and waiting patiently for the opportunity of striking a decisive blow. As the Titanic struggle went on, Haimon merely acting on the defensive, Thyrsus became weary, and then Haimon gathering all his force together fell upon him and slew him.

The story goes on to tell how a Benedictine monk of Tegernsee, passing whilst Haimon was still flushed with victory, stopped to reason with him on the worthlessness of mere brutal strength and all that he had hitherto deemed of value, and succeeded so well in painting the attractions of a better life that the giant was converted on the spot, and thenceforth abandoned his life of battle and bloodshed, and devoted his time and strength to the service of God. One of his first acts was to start building with his own hands a church and monastery on the site of ruined Veldidena on the banks of the Sill.

The legend tells us that he quarried the stone necessary for this undertaking with his own hands, and at last the day came when he had sufficient to lay the foundations of 107 the church. He found, however, that the work he did in the day was always undone at night, so that he made no progress. This, though he did not know it, was the work of the devil; who, in the form of a huge dragon, had hidden himself in a cave with the express purpose of thwarting Haimon's pious intentions.

At last the latter realized that he must watch and discover what happened. This he did, and after a little time one evening the dragon emerged from his cave, lashing the ground with his tail in his fury, and filling the air with the sulphurous smoke and flame which he breathed out. Great as was his strength, Haimon at once realized that he could not overcome so terrible an enemy easily; so commending his soul to God he waited with a brave heart. Soon dawn began to break over the mountains, and at the first glimpse of light the dragon turned and fled back to his lair. Haimon, taking courage at the sight, set off in pursuit, and by-and-by they both arrived at the cave in which the dragon was accustomed to hide during the day. The entrance was so narrow that when the monster had got partly in it was impossible for him to turn, and so Haimon, seeing his opportunity, raised his sword, and calling on God to strengthen him, cut off the dragon's head with a single blow. Then he cut out the tongue or sting of the monster as a trophy, and eventually hung it up in the sanctuary of the church. Nowadays one is shown at Wilten a representation of this dragon's tongue, which we are told was above two feet in length.

The dragon once dead the building progressed rapidly, and when it was finished Haimon, no doubt in an ebullition of joy, seized a huge rock, which he had quarried, but did not need to use for the foundations, and threw it with all his might into the valley. It was a good throw, for the rock, after nearly two miles of flight, struck against the hill of Ambras and fell into the valley, where it may yet be seen! Haimon endowed the Abbey with all the 108 land which stretched between its site and the stone at the foot of the hill of Ambras.

Now it only remained to colonize the monastery, and ultimately the Benedictines came to inhabit it, and here the giant lived amongst them a life of penance and good works, dying in the year 878. His body, so tradition states, was buried on the right-hand side of the high altar in the church. But although many searches have been made for his remains during the period which elapsed between his death and the middle of the seventeenth century, they have never been discovered. But the last search in 1644 was disastrous as well as unsuccessful, because it undermined a great part of the wall of the church, which collapsed. The popular belief in the two giants is kept alive by the huge wooden statues representing them, which are placed at the entrance of the church. The interior of the building is in the form of a basilica, and contains not only frescoes by Caspar Waldmann, but also some good pictures by Grasmayr, Busjäger, Andersag, Egid Schor, and other artists.

The Abbey of Wilten in those days was one of the three most important in Tyrol, and was not only the centre of religious, but also of the artistic life of the country, and it nowadays possesses some very interesting and valuable pictures.

One of the most famous of the old-time inmates of the Abbey was Petermann, once a lover of the licentious Margaret of Tyrol, yclept "Pocket-Mouthed Meg." After her abdication in 1367, Petermann entered the monastery to expiate the sins and follies of his youth. He endowed the Abbey with an estate, but he showed his business capacity by having an agreement drawn up with the Abbot setting forth the terms upon which he joined the brotherhood. Amongst other things he was, firstly, to derive benefit from all the masses said by the monks, and the good works performed by them; secondly, was to have two servants to wait upon him, who were to share the meals 109 of the brethren; thirdly, he, himself, was to have food similar to that served to the Abbot and wines from the monastic cellar. Apparently the arrangement did not, after all, fit in with the views of Petermann, for we find he afterwards insisted upon an increase in his food allowance to the extent of a capon, four fowls, forty eggs, and four pounds of butter, with sufficient hay for the feeding of his three horses.




The other church at Wilten (the Parish Church), which stands on the opposite side of Leopold-Strasse, dates only from the latter part of the eighteenth century, and was built as a secular church in conformity with the decree of the Emperor Joseph II., by Franz Penz of Telfs, in the Rococo style of architecture. On the high altar of the church is a very ancient and quaint Madonna known as "Mutter Gottes unter den vier Saülen" carved in sandstone, the legend relating to which is as follows: The "Thundering Legion" of Marcus Aurelius, when stationed at Veldidena about the year 137, brought this image with them, which they are stated to have worshipped, and on one occasion, when departing for an expedition to a distant part of the country, they buried it under four trees, and as they did not return had no opportunity of resurrecting it. There it lay for many years, until one, Rathold Von Aiblingen, after making a pilgrimage to Rome, where he heard the story of its burying and the place of its concealment, dug it up and set it upon the altar in a baldachino, which was supported by four pillars, where it has always been an object of much veneration. Amongst its many famous devotees was Frederick of the Empty Purse, who, during his wanderings through Tyrol with his trusty Hans Von Müllinen, when under the ban of the church, came and knelt before the shrine and prayed for a blessing. Afterwards, when he had regained his possessions, he attributed his success to the intervention of the Madonna at Wilten and caused a picture to be painted of himself and his esquire, in which they are shown kneeling at the 110 shrine under the protective mantle of the Virgin. This quaint picture is now hung in the church amongst many other curious and often pathetic votive offerings.

In the mortuary chapel is a rudely carved and painted wooden statue of Haimon holding the dragon's tongue in his hand. There are also some of Grasmayr's paintings to be seen in the church, and in the adjoining churchyard, from which one can obtain a most beautiful view of the valley and surrounding mountains, is the modern Calvary by the Tyrolean sculptor, Professor Fuss. In this quiet spot, crowded with memories of the dead past, one is able in a measure to conjure up pictures of the times when the Etruscan, Roman, and Gothic invaders poured into the valley by the Brenner Pass and overran Tyrol, and left upon the country and the people enduring traces of their occupation.

The Wilten Churches are both of simple architectural style, but nevertheless are effective and even impressive when seen amidst the environment of a beautiful landscape, with their picturesque, red-capped towers lit by the Alpine sunlight, and with their buff-coloured walls beautified by the stains of weather and of time.


Numerous as are the undoubted attractions of Innsbruck in early spring, summer, and autumn, when the encircling fields and mountain slopes are gay with Alpine flowers, and beautiful with the varied tints of the foliage of trees and shrubs, the town is yearly becoming more widely known and more largely frequented as a winter holiday resort, where what are generally known as "winter sports" can be indulged in to one's heart's content. Indeed, Innsbruck, which possesses one of the largest and most beautiful ice rinks in Europe, takes a very leading part in the Tyrolean winter sports. One of the town's most remarkable features is its climate, which, notwithstanding the proximity of huge masses of ice and snow, not only upon the summits of the towering mountains of the Karwendel, but also on the lower slopes, and in the valley 111 of the Inn itself, is a mild one, and the sunny days are many.

One of the most delightful Alpine experiences possible, for those who do not take part in the more active sports of ski running, skating, or tobogganing, is a sleigh ride on the Brenner Road to Matrei or even further, returning on the other side of the gorge of the Sill by way of Igls and Patsch. Expert ski runners find many opportunities for exercising their skill, the more adventurous and hardy making excursions far afield in the valley of the Inn. A very favourite ground for this pastime of ski-ing is on the farther side of the Sill near Natters and Mutters, where are to be found those immense plateaux of smooth-surfaced snow beloved of good runners, and a beautiful landscape forming a charming background. Expert runners, however, frequently extend their field of operations into the Karwendel mountains, or as far as the Kalkkogel in the beautiful Stubai valley.

Tobogganing has become not only a fashionable pastime amongst visitors, but also with the better class inhabitants of Innsbruck. And thus every evening when the snow is sufficient and in good condition, hundreds of tobogganers make their way of the heights of Igls and Mutters, where the best tracks are prepared.

Sunday is, however, the great day; and then the long runs near Hall and Oberperfutz are crowded with hundreds of bob-sleighs and tobogganers. The Hall run is famous throughout Tyrol. A road extends from Salzberg far into the Karwendel mountains, passing through beautiful Alpine scenery to Hall itself, forming a natural run or track some five kilometres (just over three miles) in length, with a drop of nearly 3000 feet in that distance. The Innsbruck Club, by means of a snow plough, keeps a run about fifteen feet wide clear. This track is to be soon further lengthened to the extent of two kilometres by carrying it as far as Lafatscherjoch, where several important races are arranged and held every year. 112

Winter sports are indulged in on all sides. Along the valley of the swiftly flowing Inn from Schwaz, past Jenbach and Brixlegg on to Kufstein, one finds facilities for those most invigorating of pastimes tobogganing, ski-ing, and skating. Even the children have their little home-made and often ornamented toboggans, and on the mountain roads and by-paths one meets with scores of youngsters emulating their elders and foreign visitors; whilst the frozen tributary streams which fall into the Inn provide fine skating grounds and curling links without stint set amid the delightful scenery, which had so much to do with the popularity of the valley of the Inn and Innsbruck as winter holiday resorts.

It is not without reason that many who come to the capital of Tyrol return again and again, finding in its life and movement, its historic buildings, associations, and art treasures material for study; in its climate renewed health and vigour.

The circle of snow-capped environing hills, upon which effects of cloud and sunlight ceaselessly pass, never palls; and in the ancient byways and secluded courtyards ears and minds attuned to the historic past seem to catch the echoes and see visions of stirring scenes, and the pageantry of long ago when knights and ladies and serving-men, and burghers in quaint old-time costumes trod the rough-paved streets. 113



Distant from Innsbruck about three miles by a shady road running eastward from Berg Isel, which forms a charming walk of a summer afternoon, stands the famous Castle Ambras on a well-wooded spur of the Mittelgebirge overlooking the wide Inn Valley, and with a fine view of the slopes and peaked summits of the limestone mountains which shut in the valley. It is a conspicuous and commanding feature of the landscape when seen from the latter, its yellow-grey walls pierced with many windows showing up against a background of dark-green forest. But on a fine summer day Castle Ambras is too bare-looking and insistent in colour to be entirely picturesque.

Long back, when the Romans held sway in Tyrol, on the site where the castle now stands was placed a fort—one of those outposts of civilization which that world-conquering power dotted so plentifully amid the hills and valleys of Tyrol. Ancient as this fortress was, it is considered by many authorities that even it replaced, or was erected upon the foundations of, a far earlier building dating from Etruscan times. The first castle, as is generally understood by the term, was that built by the 114 Andechs, who towards the end of the tenth century were one of the three chief ruling families in Tyrol. Indeed, until the Terriolis became Counts of Tyrol they were the most powerful of the three great temporal territorial lords, and previous to their extinction in the male line in the middle half of the thirteenth century had acquired vast possessions. They were a typical mediæval and feudal family, distinguished alike in the council and upon the stricken field. In turn it provided officers of the Roman Empire, pilgrims to sacred shrines, and to Rome itself, crusaders and religious enthusiasts who founded important and wealthy monastical institutions.

The history of the builders of the Castle of Ambras would fill many volumes with incidents of brave and noble (and sometimes cruel and ignoble) deeds; romantic episodes, which supplied the travelling minnesingers with themes for their songs; and records of stirring events, in which national as well as family history became entwined. Of them one historian has written, "they were esteemed upon earth, more particularly by the wandering minstrels who were always and at all times welcome to their hospitable roof and table, and beloved in Heaven to which they contributed several saintly souls."

On the death of the last of the male line of the Andechs, Duke Otto II., in 1248, the castle and the family estates passed into the possession of the Counts of Tyrol. Ultimately the former was purchased from the then owners by the Emperor Ferdinand I., and was given to his son, afterwards Ferdinand II., when the latter was appointed Regent of Tyrol. It always remained his favourite home, even when he became Emperor, and it was to this castle that he brought his beautiful bride Philippine Welser in 1567.


The true story of the love of the Archduke Ferdinand, son of the German Emperor Ferdinand I., will probably never be accurately known. But the event is indissolubly bound up with Tyrolese history. Not unnaturally the 115 idyllic and romantic circumstances surrounding the marriage have been much overlaid by tradition and the possible desire of historians to make this Royal mésalliance yet more astonishing. Therefore it is impossible to vouch for the entire accuracy of the story that has come down to us, which we give as it may be gathered from contemporary and more modern writers.


The meeting of the Archduke Ferdinand and his future wife—who was the daughter of one Franz Welser, a wealthy merchant prince of Augsburg in the middle of the sixteenth century—took place when the Archduke accompanied his father on the occasion of the latter's state entry into the city. It was whilst passing along the principal street that the former noticed at a window of one of the larger and more important houses the face of a most beautiful young girl, who, after having thrown flowers down in the street, on seeing that she had attracted his attention, blushingly disappeared within the house. It was apparently, so far as Ferdinand was concerned, a case of love at first sight; for, charmed by her beautiful face, he lost no time in discovering who she was, and, according to some authorities, saw her on several occasions whilst in the city. Afterwards he paid court to her whilst she was at Bresnic, in Bohemia, on a visit to an aunt.

Philippine was already betrothed by her father to the heir of the great and wealthy Fugger family; but fortunately for her and the young prince, Philippine's mother was a woman of much influence with her husband as well as the confidante and friend of her daughter. However, it was not an easy task to win his consent to the betrothal to Prince Ferdinand or for the proposed alliance with the Fuggers to be broken off.

Both the fathers were anxious for it, and Welser had never been known to go back upon his word or a bargain. But whilst the older men were engaged in counting their wealth, and congratulating themselves 116 upon the marriage which had been arranged with little or no thought of affection between those most concerned, Ferdinand had evolved a plan by which, with the assistance and connivance of Frau Welser, he was able to accomplish his design of carrying off her daughter.

On a day arranged, and at the hour agreed upon, the young prince, who was two years Philippine's junior, appeared beneath the turret from which he had first seen her leaning. A little distance down the street his horse was waiting. Philippine, after receiving her mother's blessing, and comforted by her approval, joined her lover, and fled with him to the chapel where the latter's own confessor, one Joann Cavallerus, was waiting to solemnize the marriage, with an old and trusted servant as witness. Another account states that the ceremony was performed at Bresnic by the same priest.

Ultimately, Franz Welser, to whom doubtless a properly carried out marriage with a prince had some attractions, gave his consent and benediction. It is difficult, perhaps, in these more materialistic days, to quite sympathize with the attitude which this wealthy and worthy burgher of Augsburg at first assumed towards his daughter's marriage. Then, with reputable merchants, not only was their word their bond, but in them was a strong element of pride which would not readily brook that they should be looked down upon even by princes. And doubtless it was this pride which was principally at the back of old Welser's opposition to Prince Ferdinand's suit. But the magnificent dowry that Philippine's father was rich enough to give her was one of which no prince need have been ashamed.

At the time of his marriage the Archduke was twenty-eight and Philippine two years older. The Emperor, of course, refused to acknowledge the marriage when he ultimately, some years after its celebration, became aware of it. And although we are bound to admit the story of Philippine's personal appeal to him to 117 forgive his son and her rests on a very shadowy basis, and is, indeed, rather traditional than historical, we give it for what it is worth.

The story goes that Philippine, distressed not only for her own position but for the trouble she had brought upon her husband by estranging him from his father the Emperor, journeyed to Vienna with her little children to gain an audience with her royal father-in-law in person. To do this was a matter of great difficulty, and though she ultimately succeeded, it was only by reason of her great beauty and her gentleness, and the fact that she had assumed another name. Then, after entering the audience chamber, she fell upon her knees and told the Emperor her own story in the guise of an allegory, saying that she was the happy and beloved wife of a gallant nobleman of great position whose father would not recognize her because she was herself not nobly born; adding that, hearing how just and good the Emperor was, she had come to him to implore him to intercede for her and her sons with her obdurate father-in-law. Having listened to her tale the Emperor, delighted with the grace, eloquence, and beauty of Philippine and with her two sons, told her that he would grant her request and would appeal to her father-in-law to not only forgive his son, but to recognize the marriage, adding that it passed his comprehension how any one could refuse to receive so charming and beautiful a woman into his family. Then, as was to be expected, he asked the name of her husband's father. And she, throwing herself once more upon her knees, told the Emperor that it was he himself to whom she had referred, and that she was the wife of his son Ferdinand.

The Emperor could scarcely go back upon his word nor could he stultify himself by denying the charm and beauty of Philippine now that he discovered who she really was; and won over by the courage and 118 persistency which had inspired her journey to Vienna to seek to approach him in person, he not only forgave his son but also recognized her as a daughter-in-law. Some accounts, although this is probably not so, state that he wished the marriage still to remain a secret, and appointed Ferdinand Regent of Tyrol, sending him and his wife to reside at Innsbruck.[14]

The Emperor's wishes were carried out, and it is said that it was not until her death generally known that Philippine was actually married to the Archduke. After her decease, however, the circumstance was made public and the Archduke was always accustomed to refer to Philippine as his wife. Of course the marriage was a morganatic one, and therefore neither of her two surviving children, Andreas and Charles, inherited the Archducal titles.

Four years previous to the Archduke Ferdinand's coming to take up his residence at Innsbruck as Regent of Tyrol he had acquired the picturesque and finely situated Castle of Ambras, and by many alterations and additions to the then existing building soon made it one of the most noted as well as one of the most beautiful residences in the whole country. He furnished it with great magnificence, and when all was completed presented it to his wife Philippine. Here they usually spent the summer months in a happiness which was not only proverbial but undoubted.

As have been several other rulers of Tyrol, the Archduke Ferdinand was not only greatly interested himself in art, science, and literature, but he sought as the patron of these to gather around his person and to attach to his Court learned professors, artists, and scientists from all parts of Europe. As a result the court of Ferdinand and Philippine grew from an artistic, musical, and intellectual standpoint to be a particularly brilliant one.



The character of Philippine seems to have been as pleasing as was her physical appearance. She is said to have had a fine, clear, though somewhat pale, complexion, blue eyes, and golden hair, although it must be added that existing portraits of her do not do her justice in the latter regard, unless her beauty was greatly exaggerated. In most of them she appears with a slightly oval, and more Italian than Teutonic type of face, with well-marked and well-bowed eyebrows, soft, but intelligent eyes, a straight nose, and a very sweet, and even in some portraits "roguish," mouth; but as a whole her face is not one of striking beauty, judging it by the standards of more modern times.

Philippine, when settled at Ambras, greatly interested herself in good works of all kinds, but more especially in the visiting and care of the sick, and the memory of her good deeds in this respect is still cherished in Tyrol. Her chief physician has set down the large number of sick who were at various times under her immediate care, and in the record one finds mention of ailing folk of many nationalities, showing her Catholic spirit in the relief of suffering. She even had her own dispensary at Ambras in the charge of one Guranta, who was a celebrated chemist of that time. Concerning her one of her biographers says, "She, herself delicate in health from early life, had a strong and ever ready sympathy for sufferers, especially those who were distressed in mind or circumstance as well as in body."

During the years she lived at Ambras she gained such a knowledge of disease and the remedies usually employed in those days that she wrote a book of prescriptions herself, which is now to be seen in the Court Library, Vienna. It is a most interesting volume, as it contains a considerable record of the effects of the remedies used; sometimes written by Philippine's own hand with remarks added as comments upon the success or failure of the treatment. 120

Philippine was in other ways also of a philanthropic and kindly disposition, and on many occasions girls in her service, or who were known to her, received the pleasant surprise on their marriage of a wedding dress from her; and there is still to be seen at Innsbruck a dressmaker's bill, the total amount of which is largely comprised of wedding dresses given in the way we have mentioned.

Although the burgomaster's daughter, according to her own confession, would rather have led a less exalted and more retiring life than that incumbent upon her by reason of her marriage with the Archduke Ferdinand, all writers are agreed that she ably and well adorned the position to which she had been called. Of her husband's great affection for her there can be little doubt. Indeed, it was so notorious that the Venetian Ambassador Michiele, when on a visit to the Archduke, reported to his Government that Ferdinand was never so happy as when with his wife, and in fact was never an hour away from her.

Philippine, in spite of her many social duties and exalted position, was an excellent and even an ideal German haus-frau. She was a clever needlewoman, skilled especially in embroidery; and quite an expert and practical cook. She might, indeed, be said to have rivalled the famous Mrs. Glass, as she wrote an exhaustive cookery book which displays a great and practical knowledge of the culinary art, and is, happily for the curious, preserved with her book of prescriptions in the Court Library at Vienna.

Nothing was too good for Philippine in the estimation of the Archduke. Not only did he give her the magnificent Schloss Ambras, Stubai Valley, and all it contained, several villages, and vast sums of money, but also the estates of Königsberg, Salurn, and Hörtenberg.


The Court at Innsbruck and at Castle Ambras was a gay one, and numerous brilliant entertainments were 121 given during the married life of Ferdinand and Philippine. Amongst the many fêtes which took place at various times one finds a record of one in the diary of James von Payersberg bearing the date of July 13, 1570, in which there is a record of Philippine having won the first prize, which was a silver gilt cup of great value, for shooting with a crossbow; whilst her aunt, Madame De Loxan, who on Philippine's marriage had been appointed as her Mistress of the Robes, won the second. An interesting circumstance in connection with this fête is that the gentlemen and ladies competed together in the shooting match, with the result that the former were defeated in the manner we have stated.

At Castle Ambras not only were there collected together scientists, artists, musicians, and many learned men, but also, as was the custom of those days, jesters, and "freaks" of various types, whose curious divergences from the normal have many of them been preserved in portraits hung in the Castle. Of ordinary servants, retainers, pages, etc., there was always a huge retinue entailing an enormous expenditure and a commissariat department of considerable magnitude. Philippine, although her natural tastes were so divergent from those of her husband who loved gaiety, sport, and the pomp of circumstance, by her gentleness, affectionate study of his wishes and great tactfulness, succeeded in not only gaining but keeping his affection throughout their married life. It is said that Philippine, whether the story of her captivation of her royal father-in-law's heart be true or not, was gladly and very generally received by the Tyrol nobles, who were distinguished not only by their chivalrous but also by their generally haughty disposition. Very friendly relations also appear to have existed with neighbouring courts, whilst Pope Gregory XIII. had so high an opinion of Philippine's religious sincerity and virtues that he sent her by special ambassador a beautiful and very valuable rosary. 122

Philippine died in 1580, surrounded by members of her family, and in the presence of the Archduke Ferdinand and the Dukes Ferdinand of Bavaria and Henry of Brunswick, after a married life lasting twenty-three years, and an illness of only a few days' duration. So beloved was she throughout Tyrol that general mourning was observed for some months, and masses were said in all the churches of the land for the repose of her soul. How great the affection borne her by the people amongst whom she came to live really was, is well shown by the fact that in many a cottage home in Tyrol portraits of her even nowadays are found.

In death as in life she was mindful of her people and of the poor; and when she had been laid to rest in the Silver Chapel of the Franciscan Church at Innsbruck, where her beautiful though unostentatious tomb, with its recumbent figure lying within a semi-circular arch and with a crucifix hanging from her crossed hands, is placed, it was found that in her will few of her household had been forgotten, whether their positions were high or menial.

The death of Philippine was a heavy blow to the Archduke, and for some months after the event he lived in complete retirement, seeing no one but his two sons, his Father Confessor, and his most intimate personal friends.

However, after his grief had somewhat spent itself, he set out on a tour, accompanied by his two surviving children; one of whom, Karl, became Bishop of Brixen and a Cardinal (died 1600); the other, Andreas, Markgrave of Burgau (died 1618), and the owner of Castle Ambras by the will of his father. This bequest was made on condition that Andreas maintained and kept the building in repair, and preserved the magnificent collection of rare MSS., books, pictures, coins, armour, and other objets d'art, and curiosities which Ferdinand and Philippine had delighted to gather, and in the possession of which they had taken such pride. 123

Eventually, in 1606, so that this wish of his father might be adequately carried out, Andreas disposed of the Castle and grounds to the Emperor Rudolf II., and by this means Ambras and its unrivalled collection came into the possession of the Imperial Austrian family.


Just two centuries later, owing to fear lest the priceless treasures should fall into the hands of the French and Bavarian invaders, the greater portion of the Ambras collection was removed to Vienna, and at first lodged in the Belvidere Palace from whence it has of recent years been transferred to the Imperial Art History Museum of which it forms a most interesting and valuable part. Thus was Tyrol robbed of one of its chief glories, and although at various times promises of restitution have been made they have never been fulfilled.

There are still, however, some interesting things left at Castle Ambras, including the valuable collection of Weapons lodged in the Unterschloss, dating from the fifteenth century to the present day (formerly, in the sixteenth century, it is said that the Armoury contained no less than five hundred complete suits of mail); the eight Roman milestones in the outer court, found along the road from Wilten to Schonberg, and dating from the time of Septimus Severus about 193 to 211 A.D.; and the collection of furniture, ivories, glass, and portraits, which latter include several of the Archduke Ferdinand and Philippine Welser, etc.

On the ground floor of the Hoch Schloss or "upper castle" is an interesting and well-restored fifteenth-century Gothic chapel, with some frescoes by Wörndle; and a bathroom, said to be that of Philippine, is on the same floor. It was around this little room that tradition wove the tragic story (since disproved and altogether discredited) of Philippine having committed suicide by opening one of her veins in order that her husband might re-marry with some one whose rank was more in 124 conformity with his own. For many years, for several generations, in fact, this tale was given credence, and was accepted by at least the common folk as exemplifying the domestic virtues for which Philippine was justly famed. But although Ferdinand's mother appears never to have accepted the position or to have become reconciled to Philippine, the rest of the members of his family appear to have treated her well, and, so far as history can show, there never was any reason for the sacrifice of her life she was for so long supposed to have made, in the interests of her husband's happiness and position.

The fame of Philippine Welser has outlived the centuries which have elapsed since she died; and the burgher of Augsburg's daughter was destined to become one of the most popular of Tyrolese heroines; and there is in consequence many a peasant home in Tyrol to-day where her portrait in some form of reproduction or other has a place with that of some favourite saint or even the Virgin herself.

There are several other traditions connected with this beautifully situated Castle of Ambras. One is that Wallenstein, whilst a lad and a page in Ferdinand's service, fell out of the window in the corridor which leads to the dining-hall and received no hurt, owing to the fact that during the terrible moment when he lost his balance he vowed to the Virgin Mary if spared he would lead a more serious and better life.

The castle, as did so many historic fortress-dwellings in Tyrol, gradually fell into decay; but when the Archduke Karl Ludwig, who was Governor of Tyrol during a short period in the middle of the last century, decided to take up his residence here it was thoroughly repaired and restored. The Art treasures, which remained after the removal of the main collections to Vienna, have been supplemented from time to time by contributions from the Imperial collections in Vienna, and in 1882 the Emperor threw open the castle to the public as a Museum. 125

Of the many interesting rooms at Ambras two never fail to arouse the admiration and curiosity of visitors. The first is the Waffensaal, in which there is a collection of armour and arms, which has a sixteenth-century ceiling painted by G. B. Fontana, of Meran, with astronomical and mythological designs; the second, the famous and magnificently proportioned Spanish salon, with its exquisitely panelled wood ceiling and walls adorned with frescoes of the rulers of Tyrol, from 1221-1600.

The view from the terrace, with its trellis of passion flowers and vines, across the Inn valley on a clear summer's day is one of great charm and beauty, and as one gazes across the fertile valley to the wonderful range of mountains that towers above it, the colours of which seem to change with every passing cloud, one can realize something of the affection Ferdinand, art lover and artist as he undoubtedly was, always had for Castle Ambras.


None who come to the castle should fail to visit the picturesque and secluded Tummel-platz or Tourney ground, which overhangs as it were the village of Ambras, with its ancient church and quaint frescoes of the Last Judgment. On this spot during Ferdinand and Philippine's occupation of the Castle many jousts and knightly encounters are said to have taken place. From the gay and chivalrous use of those and previous times the Tummel-platz has passed to a melancholy one as the burial-ground of patriots and heroes. It was first put to this purpose when the Castle was turned into a military hospital—which for a short time it remained—and afterwards as the burial-place of some seven or eight thousand of Hofer's soldiers who fell in the wars with France and Bavaria, from 1809 to 1810. Indeed, it actually formed part of the battle-ground of 1809.

As is perfectly natural, and in accord with the patriotic and religious spirit of the people, they have adorned the quiet and beautiful burial-ground with chapels, shrines, votive pictures, and memorials which confer upon it a 126 distinctive and impressive interest, and sentiment which few such places can show. As a poet sings—

"Near Ambras, on the upland,

In fair Tyrolean land,

Within a cool green forest

Full thick the crosses stand.

"There gallant knights in armour

Once met with spear and shield,

And from those olden combats

'Tis called the 'Tourney Field.'

"Long rusted are the lances,

But, as the breezes blow,

Old, half-forgotten stories

Like spirits come and go."

From Castle Ambras it is but a short journey by tramway to Igls, which is situated nearly a thousand feet above Innsbruck, but cannot be seen from the town. There are also two roads by which one may reach this little mountain village; one leading past Ambras, which is favoured by the less energetic of walkers, and the other, by which we ascended, much steeper, more picturesque and shorter. From Wilten it passes over the Sill Bridge and then ascends the Paschberg and winds along the edge of the fine Sill Gorge. When the little village of Vill is reached one seems suddenly to step into a fresh region of experience; one singularly different from that of Innsbruck, which, after all, lies but a mile or two away in the valley down below. Here as one comes in sight of the elegantly tapering red spire of the church one obtains an insight into the life of the upper valleys, and soon notices the Tyrolese custom of adorning the outside walls of the house with paintings, which, generally religious in subject, are many of them of a striking and even meritorious character as regards execution. In Vill none should fail to notice the painting of the Angel of Peace, which is over the doorway of a house in the main street.


One of the most beautiful walks hereabouts is that by 127 the path which leads down through the woods to Gärberbach inn on the great Brenner High Road, from which point Berg Isel can be reached on foot in less than half an hour.

Still climbing upwards from Vill and leaving the sights and sounds of the valley behind us we gradually approach Igls. Innsbruck and every trace of the wide valley and environing hills across it have suddenly vanished, and one finds one's self in the midst of wide extending and restfully green upland pastures, with a vista of the charmingly situated little villages of Natters and Mutters, across the Sill Gorge (which here is almost imperceptible) with their church steeples, green tinged and red turreted, shining in the clear Alpine air, and giving to the scene just that touch of colour which an artist loves.

It is possible in Alpine valleys such as that in which Igls nestles to more truly estimate the factors which make the Tyrolese such a home-loving and patriotic people; and to realize how the chief human as well as religious associations even nowadays—as they did in the past—cluster round the village churches which rear their slender spires Heavenwards almost wherever half a dozen houses are grouped together.

There are many splendid peaks towering above the picturesque valley in which Igls lies; amongst them the Habicht, more than 10,700 feet, Saile-Spitze, and the rugged Waldraster-Spitze, 8920 feet; and the lower slopes are well-wooded and beautiful at all seasons in their varied tints of green.

Igls has altered considerably since we first visited it, and it now has the aspect of a mountain health "resort" of a modest and unassuming type, with some good hotels, a post office, telephone and telegraph. It is little wonder, then, that this favoured spot should have lately attracted to it many visitors in search of quietude and fresh air. The clean air and pure breezes off the glaciers and snow-fields above, which, filtering down across the pine woods of the 128 lower slopes, come to one in the open valley not less fresh and invigorating but somewhat softened and perfumed, give it one of its chief charms.

The little church is of considerable interest, not only from its picturesque situation, but also by reason of the pastoral scenes which are painted upon its organ loft, and the many quaint relics and votive offerings to be seen in it, which are a feature of so many Tyrolese village churches. The mural paintings on the houses in the village are numerous and curious, some of the most interesting relating to the legendary story of the Heilig Wasser. In connection with this there is a pilgrimage chapel picturesquely situated, in almost absolute solitude save for the Inn, on the mountain side more than two thousand feet above the valley.


The church is built upon the site of the alleged miracle, the story concerning which is as follows:—Three centuries ago two cowherds were tending their flocks upon the upper pasture above Igls, when they were unfortunate enough to lose two young calves; and although they sought for them far and wide along the paths and amid the woods they failed to find them. At length, quite wearied out, and frightened lest they should be severely punished for their carelessness by their father, they fell on their knees and supplicated the Virgin and Saints to help them. Almost as soon as they commenced to pray a bright light fell upon them and round about, and the Virgin appearing beside them bade them be of good cheer, and told them to trouble no more as the lost cattle had gone home to their byre. Then she bade them drink, for their throats were parched with their wanderings. But the two lads, knowing there was no water near, exclaimed, "You tell us to drink, but where shall we find water? There is none here."



The Virgin made no reply but vanished; and as she disappeared from their vision there welled up, where she had stood, a spring of clear water from out the rocks, which has never ceased to flow since. 129

On their return home the boys refrained from saying anything about the vision or the miraculous spring, perhaps lest, notwithstanding the calves had been found in the cowshed as the Virgin had promised, they should be blamed for careless herding. But they never failed, when passing by the spring, to offer up a prayer of gratitude.

Many years passed and the two cowherds not only grew to man's estate but became old and infirm, needing the assistance of others to look after their flocks. One of the two was aided by the deaf and dumb son of a neighbour, and one day, as the old man and boy were passing the spring, the former knelt down and prayed and drank of the water. The boy seeing him do this did likewise, and lo and behold he found his tongue miraculously loosened, and afterwards spoke as clearly as any other.

The fame of the miracle spread abroad, and was readily believed by the people of the valley. Then the two old men told their own experience, and soon a chapel was built on the spot to which through the centuries many devout pilgrims as well as many curious visitors have journeyed.

Amid the woods by which Igls is surrounded, and along the fertile valley in which the village stands, are many charming walks, and yearly the place is becoming more resorted to by those who appreciate the lovely and bracing mountain air, and a very pleasant form of what has become known as the "simple life."

To the south-west of Igls and south of Innsbruck across the Sill is the lovely Stubai Valley, the beauty of which almost challenges that of the Oetzthal. Like the latter this valley is also verily the gate to the land of snow-fields and glaciers, of which there are upwards of eighty within its confines and hard by. The Stubai Thal is a combination of scenery of widely different character. Within a radius of a few miles, towering above 130 its green and peaceful pastures, at least two score of magnificent peaks rear their heads skyward, none of which fall far short of (whilst many exceed) 10,000 feet in altitude. The lower portion of the valley is reminiscent of the far-famed, music-loving Zillerthal, with its dark-green pine forests, fertile meadows, and villages perched here and there on the slopes of the mountains, or nestling in the valley itself around the white-walled churches. This kind of scenery extends some little way beyond the village of Neustift, which is the last in the valley having a church, and then one seems to at once pass into a mysterious, wonderful, and fascinating region, where the legendary gnomes and ice-maidens of Tyrolean folk-tales and lore must surely dwell in caverns and habitations of perpetual ice and snow.

Though there is a good mountain road winding up the hillside above Wilten, which in former times served the picturesque villages Natters, Mutters, Kreith, and Telfes, most travellers nowadays use the electric railway (the first made in Tyrol) for the journey to Fulpmes, which lies about half-way to Neustift and is rapidly becoming a favourite excursion resort for Innsbruck people.

The railway (although it has been called a "toy" one) presents considerable features of interest to the engineer, and elements of apparent—but not actual—danger to the timorous. At least, one lady we know who had made the upward journey, had been across the slender viaduct supported on tapering piers, and had been whirled round curves of astonishing "sharpness," refused—until the distance by road had been pointed out to her—to return the same way. But there is in reality no risk on the Stubai Bahn, only an element of pleasant excitement, and the charm of wonderful scenery; and the latter is so beautiful and the little saloon cars so well adapted for viewing that few will, after all, we think, regret travelling to Fulpmes by train 131 instead of a-foot or by carriage. The place was formerly celebrated for its iron and steel works; the articles made finding their way not only to Austria, but also to Germany and Italy; and although of late years the trade appears to have somewhat declined, it is still considerable and of interest to the curious who can watch the skilful artisans at work. The village is most picturesquely situated, and in the church there are some paintings by a local peasant girl quite worth seeing. Fulpmes forms an excellent centre from which to make excursions in the upper portions of the lovely valley, and amid the wooded slopes of the environing mountains. In summer there is the additional charm of the wealth of beautiful wild flowers which gem the fields, and spread like a many-coloured carpet of glowing tints beneath the shadow-casting and sombre pines.






At Schonberg, south of Igls, and on the opposite bank of the Sill, standing nearly 3500 feet above sea level, one obtains a most widely-extended and panoramic view of the Stubai Valley and its villages. And as one stands in the Alpine observatory near the "Jagerhof," one is able to realize the full beauty of the valley, and the wonder of the mountain summits, including the Serles Spitz (also known in Innsbruck as the Waldraster Spitz), whose rugged peaks remind one of those giants in the Dolomites.

But perhaps one of the most strange and interesting natural phenomena in all Tyrol is to be seen from Schonberg when the snow-fields, which in winter completely cover the mountain tops on every hand, begin to melt. Then gradually there appear in different parts of the upper slopes of the mountain ranges dark spots which, framed in unmelted snow, at last assume the appearance of silhouettes of gigantic size. On the peaks away above Innsbruck are slowly formed the figures of two women who appear to be fighting, and whose noses as the snow melts become more hooked 132 and longer each day; on the Solstein a priest is seen carrying an aspergillus in his hand, whilst on the Arzletscharte appears the most complete "picture" of them all, known as the "Falconer." This, a silhouette of remarkable vividness, depicts a youth dressed in a page's costume, adorned with a hat and plumes, and carrying on his left arm a falcon unhooded for flight. As the snow melts the figure loses its pristine slimness and assumes the form of a corpulent man, until at last it entirely disappears. On the side of the Patscherkofel is seen the figure of an old hunter with his dog; which, however, owing to the rapid melting of the snow when once a thaw commences, is only visible for a short time. Indeed, a few hours after we first saw it, for the reason we have given, the change was so great that the outline was almost destroyed.

Hall, from time immemorial famous for its salt mines, is well worth a visit. Lying on the north or opposite side of the Inn to Igls, and to the east of Innsbruck, it can be reached either by the prosaic post-road which traverses the Valley, or from Igls by the beautiful Ellbögen road—a branch of the Brenner road dating from Roman times—passing over the Mittelgebirge and through Igls, Lans, Aldrans, Ampass, across the bridge over the Inn to Hall, which is somewhat longer. Equally picturesque, perhaps one might say even more so, is yet another road (the one we preferred) which skirts the lower slopes of the towering peaks of the Bavarian Alps, and passes through the villages of Arzl, Rum, and Thaur. There are also the alternatives of the Brenner railway, and the tramway for those who are poor walkers or are pressed for time.


From Mühlau onwards one has most exquisite views of the broad and fertile valley, and the magnificent mountains which tower above the wooded slopes, swelling gently upward from the Inn, in wild and craggy peaks of rugged beauty. This walk is rendered additionally attractive and picturesque for all who are interested in 133 folk-lore, or who are able to enter into the legend and religion of the people, by the pilgrimage chapels which are found along the route. One of the most charming of these in all Tyrol is that of Arzl, which, standing on a wooded knoll, is brilliant with colour, a gem of its kind in a charming setting of dark green. The little church of Maria Loreto built by the religiously inclined Anna Katharina Gonzaga, second wife of Ferdinand II., was once a famous pilgrimage place, but of late years has been much less resorted to than formerly. The interior is, however, well worth inspection. The wood carvings and iron work are both interesting, as are also the old engravings which hang upon the walls, and the curious black Virgin and Child upon the Altar.

Arzl, Rum, and Thaur are all picturesquely situated, nestling as they do on the lower slopes of the great limestone peaks, the first named standing at the foot of the Burgstall which rises majestically to a height of nearly three thousand five hundred feet. Many of the houses in these three villages are most elaborately decorated with mural paintings; in some instances the whole of the fronts are so adorned, and often masses of corn hang on trellis work on the walls. The effect of the brilliant tints of the paintings and the coloured window frames gives an additionally picturesque air to the little villages. Seen in summer the gay effect is perhaps a little neutralized, but in winter, when the landscape is more cheerless and there is a background of snow and grey-green rocks, the picture formed is a unique and wonderfully cheering one.

Concerning Thaur, where so many houses have either a painting or an image of a man with a bear upon their fronts, there is a legend of St. Romedius, who centuries ago came riding into the village blessed with a keen appetite gained by exercise in the invigorating mountain air. Whilst the saint was engaged in satisfying his hunger, a wandering bear, so the legend goes, was so 134 impressed with the holy man's accomplishment in this respect that he promptly (for want of other food) emulated it by eating Romedius' horse. On coming out to renew his journey the Saint was astounded at the disappearance of his steed. He, however, seems to have guessed what had happened, and forthwith preached the bear such a sermon upon his iniquitous conduct that he was not only moved to penitence, but also sought to make amends by offering himself as a substitute for the Saint's former steed.

Although the proposal might appear to us as accompanied with some considerable risk when the bear once more became hungry, the Saint accepted it, and ultimately set forth on his strange steed to a cave in the mountains north of Thaur, where they lived for some considerable time without mishap. One day, however, as the holy man slept, a troublesome fly came buzzing round his head, and the sleeper failed to drive it away, with the result that the bear (who we are told had all this time watched over his master with great solicitude) came to the rescue and sought to get rid of it; however, without success. The fly returned again and again to the charge, and the bear in desperation aiming a blow at the fly, alas! struck and killed the Saint. This time the grief of the bear was, of course, of no avail, so he would eat nothing and gradually pined away, ultimately dying of hunger.

This story, though it has its comical side, is not, however, held to be disrespectful to the life and character of Romedius, who is one of the best esteemed Tyrolese saints. It appears more than probable, however, that Romedius (whether killed by his companion the bear or not) actually died in the Nonsthal, South Tyrol, where there are, strange to say, villages of somewhat similar names to those we have mentioned, namely, Torro, Rumo, and Arz.




Hall, which is one of the most picturesque, busy, 135 and interesting little towns in the neighbourhood of Innsbruck, with some 6000 inhabitants, dates from the time of the Roman occupation of Tyrol. By the well-known historian, Beda Weber, the name is stated to have been derived from the Greek word ἁλός, salt; the reason for such derivation from an unlikely language he does not, however, in any way seek to explain. As one enters the town one is at once struck by the strange and quaint mingling of the picturesque with the utilitarian, the rural with the mediæval. Long before one reaches the town one sees in the distance the greenish copper cupolas of the Pfaarkirche or Parish Church which has so fine a Gothic portal and interesting relics, around whose walls shops are grouped; and rising above the other less lofty and less time-mellowed buildings, the massive Gothic tower known as the Münsterturm with its red "pepper-box" roof of Roman origin, although the present tower was built by Duke Sigismund, the famous son of Frederick of the Empty Purse. A steeply ascending street leads to the market square, in which the Pfaarkirche and Rathaus stand opposite each other. And in this and contiguous streets there are many quaint balconies, gabled roofs, and old-time architectural features to interest and charm the artist and antiquarian visitor.

Although Hall has somewhat declined as a commercial centre with the rise of its big neighbour, Innsbruck, it is still a place of considerable activity on account, chiefly, of the famous salt mines. In former times these and its position on the banks of the Inn (then much more navigable) gave the place importance under the rule of the Counts of Tyrol, and the earlier of the Austrian princes; many barges and boats from the Danube itself in former times making their way into the Inn and thence to the flourishing town of Hall. The salt works still remain its principal industry. Hall is, as things go in Tyrol, a distinctly smoky town; but it is seldom that the smoke hangs in the clear and fresh Alpine air which 136 sweeps along the Inn valley down from the environing hills.

The Münsterturm, mint tower, which, as we have said, is so prominent an object on approaching the town, is of historical interest from the fact that it was built to enable Duke Sigismund, known as the Rich, to turn into coin his great store of silver taken from the Tyrol mountains. It was from this tower, too, that Andreas Hofer issued his Kreuzer and twenty Kreuzer pieces during the period of his brief dictatorship.

As was the case with many another Tyrolean town, Hall suffered in the past from the calamities which afflicted so many similar places in the Middle Ages. It was swept in turn by fire, sword, and pestilence, and shaken to its foundations by the earthquake which occurred in 1670. So severe was the shock, we are told, that the watchman on the parapet of the church tower was thrown off and killed by falling to the ground, and the people fled out of their houses to the open fields where their priests exhorted them to prepare for the Day of Judgment. That the alarm created was very great is borne out by the fact that, although the loss of life would appear from contemporary sources of information to have been slight, for some time afterwards the services of the church were all performed in the open air. Hall, however, chiefly on account of its salt mine resources, recovered, and these and the many privileges the burghers enjoyed enabled them in time to regain their former prosperity.

The town played an important part in the various wars which had Tyrol for their battleground during the Middle Ages; and during the Patriotic War the people of Hall were not less brave and self-sacrificing than those of other places. One gallant deed in especial of that long struggle for freedom is directly connected with the town. In May, 1809, Joseph Speckbacher (who was born on a Gnadenwald farm near Hall in 1767) and his troops 137 attacked the Bavarians at Volders, near Hall, and after blowing up the bridge behind him he marched to the relief of the latter town, which was held by the Bavarian troops. These had artillery, and were also numerically stronger and better armed, so that the task set before the patriot force was no slight one. Happily, Speckbacher became aware that the Bavarians were short of ammunition, and therefore when a truce was proposed he refused to agree to it. The Bavarians after, as they thought, completely destroying the Hall bridge, which they held as well as the town, retreated. Calling upon his men to follow him, Speckbacher led them boldly on to the then dangerous and tottering structure, entered the town and pursued the Bavarians.


In the churchyard is an interesting wooden crucifix carved by Joseph Stocker in 1691, as well as some monuments of the principal Hall families of former times. The church itself should be visited, if only for the "Salvator Mundi" by Albrecht Durer painted on a panel, and the high altar-piece by a pupil of the master Reubens, named Erasmus Quillinus. One of the chapels, the Waldaufische, was built in 1493 by Florian von Waldauf, who, originally a peasant boy, entered the Imperial Army and ultimately became one of the confidential advisers of the Emperor Frederick and his son, afterwards Maximilian I. He was also ennobled and given considerable estates. He met with many adventures on his journeys into foreign lands, and on one of his expeditions was in so terrible a storm as to be threatened with shipwreck, and he vowed if his life was spared that he would found a chapel in his native land. As events turned out, he lived to reach Tyrol once more, and in accordance with his vow founded the chapel in the church at Hall, which was also the parish church of Rettenburg Castle and estates which Maximilian had granted to him. Upon this chapel he bestowed numerous relics which he had acquired during his various travels, and nearly 50,000 138 pilgrims came from all parts of Tyrol to the consecration service.

More than one of the chapels and churches of Hall owe their origin to special circumstances of a more or less romantic character. That of St. Saviour, for example, which stands on the site of some tumbledown hovels which existed in the first years of the fifteenth century. The story goes that it was to a dying man in one of these that one of the priests attached to the village church was summoned to convey the Viaticum, and administer extreme unction and the last rites of the Church. He came in due course to the hovel, and placing the sacred vessels on a rickety table the latter collapsed and the Host was thrown on to the floor. This was, of course, a terrible disaster in the eyes of the priest and peasants; and a rich burgher, Johann von Kripp by name, hearing of the circumstance, purchased the cottages, and as a reparation for the sacrilege which had occurred, founded a church on the spot, dedicated to the Redeemer.

The Hall records are of great interest, and show that the town was a place of much importance in the fifteenth century, when a considerable part of the trade between Venice and Germany passed through it. In those days, too, the town was somewhat celebrated for its junketings, more especially the feasts which were held in connection with the opening of the sessions at the Courts of Justice.

The neighbourhood, on account of the good sport provided, was a favourite hunting-ground with the Emperor Maximilian, who on several occasions was entertained in the town.

Hall declined slowly in importance during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by reason of the change in the trade routes; but in quite modern times has regained some at least of its former prosperity by adopting up-to-date methods.

There are numerous excellent and interesting excursions to be made from Hall, but nearly every one pays 139 a visit to the famous salt mines, which are to the north amid most romantic and beautiful scenery. Even by carriage the journey of about eight miles takes the greater part of two hours; on foot even good walkers can scarcely hope to do it in less than three. The scenery is in places very fine, and one enjoys most beautiful views, and nearer glimpses of the Bettelwulf, Speckkar and Nisslspitz Alps.


On the way one passes the quaint village of Absam, at which Jakob Stainer, known as the "German father of the violin," was born in 1621. As a maker of these instruments he stands high, though it is unknown where or how he acquired his knowledge of the craft. It seems possible, however, as Absam is but a short distance from Innsbruck, where at the period at which Stainer lived musicians—Italians and others—were warmly welcomed to the Court of the Archduke Ferdinand Karl, he may have made the acquaintance of some of these, or even of a maker of distinction. Be it as it may, ere Stainer reached his majority he had embarked upon the trade of a violin maker, and was often to be seen in the streets of Hall and in the market-place selling his productions at a price which we are told did not often exceed six florins.

His original model was probably an Amati, but he departed considerably from it as he himself acquired skill and knowledge. Stories are still told of the great care he took in selecting the wood from which his instruments were to be fashioned, and how he would sometimes spend days wandering in the backwoods around Hall and Absam in search of a good tree, which he would tap with a hammer and note its "tone" ere felling. Unfortunately, as has been the case with many another genius, he seems to have died in poverty in or about 1683. At one time he was violin maker to the Imperial Court, but this appointment, which ultimately he lost through inability to pay his way, and owing to consequent financial 140 embarrassment, was not sufficiently lucrative to ensure him comfort in his declining years, let alone prosperity.

His instruments, of which there are still a number in existence, are generally distinguished by having their tops more highly curved than those of the chief Italian makers, whilst they possess a more flute-like note, which is often more "singing" and sympathetic than that of the latter. But none of his make probably equalled, or at all events excelled, the works of the Italian masters for brilliance and sustained tone, although by some connoisseurs this opinion has been disputed. It is said that one of Mozart's favourite instruments was the work of Jakob Stainer.

At the present time the chief industry of the Mittenwald, which is just over the Bavarian border, is the production of violins and guitars, which are exported in considerable numbers to both England and the United States as well as to other European countries. This flourishing industry owes its origin to a pupil of Stainer's, named Klotz, who after his master's death enjoyed a considerable reputation as a maker of violins of good quality.

Many of the houses of Absam are gaily painted, and in the numerous niches, which are often vine-wreathed, one finds the images of saints, and on the bargeboards roughly carved dragons. The villagers tell a curious story to account for the presence of these dragons. It tells how centuries ago there was in the village a marvellous hen that never laid an egg until seven years old, and when this was hatched instead of the anticipated chicken there crawled out a dragon, which remarkable event the villagers have commemorated ever since by carving dragons on the eaves of their houses. But it has been pointed out by several writers upon legends and folk-lore that the dragon was an animal sacred to the god Wodin, representations of which were frequently placed on houses, over the town gates, and on belfries as a kind of talisman against evil influences and spirits; 141 and similar statements are to be found in several well-known works dealing with mythology.


In connection with this little Tyrol village are several other stories and legendary tales of a highly romantic and interesting character. Space, however, can only be found for one other. The story of the event or circumstance which caused Absam to become a popular pilgrimage place at the end of the eighteenth century runs as follows. About the middle of January, in the year 1797, the daughter of one of the villagers was one evening looking out of a window in her father's house to watch for his return from work across the fields, when suddenly the light from the fire which played upon the window-pane disclosed a figure of the Virgin Mary quite distinctly. The girl was so astonished that she fell upon her knees before the miraculous picture. The story was not long in spreading throughout the village, and the neighbours all came running to see the "miracle." Then the news of the marvellous image spread through the district round about, and at last created so great a stir that the Dean of Innsbruck himself heard of it, and resolved to investigate the story. After he had visited the place a committee of inquiry was formed, amongst the members of which were two learned professors of chemistry and the well-known artist, Joseph Schöpf.

After considerable investigation and the examination of witnesses the committee declared that the glass had originally formed part of a "picture" window, and that the image had been undoubtedly painted upon it. The colours had, however, faded as the years went by (as sometimes, indeed, happens), and it was the peculiar character of the atmosphere of Absam which had restored them to the extent that the image of the Holy Virgin had become once more visible.

It is not to be much wondered at, however, that the simple-minded villagers failed to appreciate the arguments of the commissioners and refused to accept the 142 explanation. To them it remained a miraculous image still, and pilgrims came in crowds to see it. As history tells us, it was a period of "Sturm und Drang" in Tyrol. A plague raged which afflicted both men and cattle; and the French invaders had penetrated right into the heart of the country, had occupied Innsbruck, and had brought fire and sword to the hearths of the people. The superstitious peasantry, with their natural leaning towards belief in the miraculous, and faith in the benefits to be derived from the supernatural, accepted the image which had so strangely appeared on the window-pane as a token of Divine favour, and insisted on its removal and installation upon one of the altars in the church. This was promptly done, and the "Gnadenmutter von Absam," or "Miraculous Madonna of Absam," became an object of veneration by all who were distressed. This feeling was doubtless immensely increased by the circumstance that soon after the discovery of the picture and its removal to the church the pestilence died down, and the French were compelled to withdraw their forces. Both of which events were attributed to the virtue of the painting of the Virgin on the window-pane which had been discovered in so strange a manner.

The salt mines a little distance beyond Absam, with their crystalline grottoes and the subterranean salt lake, provide an interesting and unique experience for the enterprising traveller who comes to the Salzberg. There is not much difficulty in obtaining admission to the mines, a small fee being charged each visitor for guides, torches, and the rowers of the boat on the lake. The circumstance that the mines were known and worked in the eighth century is not the least interesting fact connected with them; but it appears probable that the early workers confined their attention chiefly if not entirely to the extracting of the salt from a spring that issued from the mountain, by means of evaporating pans.




One Nikolas von Rohrbach, who is known by the 143 sobriquet of "the pious knight," appears to have been the first discoverer of the salt mines. He noticed on his frequent hunting expeditions that the cattle and horses were very fond of licking certain rocks in the valley, and applied tests which showed that the rocks were strongly saline in character. Following up this clue, he discovered the Salzberg itself with its practically inexhaustible supply. Ever since Rohrbach's time the mountain has been worked for its salt, and until recent years, when blasting came into common use, much in the same way as in mediæval times, viz. by hewing huge caverns in the rock, which are then filled with water and sealed up. After a considerable period has elapsed this water is run off into conduits leading down to Hall, where it is evaporated in pans. How heavily charged with salt the brine is may be judged from the fact that as a general rule it yields no less than one-third of its weight in solid salt.

The caverns one is able to enter, when lighted up by the flickering torches, present a truly wonderful and beautiful sight.

Those who visit Hall are indeed unfortunate whose time does not permit them to put up for a day or two at either of the chief Inns (the "Bar" or "Stern"), so that the beautiful Gnadenwald, which lies to the north-east of the town on the Bettelwulf, may be visited. That lovely Alpine lake, the Achen See, in which the towering snow-capped mountains glass themselves, can be easily reached by the little railway which runs up to it through the steeply climbing Zillerthal. The highest and largest of Tyrolese lakes, the Achen See, lies at an altitude of 3000 feet, with its deep-blue, crystal-clear waters stretching northwards for a distance of nearly six miles towards Bavaria. It is surrounded by the most exquisite mountain scenery, craggy precipices and dark-green forests, and has many features of interest in addition to providing excellent fishing, boating, and numerous pleasant walks and excursions. 144

In the Gnadenwald, which was a grant of forest land made by Tyrolese rulers to their household servants in olden times, there are several villages of great picturesqueness. The road from Hall is a truly delightful one through pine forests, sweet with aromatic perfume in the warm air of summer, and upland fields, which seem to almost hang on the sides of the grey, craggy peaks of the Bavarian Alps. And if one but turns and gazes back occasionally there are charming vistas to be had of the Inn Valley far below, and the great chain of the southern mountain range on the further side.

The two picturesquely situated villages of St. Michael and St. Martin are to be ranked amongst the chief places of interest in the Gnadenwald. As one approaches the former its white church and tower with a red-roofed cupola with gilded finial standing out clearly defined against a background of dark green at once arrests attention. Over the door is a fresco depicting the incident in the life of Saint Martin where he bestowed his coat upon a beggar. The visitor whose time permits or inclination leads him to enter the church will be amply repaid by the beauty of the frescoes, more especially those adorning the pulpit, which were painted by one of the priests attached to the Augustinian monastery formerly connected with the church, but afterwards suppressed by Joseph II. towards the end of the eighteenth century.

At a little distance from the church stands the old home of Joseph Speckbacher, where once, when pursued by his enemies, he took refuge in a pit only deep enough for him to sit upright, whilst the Bavarian soldiers in search of him were actually quartered in the house. He was only able to leave his place of concealment under the floor when the soldiers were absent drilling in the market-place. After a time he was able to come out and hide in a more commodious cow-shed, and finally to flee (after many narrow escapes) over the border into Austria, where he was well received and safe from capture. 145

The village of St. Michael is also picturesque and well worth seeing. Just beyond it is the famous Gungl Inn, a favourite resort with excursionists from Innsbruck, Kufstein, Hall and other places, as well as with the peasants of the Gnadenwald. Here, on Sundays especially, one meets with some of the most interesting and picturesque types, gay costumes and rustic scenes of gaiety and amusements which give one a far better idea of the Tyrolese peasants as they are than days spent in towns, and weeks spent reading books.


But a short distance further on, by a charming road, one reaches the famous pilgrimage chapel of Maria Larch, built in honour of a mysterious image of the Madonna which was discovered under a larch tree. The church, perhaps on account of its poetic legend and secluded and beautiful situation, has long been a favourite pilgrimage resort with the impressionable and religious peasantry of the upper valleys.

There are many other picturesque places in the neighbourhood of Hall, enticing the wanderer from valley to valley and height to height; but a small volume would be required in which to adequately describe them alone; and almost a lifetime to become thoroughly acquainted with their romantic legends, story and beauty. Some weeks of exploration leaves one with a keen desire for closer acquaintance with not merely the lovely scenery but with the simple-hearted, hospitable people who dwell in the more secluded valleys, with whom the great outer world with its storm and stress has indeed little to do and for whom even has little interest.

"You should return to Innsbruck from Hall in the late afternoon, starting just before sunset," was the advice of an artist friend. "You will then see what you will not easily forget."

The present writer passes on the advice.

No one who has waited till day's decline to make the return journey at any period of the year will have reason 146 to regret it, though in the winter months the effects of light and shadow are, of course, far more transient—far too much so—than during the spring, summer, and even early autumn. Then the snow on the towering peaks of the environing mountains glows with at first a golden light, which passes through pearly tones to bright rose pink as the sun sinks behind the soaring crags. The last gleams of the sun linger upon the highest peak as though loth to fade through rose to pale purple, and in turn to change to steely blue, and finally to that blue-black which challenges the deeper indigo of the Alpine sky. Through the pine woods as one passes along the mountain road the golden light filters and slowly dies, throwing long shadows, and at last making the tree trunks loom enormous and fantastical in the fading light. And then from the tiny churches of the mountain side and valley one hears the Angelus ringing forth with a peaceful sound; or if one be approaching Innsbruck itself, then the mellow tones of the greater bell of Wilten float upward from the valley and come to one borne on the still evening air. Under such circumstances of beauty and in the impressive solitude of the forest ways one must be, indeed, unimpressionable if one fails to feel something of the spirit and love of Tyrol, and of restful peace which has enslaved so many hearts throughout the country's history. 147




Salzburg, though lying some little distance beyond the north-eastern borders of Tyrol, is so historic and delightful a city that many who visit the "Land of the Mountains" make a point of visiting it. They are wise to do so; for of all ancient towns in the Austrian empire few are more picturesque or pleasantly situated, and scarcely any more historically interesting. We have never known any one disappointed in Salzburg who was capable of appreciating beauty and romantic associations.

Many who have roved the world over have yielded to the charm of this old-time city, which even with its touch of modernity seems to preserve the quaint and the beautiful of long ago, and the atmosphere of the days when knights and armed men were the chief passers through its streets, and history was in the making.

It lies at the foot of the northern Alps, in an open and fertile valley somewhat reminding one of Innsbruck, save for its wonderful rock fortress Hohen-Salzburg situated nearly eighteen hundred feet above sea-level and completely dominating the town. There is the Kapuzingerberg in place of the Innsbruck Weiherberg, and its Rainberg in place of Berg Isel. It is by many considered the most interesting of all the ancient towns amid the German Alps.

Its beauty has been compared in turn by several well-known travellers with that of Venice, Naples, and even 148 Constantinople. But to our thinking the parallel is not as exact as it should be to make it of value. There is no sea at Salzburg, and from that fact alone its approach is of necessity less picturesque. Indeed, the immediate approach from Tyrol by way of Innsbruck is somewhat unimpressive and gives little or no indication of the beauty and charm of the old town, though the line on its way passes some pretty scenery and affords some fine peeps of the Bavarian Alps.

Yet Salzburg, through the centre of which flows the silver-hued Salzach, is in a way as beautifully situated and as charming as any of the towns to which it has from time to time been likened. It lies in a delightfully well-watered and fertile plain dotted over with villages, ancient castles, and country seats of the Salzburg nobility, and encircled by wooded hills, which as they open out in a wider sweep to the south become higher and higher until deserving the description of mountains. Here they become a magnificent range of towering limestone peaks, through which are cleft fertile and delightful valleys leading into the neighbouring kingdom of Bavaria. In the valley of the Salzach there is no lack of variety as regards scenery. One has widespread meadows, almost throughout the year starred and gemmed with many coloured and sweet scented flowers, melting away into the woods which clothe the lower slopes of the environing hills, where the sombre hued pines give a darker note of green to the landscape; whilst yet above these in the distance are crags of grey and slate-coloured limestone, and crowning the whole vast snow-fields glistering white at noonday and taking on a tint of delicate rose colour at sundown.

In the town itself rise two considerable hills which serve to confer upon it a distinction of its own. One, the Kapuzingerberg, on the eastern side of the river, rises to the height of 800 feet, and the second, on the western side, to a height of nearly 450 feet above the city. It is between these two that the greater part of the old town 149 lies. The steep sides of the Mönchsberg and the Gibraltar-like rock on which the old, grey fortress of Hohen-Salzburg stands are ivy-clad, and in the crevices and fissures wall-flowers, valerian, stone-crop, houseleek, and other flowering and lichen-like plants have taken root, whilst from the greater crevices and ledges wave feathery birches, and the lower slopes are made beautiful and shady by spreading beeches and odorous limes.

After several visits to this delightful city, which has an atmosphere entirely its own, and a charm difficult to describe, one is at a loss to set down in what it exactly differs from other similar towns. Part of the attraction it possesses is doubtless owing to its situation amid a stretch of lovely valley, and its romantic and historic past. But there yet remains that elusive quality which may be described as "the personality of the town," in addition to its geographical and historical claims upon one's interest and imagination.

Salzburg is not, however, merely the name of a town, but also of a province or "department" of Austria, to which empire it is the last added territory.[15] Lying between Tyrol (of which by many it is erroneously supposed to form a part) and the Salzkammergut or the lake region of Upper Austria, which commences in the near neighbourhood of the city, it was an independent episcopal principality until after the fall of Napoleon, not having been incorporated with the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the year 1816.


The province consists chiefly of the mountainous district of the Salzach and its numerous tributaries, which wend their way from their sources amid the glaciers and snow-fields of the great peaks of the Hohen Tauern and lesser ranges to the plain where the Salzach itself ultimately flows into the Inn.

It is the great Hohen Tauern range with its gigantic snow-crowned peaks of the Gross Glockner, 12,460 150 feet; Wiesbachhorn, 11,710 feet; and Gross Venediger, 12,010 feet; Hohe Furlegg, 10,750 feet; Habachkopf, 9945 feet; and many other almost equally stupendous heights, which forms the southern boundary of the ancient Principality. The whole range is one of impressive grandeur, and possesses a picturesque beauty upon its lower slopes unrivalled by any other Alpine district. The foot of the Hohen Tauern is almost invariably clad with pine forests, which melt away into the higher slopes where blooms the bright pink "alpen rosen," whilst yet higher, and just below the line of perpetual snow, on rocky ledges and on slopes of coarse grass appear the silver-white, star-like flowers of the edelweiss. Above this zone of fresh green patches amid the grey and weather-stained rocks one passes into that exhilarating region of eternal snow and ice where dwells also eternal silence unbroken by the sound of birds, the hum of insects, or murmur of other living things.

Not only is the Hohen Tauern the region of Alpine giants, vast glaciers, and untrodden snow-fields, but as a natural consequence of these things it is that of many rushing torrents, stupendous waterfalls, and tinkling streamlets, all of which contribute to make the province it borders one of the best-watered in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Upwards of half a score of large streams flow into the Salzach; whilst of fertile valleys there are so many that to number them is difficult. Most are beautiful in the extreme; many are almost unknown to the ordinary tourist, who usually sticks to the well-worn paths and more frequented highways. In the famous Krimml Falls the Province of Salzburg possesses by common consent the finest waterfalls in the German Alps. They issue from the vast Krimml Glacier and descend over the edge of a pine-clad precipice in a cloud of drifting spray into the valley beneath, a distance of nearly 1500 feet, in three stupendous leaps, the highest fall in two leaps from a height of more than 450 feet. 151

Although, as we have before said, almost every valley of the Hohen Tauern range is notably beautiful, none excel in interest either pictorially or geologically the longest and widest, the Gastein Valley, with the fine falls some 500 feet in height near Bockstein, where the Gasteiner Ache, after passing through narrow gorges, plunges down into the valley, and thence flows through the broad, flat plain of Hof-Gastein to join the Salzach, passing on its way delightful Bad-Gastein, with its old town of interesting and picturesque wooden houses nestling on the eastern slopes of the valley, and the newer, with its hotels, churches, villas and other handsome buildings, peeping out from amid the pine-clad slopes or lying in the valley itself. It is a delightful though nowadays fashionable health resort, at which many tastes, both gay and quiet, are consulted.

From Lend at the foot of the Gastein Thal to pretty little St. Johann, where the Salzach flows northward, the river has passed without opposition quietly onward. But at St. Johann are some towering and remarkable limestone peaks, including those of the Tennen and Hagen Ranges, some of them attaining an altitude of 8000 feet; with the desolate-looking Steinerne Meer, 8800 feet on the western flank, and the Dachstein more than a thousand feet higher on the eastern. The river flows onward to a point where the two ranges we have mentioned coalesce. Here the great ravine known as the Lueg Pass, six miles in length and possessing fine scenery, forms a very fitting entrance to the beautiful valley of Golling, which gradually opens out from Hallein onwards till Salzburg itself is reached.

The valley of the Salzach on its eastern side is bordered by a range of pleasant green-clad heights and gentle slopes, with the Gaisberg, 4290 feet, a short distance to the north-east of Salzburg itself, dominating them, from which point the mountains gradually decrease in height. From Golling onwards, however, the western 152 side of the valley is shut in by great peaks, some of which spread out their lower and rounded emerald green slopes towards the river. Of these impressive and beautiful mountains the Hohe Göll, 8275 feet, the majestic Watzmann, 9050 feet, the chief of the Berchtesgaden group, are the most noticeable. The cave-pierced and lofty, dome-shaped Untersberg, the highest point of which is the Berchtesgadener Hochtron of 6480 feet, standing isolated like a sentinel in the plain near the city.


Salzburg, beautiful and on occasion even radiant city of the plain as it is, ancient though many of its buildings are, is yet of greater antiquity than any of them. The town stands upon truly classic ground, and is associated with many events which have taken their places in European and even world-wide history. Here the Romans came in their all-conquering march of empire, and recognizing its fine position and the strategic importance of the hills which command the river along most of its course, they in due time built upon the plain Juvavum, on the road which linked up the Augusta Vindelicorum, modern Augsburg with Aquileia near Trieste.

There is little doubt nowadays, from the remains which have been discovered from time to time in the shape of implements of stone and bronze, weapons, household utensils, and ornaments, that the mines near Salzburg, which have since very early days down till comparatively recent times been of great commercial importance, were not only worked in the days of the Roman occupation, but also even in pre-historic times. There is little reason for doubt, indeed, that the Celts knew of, and used, the famous salt mines of the Dürnberg and the copper mines of the Mitterberg; whilst there is abundant evidence of various kinds of the working of the gold and silver mines of the Tauern district by the Romans during their occupation of the country.



The exact date when Salzburg as a town or settlement 153 first came into existence has not been determined; but it would seem probable that there was a settlement existing by the banks of the Salzach during, or just prior to, the first century of the Christian Era. The Celtic inhabitants of this settlement were not, however, able successfully to resist the north-eastern advance which had been made across Tyrol by the Roman legions, and thus it was that the Roman military station Juvavum was founded on a site which was of great convenience owing to its being at the entrance to the mountain passes and placed at the junction of the roads which led by various routes to all parts of Noricum. Here it was the Roman invader, having driven the Celtic owners of the soil after a brave but ineffectual resistance into mountain fastnesses of the surrounding country, established a military post with a fort which soon became a colony, and grew ultimately into the important town of Juvavum.

Of this occupation by the Romans, and of the establishment of the town by the banks of the Salzach, there are considerable relics surviving in the shape of excavated buildings and foundations, coins, ornaments, pottery, tesselated pavements, and portions of the roads which the Romans made.

The introduction of Christianity took place at a very early date, which would in part account for the ecclesiastical prominence which the province had in the Middle Ages, and even in later times. We are told that even as early as the year A.D. 472 St. Severinus, whilst journeying through Noricum, with which country Salzburg had been incorporated by the Romans, found numerous Christian churches and minsters established. A relic of these times still exists set in the perpendicular walls of the Mönchsberg, where high up, with some of its windows overshadowed by creepers and trees, is a very small church built into the mountain itself; reached by a dark, steep flight of steps cut in the rock, worn by the feet of countless generations, and leading to a cavern where 154 stands an altar and a small cross. According, at least, to tradition this was the hiding-place to which the early Christians amongst the Roman inhabitants retired for security when celebrating the offices of the new faith. And it is here that St. Maximus is said to have suffered martyrdom.

From the effects of the troublous days which at last came to most outposts of Roman civilization Salzburg did not escape. Soon the hordes of Huns and Goths and others belonging to various Germanic tribes swept across and over the province as they did the land of Tyrol, and the town was sacked and burned, and the inhabitants put to the sword or led away into captivity. Thus in 477 the flourishing Roman settlement was literally wiped out by the Keruli under their leader, Odoaker, and of it few traces remained save some tesselated pavements, household utensils, and ornaments which ages afterwards from time to time have been uncovered.


The history of the town is obscure for many centuries after its destruction by the Teutonic barbarians; and for more than a hundred years the place remained waste and deserted, with the ruined buildings gradually becoming overgrown by trees and shrubs. Then, at the beginning of the sixth century, Theodo I., Duke of the Bojovarii, the founder of the Kingdom afterwards known as Bavaria, took possession of Salzburg and joined it to his own possessions. One account tells us that it was this Duke Theodo of Bavaria who, having become a Christian, summoned St. Rupert, after the latter had been driven from Worms, to Ratisbon with a view to his introducing Christianity into the Duchy. Tradition states that St. Rupert came to Juvavum about the year 582, or at the beginning of the seventh century, with the determination to make the spot his headquarters for the spread of the Christian faith. Duke Theodo appears to have made him a present of the ruined and deserted town and the 155 country round about to the extent of an area of two miles square. Other estates and property were given him, including among many others those of Itzling, Oping (Upper Innsbruck), and a third part of the famous Hall Salt Spring. The Bishop set to work, and on the ruins of the old Roman settlement he soon established a town, building a convent and a church under the steep rocks of the Mönchsberg, where now the large Benedictine Convent and St. Peter's Church stand, in the latter of which the bones of the saint are said to lie buried.

The Convent of Nonnberg had many estates granted to it, and became rich. Bishop Rupert appears to have also begun to build new dwellings and to have cultivated the land; not neglecting in the meantime the object for which he had come, viz. the spread of Christianity. He built many churches, and was the means of forming a large number of Christian communities throughout the Duchy. He also extended the influence of the town of Salzburg over the surrounding district, and when he died in 623 he left behind him, where he had found ruins, a flourishing town with religious institutions of considerable importance. It was from this settlement that the most powerful and wealthiest ecclesiastical principality in Southern Germany was destined to spring, which, though possessed in turn by various nations, lasted as a spiritual Principality until 1802, when it was secularized and re-established as a temporal electorate.

After the coming of St. Rupert Salzburg gradually grew to be the chief centre of religious life and culture in the eastern region of the Alps. By the foundation of the Archbishopric of Bavaria by Charles the Great in 788, after the latter territory had been annexed and incorporated with his possessions, the city's importance steadily increased. But with an increase of status there came a corresponding extension and consolidation of the ecclesiastical dominion by which the political influence 156 of the Archbishops of Salzburg grew until it finally justified them in assuming the title of Primates of Germany. Almost without exception during the Middle Ages the archbishops were militant priests. "They knew," we are told, "as well how to handle a sword as to say a Mass," and they often fought with distinction against the many enemies that the German Empire had in those troublous times when the various kingdoms of Eastern Europe were being evolved out of chaos, and were ever at war one with another. These prelates were also distinguished as skilled and astute diplomatists, capable of holding their own and adding to the power and privileges of their Church whenever an opportunity for so doing presented itself.

Under Bishop Virgil (747 to 784) the power of Salzburg was considerably extended eastward. The new Cathedral was built, and several other districts were brought under the subjection of the bishopric. It was Bishop Virgil's successor, Arno (785 to 821), a personal friend of Charlemagne, who, in the last year of the eighth century, was invested by Pope Leo III. with the Pallium and installed first Archbishop of Salzburg.

To Arno's labours the town and the country owe much, for under his skilful and wise guidance not only did the former flourish and grow, with the other settlements which had come into existence, but by his great power of initiative the life of the principality itself was directed into prosperous and progressive channels. His immediate successors greatly increased the power and influence of the Church; whilst at the same time they did not omit to extend their non-spiritual power by the acquisition of other territory, and by means of the mining industries they became very rich and powerful.


The Archbishops of Salzburg soon by this means gained a great and distinguished place amongst the German princes, which they retained until the power of the Emperors began to wane in consequence of differences 157 with the Popes, to the latter of whom the Archbishops, as a rule, gave their support in the disputes that arose. Into these matters it is not necessary to enter deeply, but it was in consequence of them that Conrad I., Count of Abinberg, took the part of the Pope and caused the country to be greatly disturbed. During his reign the Abbey of St. Peter was granted as a residence to the Archbishop of Salzburg, and a new building was soon afterwards erected close by for the purpose. It was in the reign of this same Conrad I. that the Cathedral of Salzburg was destroyed by fire on May 4, 828, as was also a very large portion of the city. Both the Cathedral and the portion of the town which had been burnt down were rebuilt with even greater magnificence than before. But they were destined to once more be destroyed. Three centuries later, in the year 1167, a quarrel arose between Conrad II. and Frederick Barbarossa, because the latter refused to invest the former with the temporal power, and pronounced against him the ban of the Empire. Barbarossa ordered Salzburg and the country round about to be over-run and laid waste by the Counts Plain-Mittersill. For some time the city and its strong fortress resisted successfully; but on April 5, 1167, it was captured and once more burnt to the ground.

The successor of Conrad, Albert III., a son of King Ladislav of Bohemia, also came into conflict with the Emperor, and shared a similar fate to his predecessors; but during the reigns of the immediately succeeding archbishops peace and prosperity were established, and under Eberhard II., who was distinguished as a most able and brilliant administrator as well as a great churchman, peace and tranquillity once more reigned.

During the next century Salzburg was involved in political disputes and took part in the Battle of Muhldorf, on September 28, 1322, fighting on the side of Frederick the Schöne, Duke of Austria, who was taken prisoner. In 158 consequence of which the principality not only lost large numbers of its chief nobles and knights, but also was involved in heavy monetary loss in the payment of its share of a war indemnity.

Immediately following this period of unrest came another distinguished by the erection of new and handsome buildings and the enlargement of the bounds of the city, and also strengthening of the Castle on the Mönchsberg. To Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach (1495 to 1519) must be given the credit of attaining absolute supremacy, and with his occupation of the See may be said to have commenced the most distinguished period in the history of the city. Leonhard did not attain to this position, however, entirely without guile, for to tell the truth the Salzburg citizens, who seemed even in those mediæval times to have possessed a love of freedom and spirit of independence which did them credit, having become restive under the ecclesiastical domination and tyranny wished to make the town a free imperial city. Leonhard, however, had determined otherwise, and so under pretence of inviting the burgomaster and twenty town councillors to his palace to give them a state banquet, he promptly arrested them on their arrival and threw them into the castle dungeons. He then succeeded in taking away the ancient rights of the town, upon the annulment of which he had set his mind. But although Archbishop Leonhard ruled his secular as well as his ecclesiastical subjects with a rod of iron, he did much to improve and beautify the city, adding greatly to the strength and size of Hohen-Salzburg, and also improving the method of working the mines, particularly those in Gastein and Rauris. This was, of course, more directly to his benefit than that of the miners, yet in the end was pleasing to the country in general in that the Archbishop drew from the mines a revenue sufficient to permit him to erect many handsome buildings, to improve the roads, and to encourage art and agriculture. 159


During the Archiepiscopate of his successor Mathäus Lang von Wellenburg, from 1519 to 1540, many stirring events took place, not only in the city of Salzburg but throughout the length and breadth of the principality as well. The faith of Luther had been introduced into Salzburg and had met with great success among all classes of the population, especially that of the miners. Even some of the priests and officials of the Cathedral itself were suspected of being favourable to, and even of extending, the new doctrines. At first the Archbishop tried to combat the heretical tendencies of his subjects by kindness and indulgence; but finding these methods fruitless, he called in the aid of foreign mercenaries, chiefly from Tyrol, garrisoned Hohen-Salzburg strongly with them and with followers upon whose loyalty he could depend, and taking the town unawares, forced the inhabitants to submit and to surrender their privileges.

This event was followed by various acts of violence directed against the adherents of the reformed faith, which so exasperated the population that in May, 1525, a rebellion broke out in all parts of the principality. The Archbishop seeing that the situation was taking a serious turn, addressed an urgent appeal for help to Duke William at Munich, which, however, was not answered. Shortly after, thousands of miners and peasants, having won several skirmishes in the country districts, advanced to Salzburg, where they were joined by many of the inhabitants, and promptly set to work to besiege the Archbishop in the fortress, which they continued to do (failing to gain an entrance) until August 15th, when Ludwig of Bavaria arrived with a strong force, and a truce favourable to the peasants was agreed upon. This arrangement, however, was not held to, and in consequence a fierce rebellion broke out again in the following year, but was successfully and cruelly suppressed by forces under the command of the Archduke Ferdinand, supplemented by those of the Suabian League. 160

Although the doctrines of Luther continued to make headway, and religious disturbances still occurred, the latter were not of a serious character; but some half a century later the famous Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, also known for brevity as Wolf Dietrich, on returning from Rome, where he had been to receive the pallium, or ornamental band of white wool worn around the shoulders, which all archbishops at that time had to receive on their appointment before they were empowered to carry out the duties of their office, issued his famous edict on July 9, 1588, for the extermination of the heretics. In consequence of which there was a severe persecution of those who had adopted the Lutheran faith, with great confiscations of their lands and other property. Other acts of this famous Archbishop, including an imposition on salt, the obtaining and making of which formed a very important and remunerative industry, brought about serious friction between him and some of his subjects, and ultimately led on two occasions to his military occupation of the salt district by means of mercenaries. On the first these forces were defeated and driven out by those of Duke William of Bavaria; and on the second the Archbishop's action led to the conquest and occupation of Salzburg by the Duke Maximilian himself, and the ultimate imprisonment and dethroning of Wolf Dietrich on March 7, 1612. He was never released, although efforts were made to obtain freedom and pardon for him, and died in his cell in Hohen-Salzburg five years later.


After the Peace of Westphalia, October 24th, Salzburg was made an independent and sovereign principality, and the archbishops, the Chapter, and various other authorities, set to work to bring about improvements in the Civil and Ecclesiastical offices and organizations of the country, and to improve the condition of the inhabitants by better regulations of taxes, the criminal law, etc., and to complete the building of the city and improvement of the existing portions of it by the repaving of the streets and 161 instituting better sanitary arrangements. But notwithstanding the undoubted benefits conferred in the way we have mentioned upon the inhabitants, the clerical party maintained a rigorous persecution of the Protestants, and in consequence the years 1684-85 witnessed large emigrations of Lutherans, including great numbers of the Hallein miners.

These persecutions were followed half a century later by those of the Archbishop Leopold Anton Freiherr von Fermian, who summoned the Jesuits into the country to aid in extirpating the Protestants. These priests succeeded in stirring up further dissensions between the Catholics and the Lutherans, and cruel persecutions, accompanied by torture and imprisonment, followed. The Archbishop, finding the Jesuits had not succeeded in reducing the country to uniformity of religion or a more peaceful state, issued on the last day of October, 1731, the famous emigration edict by which the Protestants were to be deprived of all their property and their rights as citizens, and to be driven from the principality. The result was the forming of the celebrated Salzbund, by which the followers of the reformed faith banded themselves together and swore to defend it, and as a token they licked a block of salt placed for the purpose on a table, which is still preserved at Schwarzach, where the League was formed.

In the end, in consequence of Archbishop Fermian's edict, upwards of 30,000 people emigrated, and as was the case with the Huguenots of France they formed by far the most able, industrious, and intelligent portion of the community, and the consequences of their emigration are even felt at the present time. By the expulsion of the Protestants, many of whom were miners, we are told "the mining industry of Salzburg received its death blow, the prosperity of the country was greatly diminished, and the free national and civic life was destroyed." The greater number of these emigrants eventually settled in 162 Prussian Lithuania, where they were warmly and hospitably received. Others went to Bavaria, and Suabia, and a few even to England, some of the latter of whom ultimately crossed the Atlantic and settled in Georgia, where in the town of Ebenezer there still exists a colony of their descendants.

The immediate effect of the emigration of these skilled artisans and workers was felt both in the city of Salzburg and the principality. Workshops, which had hitherto been busy hives of industry, deserted by their former occupants, failed to find new tenants, and fell into gradual decay, or were turned to other less remunerative uses. As had been the case with the Huguenots so was it with the émigrés of Salzburg; their places could not be filled nor their loss replaced.

Salzburg during the wars of Frederick the Great against Bavaria and France was frequently occupied by one or other of the contending nations, and was reduced to a state of poverty and distress from which it was a long time recovering. To such a wretched condition were the inhabitants of the city and principality reduced that there was serious danger at one time of the latter being secularized. But under the firmer and more beneficent rule of Hieronymus, Count of Coloredo-Wallsee, the last reigning Archbishop (1772 to 1803), several beneficial reforms were brought about in the administration of the country relating to its finances, police, agriculture, and other departments. But, notwithstanding these changes, ecclesiastical domination in Salzburg was destined to come to an end speedily, and at the Peace of Campo Formio, October 17, 1797, France by a secret treaty agreed to have the Archbishopric of Salzburg transferred to the Emperor Francis II.


In the years 1800 to 1802 the principality was once more the scene of French invasions, and suffered severely not only from the ravages consequent upon the battles fought between the French and the Imperialists, but also 163 from the heavy contributions of money and stores levied upon the people. The whole country soon became in a chaotic condition, and the Archbishop at last fled with his portable property and the most valuable treasures, leaving his See to its fate. The Imperial forces entered Salzburg under the command of Count Meerveldt on August 19, 1802, the General proclaiming that he took possession of the country in the name of the Archduke Ferdinand of Tuscany.

Thus Salzburg ceased to be an independent spiritual principality and became the secular electorate, which it has remained ever since.

On March 11th of the following year the fugitive archbishop resigned the secular power. Although there is no doubt that this change was welcomed by the people at large, who looked forward to reforms and greater stability of government, it was not found possible to effect the former at once. The still unsettled and warlike period in which Ferdinand I. came to rule over Salzburg was very detrimental to any radical reform or change of administration. By the Peace of Pressberg, December 26, 1805, Salzburg was transferred to Austria, and four years later passed into the possession of Bavaria by the Treaty of Vienna, and so remained until 1816.

It was during the Napoleonic Wars that the Salzburgers, like the Tyrolese under Andreas Hofer, rose and fought for their country and for the Emperor of Austria. Quite a number of serious engagements took place, in the Lueg Pass, and the Mendling, and near Unken and Melleck, leading naturally enough to great poverty and devastation. Ultimately by the Treaty of April 14, 1816, Salzburg passed into the possession of Austria, and on May 1, 1816, the Imperial Commissioners entered into possession amidst the enthusiastic rejoicing of the whole population.

This state of affairs lasted till 1850, when once more Salzburg became an independent Austrian Crown land, 164 and eleven years later it was granted a separate government and a Diet. Since then the city as well as the province has prospered under the wise and enterprising rule of its present administration, and has become thoroughly incorporated in spirit as well as upon paper with the great Empire of which it forms an independent part.

To its Archbishops of the sixteenth century Salzburg owed and still owes much. They were nearly all of them great and interesting personalities who not only influenced the civil as well as the religious life and evolution of the town, but had, in addition, not a little to do with the appearance it gradually assumed during the period we have mentioned. Under their rule Salzburg was to a large extent modernized. Many thirteenth- and fourteenth-century buildings were pulled down, to be replaced by much more magnificent if not more picturesque and interesting structures. It was then that the spirit of the Renaissance swept over the Alps from Italy, and in its train came the desire for magnificence in architecture, in entertainments, and in the dress and life of the Salzburg nobility.

The Archbishops and ecclesiastical inhabitants also fell willing victims to the desire for extravagance and ostentatious display. Indeed, the former were, as one authority says, "the true Renaissance Sovereigns of the Italian school, who were selfish as regards their politics, and not at all particular regarding the means by which they attained their ends." It must, however, be allowed that though by no means unwilling for worldly enjoyments and pageantry, notwithstanding the fact that they professed in their religion the severer doctrines of Ignatius Loyola, they were worthy patrons and encouragers of art, science, and literature, and were animated by the desire to leave a lasting memorial of themselves and their beliefs in splendid ecclesiastical buildings. In Salzburg one finds their records on all hands, in coats-of-arms and tablets 165 on which are recorded their names and deeds, for the benefit and instruction of those who succeeded them.




During the period of which we speak the character and appearance of the city was almost entirely changed. The ancient mediæval buildings were pulled down, and replaced by magnificent palaces in which the nobility and ecclesiastical dignitaries dwelt in splendour and ease. Churches were erected in such numbers as to be almost unequalled in any other city of similar size. Most of these still remain, making Salzburg a place of spires and domes and handsome churches strangely picturesque and deeply interesting.

Seen either from the ridge of the Mönchsberg, the Kapuzingerberg, or from the castle walls, especially at sundown on a summer's evening, Salzburg presents a picture of great beauty and colour, and one which is not easily forgotten.

As was not unnatural with the secularization of the power ruling the Province the capital suffered heavily. For a time both its prosperity and its intellectual life underwent eclipse. For almost half a century its energies seemed to lie dormant, and it was only when the line connecting Munich with Vienna by way of Salzburg was constructed in 1860 that it woke once more to take an important place amongst the towns of north-western Austria. From that period till to-day the place has made steady progress.

Till the middle of the last century the city occupied a comparatively restricted area within the old walls. And as a direct consequence of the numerous churches, convents, and other ecclesiastical buildings occupying a great deal of the space available the townsfolk were compelled to crowd their dwellings together, and to build the many storied houses which one finds in the older portion of the town in the neighbourhood of the Herrngasse, Sigmund-Haffnergasse, and Getreidegasse. It is in these narrow and gloomy—though undoubtedly picturesque—streets, 166 in the architecture of which one can in many instances trace Italian influence, that the great part of the population dwelt, and much of the trade of the town was done.

With more modern ideas the distaste for such confinement among the more ambitious and well-to-do of the commercial and artisan classes became manifest, and when at length the old walls were in places pulled down a new suburb arose on the other side of the river—as it did at Innsbruck—in the neighbourhood of the railway station, possessing wide modern streets, finer shops, and palatial villa residences, and also smaller houses for the occupation of the working-class community.

In this portion of the town one finds not only some of the best hotels, but the Kurhaus with its pleasant gardens (closely adjoining the Mirabell Garden), the fine Theatre, and the imposing church of St. Andreas in the Gothic style. Opposite the railway station, set in a recess of foliage in the garden adjoining the Hôtel de l'Europe, is the famous statue of the Kaiserin Elizabeth, a pilgrimage shrine for most visitors to the town. The statue itself has been described as "simple but beautiful." To us it has always seemed by no means an adequate or even very skilful representation of a beautiful and queenly personality. The pose is not particularly happy, and the whole has to our mind a "doll-like" effect.



As time went by Salzburg reclaimed much ground from the rocky bed of the swiftly flowing river by confining the stream within more restricted limits. In former times, when the town was enclosed with walls, there was no such necessity, and the Salzach took its own course, encroaching much upon the lower-lying land along its banks. But nowadays on this reclaimed ground shady avenues of trees have been planted, which give a charming and distinctive character to this part of the city. Here, too, are some fine villas, where not so very many years ago was waste or wooded land, set amid trees and 167 made pleasant by beautiful gardens, in which there seems to bloom a profusion of flowers all the year round.

The position and future prosperity of the town as a tourist resort was assured when Salzburg became the starting-point of a second main line of railway leading to Innsbruck via Kitzbühel, and the picturesque Unter-Inn Thal, and the centre of a number of branch lines.

It is through these modern developments that the life of Salzburg has so materially changed even within the memory of those who first visited it but, comparatively speaking, a few years ago. From a town of ecclesiastical and almost mediæval aloofness from the outside world, and from one which had for a considerable period seen its growth arrested and its life stagnant, it has sprung into being as a favourite summer and winter resort not merely for tourists, but also for those to whom the older portion of the town, its many historic buildings, castle, and fine churches, proves attractive.


The most prominent of all buildings in Salzburg, and the one which has for most visitors the greatest attraction, is the fine old fortress of Hohen-Salzburg set high above the older town upon a tree-enshrouded and rocky spur of the Mönchsberg.

The ancient fortress, which has witnessed so many stirring events within its walls, and from which past generations of inhabitants have looked down upon almost equally dramatic and stirring doings in the town below, that throughout the ages defied capture, and at last came to be looked upon as impregnable, was founded nearly eight and a half centuries ago by Archbishop Gebhard.

As the centuries went by many additions were made to the original buildings, and the present castle dates in its chief portions from the last few years of the fifteenth and the first few years of the sixteenth centuries. These additions were principally the work of Leonard von Keutschach, Archbishop of Salzburg at the close of the 168 Middle Ages. He was one of the great "building" archbishops to whose energies and enterprise the town at various periods owed so much. Of peasant origin he was not ashamed of his humble birth, and, being gifted with a sense of humour, chose a turnip as his armorial bearings. So frequently, indeed, are representations of this vegetable met with on escutcheons in various parts of the town, that the remark of one traveller who observed that "the Salzburgers appear to have sprung out of the earth" may be held excused.

Severe looking as is the fine old fortress (now given over to the uses of barracks), in whose courtyards princes, archbishops, nobles, and many famous men of the past centuries have walked, it was, however, not merely a strong bulwark of defence, truly "ein feste burg" dominating the town and plain, but also a palace. Although the castle has been stripped of much of its magnificence there happily still remain traces of it in the so-called Fürstenzimmer (state apartments), which formerly occupied by the rulers of the Province were furnished and decorated with all the splendour which marked the most lavish period of Renaissance influence. Chief amongst the relics of the latter are the beautiful and delicately carved panelling, the gilt work, and the richly carved and moulded ceilings of the principal apartments. In wandering through these now almost deserted rooms one is tempted to conjure up the scenes of magnificence they must have witnessed. Tragedy, comedy, chivalry, hate, joy, sorrow, success, and failure, all, the often lurid though magnificent gamut of life in the Middle Ages, must have been welded into the very fabric and atmosphere of this impressive and deeply interesting building. Among the chief relics of bygone splendour and pomp of circumstance there remains the beautiful and it is said unique Majolica stove, a truly wonderful example of Gothic ceramic art.

There are many interesting and quaint corners within 169 the triple line of walls, which shut off access to the castle and proved so useful on many an occasion in former times, united with the fortifications of the Mönchsberg known as the Burgerwehr; but few excel in picturesqueness the old courtyard with its shady and famous Linden tree, ancient well, and time-worn walls. Here, as one lingers, towards sundown one sometimes hears the sweet-toned though halting notes of the organ within the tower playing some familiar hymn tune. The trembling notes, like those of an old singer whose voice has become feeble but has retained much of its sweetness, float out upon the still evening air with a mystic appeal which few that have heard them can, we think, have failed to have felt. For ourselves it is one of the lasting and unforgettable memories of Salzburg as well as of its castle.

Nowadays the cable railway takes one to the summit in a few minutes, and one is spared the fatigue of the long climb up by the Nonnberg. The old Reckturm, in the dungeons of which unlucky prisoners were confined, and in the tower itself the terrible instruments of torture were kept and the torture chamber was situated, nowadays has a much more pleasant office to fulfil as an excellent "look out" place from which to view the widely extended prospect of the town and Salzach valley towards the north.


Many an assault was made during the Middle Ages and succeeding eras upon the old grey fortress, seldom resulting in anything save disaster or disappointment for the attacking force. Even the peasants, who, during the terrible rebellion of 1525, made repeated attacks upon the castle with the utmost fury and determination, failed to accomplish their object of capturing the stronghold, Matthew Land, the then Archbishop, and the high ecclesiastics who had taken refuge within its unscalable walls, to whom short shrift would have been given by the peasant leaders. For ages the Church had trodden the peasantry under foot, and in the Peasants' Rebellion 170 there were terrible reprisals. But although the insurgents came near capturing Hohen-Salzburg they did not succeed. Their appliances were too primitive for successful assault, and their shots did little or no damage to the strong thick walls or buildings. On a marble column in the castle are to be seen the marks left by a cannon ball, which was one of the few that succeeded in entering the castle, and in this case it was through a window! A century later, during the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648 which devastated the whole of the then German Empire, waged between the Evangelic Union under the Elector Palatine and the Catholics led by Maximilian the Great Duke of Bavaria, Salzburg, doubtless on account of the fact that its fortress was esteemed impregnable, was one of the few places left at peace and unmolested. We have already mentioned the fact that the Archbishops were not only exceedingly powerful ecclesiastics but also great diplomatists, and there is little doubt but that to their clever policy must also be attributed the town's immunity from attack during that troublous and universally disturbed period.

Of the many distinguished ecclesiastics who have occupied the See of Salzburg as its Archbishops, the most interesting and perhaps the most important were two, separated one from the other by but a few years. One was Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (1587-1611?) and the other Paris von Lodron.


Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, from having received his education in Rome, then the centre of Art and culture, came to Salzburg steeped not alone in the traditions of Italian Art but anxious to impress upon the town his knowledge and taste. He found an old Roman and neither handsome nor picturesque Cathedral, dating from the eighth century, in place of churches such as he had been accustomed to in Italy, ornate and beautiful. He is reputed to have been at no pains to conceal his distaste for the building, and when a few years before his death it was 171 destroyed during one of the destructive fires, there were those who even accused the Archbishop of having himself set the church on fire, or at least of having instigated others to do so. But there is little truth in this story, though the Archbishop's satisfaction at the destruction of the ancient, inconvenient, and unornamental structure seems beyond question. That he fully intended to erect upon the site one of the finest churches north of the Italian frontier there is little doubt, but, alas! for human aims, he was not destined even to see the foundations laid.

To him, notwithstanding his despotic character, his restless disposition, his shameful intrigue with the beautiful Salome Alt, the city of Salzburg owes a great deal, for he did much to transform an unpicturesque and dirty town with narrow mediæval streets into one of the finest cities of Germany. Many of the beautiful buildings, including the Gabriel Chapel, the Chapter House, the Neubau, and the arcades of the Sebastian Cemetery, owed their existence to his artistic taste and desire for improvement.

It was to Paris von Lodron, the founder of the University which was dissolved in 1810 during the Bavarian occupation, his second successor, fell the task as well as the honour of giving to Salzburg a Cathedral worthy of it and of its long line of famous Archbishops and many historical memories. The original plan, which historians tell us would have resulted in a church of such magnificence that it would have been almost unrivalled by that of any in Europe, had to be considerably modified for several reasons, chief amongst which were considerations of cost and space. The former was rendered obligatory from the heavy expense entailed in keeping up the fortifications of the city during the time (the Thirty Years' War) the Cathedral was in course of construction. However, notwithstanding these circumstances, Paris von Lodron's work, which occupies a splendid position in the midst of three large squares, was designed chiefly by an Italian architect 172 named Santino Solari (possibly from plans by Scamozzi of Florence), assisted by others in the late Renaissance style, is one of the most magnificent churches in Austria, although the stucco ornamentation is of a rather florid character. From the exterior, which is rather plain and severe, although it possesses a fine façade built of Unterberg marble, it is impossible to gain any conception of the charm and even splendour of the building. But immediately upon entering it, one is impressed with its beautiful proportions, and the resemblance to a marked degree in the general plan to that of St. Peter's, Rome. Indeed, there is little doubt as to the source from which Solari drew much of his inspiration, although due credit must be given to him for original details, the proportions, and general beauty of effect.

The treasury of the church is worth seeing, as it is rich in relics of bygone ages, including an exquisite seventeenth-century monstrance encrusted with 1800 precious stones, rich vestments, and a fine crozier set with gems; and none should miss the interesting fourteenth-century bronze Romanesque font which stands in one of the side chapels to the left of the entrance.

In its Cathedral Salzburg possesses a gem of architectural beauty which has been the admiration of generations of architects and students, and (as one authority says) "has probably provided more inspiration for the artist and the student of architecture than any other church north of the Italian Alps."

On the Residenz-Platz, the centre of which is adorned by a beautiful fountain nearly fifty feet in height dating from the latter part of the seventeenth century, consisting of a colossal figure of Atlas surrounded by equally colossal hippopotami, the work of Anton Dario, is situated the ancient palace of the Archbishops, formerly known as the Residenz, now the Imperial Residence. This fine palace which was erected at various dates from the end of the sixteenth down to the first two decades of the eighteenth 173 century contains many traces of the splendour which characterized the larger buildings which were erected by ecclesiastics at the time the influence of the Renaissance was at its height. The ceilings and wall of the principal salons and halls are especially notable, and in some cases are most elaborately decorated. The Government Offices which are opposite the Residenz although known as the Neugebäude (possibly because they included the Post and Telegraph office), in reality date, at any rate in part, from the reign of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, although they have been modernized, altered, and added to from time to time. In the octagonal tower was placed, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, a beautiful carillon, the work of a watchmaker named Sauter at the commencement of the seventeenth century, known as the Glockenspiel, which chimes thrice daily at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 6 p.m.

The Archbishops of Salzburg were not only in past ages ecclesiastics and diplomatists but also sportsmen. Most, indeed, seem to have been great lovers of horses. Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Salzburg, built some magnificent stables adorned with marble on the slopes of the Mönchsberg; attached to them were a covered riding school for use in winter, and another open-air one for summer use. Though the stables themselves are now barracks, the open-air school is still one of the sights of the town. In the side of the Mönchsberg were hewn in 1693 three great galleries for the accommodation of spectators of the sports in the summer riding school; they have long ago been overgrown with ivy and creepers which add greatly to their picturesqueness, but are still occasionally used for the purpose for which they were originally constructed.

In the winter riding school there is an interesting ceiling fresco depicting a joust or tournament dating from the last decade of the seventeenth century.

Several of the Archbishops of Salzburg appear to 174 have had a liking for rock excavations, and the Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach was one of the number. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, in 1767 to be precise, he constructed the Neuthor, a tunnel through the solid rock some four hundred and fifty feet in length, which it took two years to make. It pierced through the Mönchsberg and thus united the suburb of Riedenberg with the rest of the town. At the Riedenberg end is a statue to St. Sigismund in commemoration of the Archbishop, who placed his own medallion at the town end of the tunnel with the Latin inscription "Te saxa loquntur" (The very stones praise thee) above it.


To the Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, or rather to his passion for the beautiful daughter of a Salzburg merchant whose name was perhaps not inappropriately Salome, the charming Schloss Mirabell chiefly owes its existence. Here (so the story goes) the beautiful Salome Alt was installed as mistress, amid splendour and lavish expenditure befitting a King's favourite. For her were constructed and laid out delightful gardens, with fine terraces, shady walks, wide lawns of exquisitely "velvety" turf, the like of which we have seldom seen even in the "grass" counties of England; quaintly shaped flower-beds, fountains and ponds, mazes and avenues of fine trees. For her, too, were numerous groups of statuary, and single figures of a mythological and artistic character installed. Some of these are of considerable merit; and few are without distinctive decorative value in the surroundings amid which they have been placed.

In the gardens themselves there is a constant succession of delightful flowers all the year round. On the occasion of our last visit the sweetly scented linden avenue was in full bloom, whilst roses were in profusion—we were told they bloom almost all the year round in this favoured and beautiful spot—and the jasmine, orange trees, and many other beautiful and homely flowers perfumed the summer air, and spread out in a riot of colour on every 175 hand. Aloes, palms, Portugal laurels, daphne, and other shrubs afford relief to the eye, and in the background, towering high above the quietude of this old-fashioned garden, looms the vast and commanding Hohen-Salzburg, with its roofs and pinnacles shimmering and glancing in the sunshine of the upper air.

In the gardens are also the interesting aviary of the Salzburg Society for the Protection of Birds, and the former Summer Theatre near the French Garden with the grassy stage and wings formed of "trimly" clipped hedges.

The mansion itself suffered severely from a fire in 1818, but the Marble Hall and staircase which escaped are well worth seeing, as are also the decorations of several of the older rooms. 176



In the neighbourhood of Salzburg there are several beautiful castles erected by various holders of the See. Amongst them the charmingly situated Leopoldskron, lying to the south of the Mönchsberg, overlooking a lake covered in early summer with a profusion of water lilies and other water plants, and embracing a magnificent prospect of the environing mountains. The drive to Leopoldskron is one not to be missed. As one passes along the magnificent avenue, or allée, of trees, through flower-bedecked fields, and with the fresh air from off the river and mountains perfumed by the carpet of blossoms which lies stretched on either side of the road, one is able to realize to the full the rural charm which surrounds the historic and busy town just left behind.


But a little distance further, on the other side of the Salzach, is Hellbrunn, once an Archiepiscopal and now an Imperial possession. It is surrounded by a large deer park, and owes its origin to the Archbishop Marcus Sittich in 1613. It is pleasantly situated, and was, according to tradition, the retreat and pleasure palace of its founder, who was of a far more social and lively disposition than Archbishops, even in that somewhat lax 177 age, were supposed to be, and here he installed his favourites. In the chateau itself there are some fine state apartments, in one of which are some interesting frescoes by Mascagni, Franz von Sienna, and Solari the younger.

But the gardens and unique fountains and "waterworks," which are laid out and planned in the style so popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are the great attractions of Hellbrunn, not only to the foreign visitors, but on Sundays especially to the Salzburg folk, and those of the neighbouring villages who flock in thousands to the chateau. In the gardens of Hellbrunn one finds the same velvety turf that so generally distinguishes those of other castles in this fertile valley of the Salzach; whilst in the ponds, lakes, fountains, and "trick" waterworks—invented by the Archbishop, so it is said, to amuse his favourites during his enforced absences upon his ecclesiastical duties and affairs of State—one has something quite out of the ordinary.

Indeed, probably in no other garden in the world do unsuspecting visitors run such risks of a soaking or impromptu shower baths as at Hellbrunn. Jets start suddenly (at the turn of secret taps by the custodian, who seems to take a cynical delight, bred of many experiences, in the visitor's discomfiture) from rockeries, from the corners of plaster columns, from the mouths, finger-tips and eyes of statues, from the foliage of trees, from roofs of grottoes, from the edges of the very paths along which one is unsuspectingly walking, from, it appears, the very ground beneath one's feet. One is lured into a grotto to admire a statue or to "see something" which may or may not actually exist, only a moment later to find one's exit blocked by a curtain of water, which pours down from the outside rocks above the entrance. This lifts and one makes a dash for liberty, only to be assailed by jets of water converging or spurting across the path one has to follow. Visitors seat themselves upon a marble bench a 178 few moments later, and a whole battery of jets plays upon the unfortunate sitters, or are so arranged that, whilst not actually playing upon them, to escape without "running the gauntlet," for the amusement of the more discreet or knowing onlookers, is impossible. On fine Sundays when there is usually a great crowd of visitors at this favourite out-of-town resort, which boasts of an excellent restaurant, there is, of course, plenty of fun when the jets begin to play for the lucky folk who have "been there before."

Along one path leading from the chateau to the lawns and fish-ponds, the latter of which are crowded with huge carp and other fish, some of which are reputed to be as old as Hellbrunn itself, there are set in niches a number of figures, blacksmiths, armourers, millers, and the like with their anvils, forges, and mills worked by a tiny runlet of water. And not far from these is the famous mechanical Theatre, also worked by water power, with its organ, and some hundred and fifty figures in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century costumes, which give quaint performances, depicting a busy town, dancers (these latter very amusing with their pirouettes and posturings), soldiers, fighting, jousts, etc. Of the water grottoes that known as the Neptune—with, it is said, five thousand jets—is the largest, and there are also the Rainbow, Fairy, and Orpheus grottoes, each one bringing into play some fresh piece of mechanical or other ingenuity.

In the deer park is situated the famous Monatsschlösschen upon a wooded knoll, from which a fine view is obtainable. This building was erected (some say for a bet) within a month's time by Archbishop Marcus Sittich. There was at the time a popular belief that he was assisted in the accomplishment of what was, at all events in those days, a wonderful feat by Satan himself.



The Stone Theatre near by is also worth seeing. It has a naturally formed stage and auditorium, upon the former of which in ancient times pastoral and other plays 179 were performed for the amusement of the Archbishops and their friends.


The Castle of Anif, which is reached by a pleasant road from Hellbrunn in about twenty minutes, is well worth a visit. It is a most charming chateau dating originally from the second decade of the thirteenth century, of late years restored in Gothic style by the owner, one of the Counts Arco-Steppberg. It is built in the centre of a lake, and is surrounded by a well-wooded and beautiful park, and is of great interest as a well-preserved survival of the fortified domestic architecture of other days. It is beautifully furnished, and contains many finely decorated rooms, and a valuable art collection.

The return to Salzburg through the fields at sunset is a delightful experience. To the back and to the left of one are the towering mountain summits tinged with the Alpine glow which turns their rocky peaks almost blood red, and their snow-fields a deep rose pink. And right ahead stands up, mystic-looking as some fairy fortress in the waning light, Hohen-Salzburg, its roofs and walls reddened and given the tints of nacre, and its windows shining like the open doors of furnaces. A never-to-be-forgotten picture.

Both the Gaisberg, up which there is now a funicular railway, and at whose foot Aigen, with its interesting Church and Castle acquired by the family of Prince Schwarzenberg in 1804, lies, and the Kapuzingerberg should be visited by all who have the time, and for whom a wide and pleasant prospect of mountain ranges, valleys, and the Salzach, threading its silvery way dividing the city and flowing northward and southward through the valley, has attractions.

The Gaisberg is ascended from the little village of Parsch, reached by tram from the city. The railway takes one through beautiful scenery in about an hour to the summit of the mountain, which is so favourite an 180 excursion with the well-to-do Salzburgers, and from which such a beautiful prospect is spread out at one's feet. To the north one can catch glimpses of the undulating foreground of the Alps and shining lakes; whilst Salzburg now more than 4000 feet below looks almost insignificant, and like a toy town set in the midst of a green plain through which winds a thin, silver line, the Salzach. In the far distance is the magnificent range of the Alps, in which stand the Watzmann, 9050 feet; the Dachstein, 9990 feet, with its rocky pinnacles catching the sunshine, and its glaciers and snow-fields gleaming white, whilst in the further distance through the deep-cut gap formed by the Lueg Pass one sees the fields of eternal snow on the Hohen Tauern glinting at one, and on a quite clear day one can catch glimpses of the white peaks of the Grossglockner, 12,660 feet and the Wiesbachhorn, 11,900 feet, across the desolate-looking Steinerne Meer. The prospect has been compared, but somewhat loosely we think, to that from the Rigi. But, whether we think it finer or less fine, we can agree that in one respect the view and interest of the scene is not exceeded by its Swiss rival—the wonderful changes of light and shade which come and go over the landscape between the hours of sunrise and sunset, during which Nature seems to work with a brush full of the most delicate colours and uses them as no human artist could hope to do.

From the Kapuzingerberg, which is only half the height of the Gaisberg, the view is not so extensive, but it is well worth climbing to see. On the way up one obtains most beautiful peeps of the city from two distinct points; whilst from the summit one gets a panorama which will satisfy all save those who have made the Gaisberg ascent first. The way up is, after a long flight of steps about two hundred in number, through a most delightful beech wood, where one is tempted often to stop to rest or to admire some vista of the valley or town seen 181 through a framework of feathery, green branches. There are, too, on the Kapuzingerberg several interesting buildings. The first to be reached is the Church of the Capuchin Monastery built in the last year of the sixteenth century by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich. A beautiful old garden is attached to the Monastery, from which one has a fine prospect of the town and surroundings. Alas! it is only open to men, and thus by monkish custom women are shut out of one more "earthly paradise."


But to music lovers and many others who ascend the Kapuzingerberg the Mozart-Häuschen, situated in a charming little garden near the Monastery, will be the chief object of interest. This memorial to the master was presented to the city by Prince Camillo zu Starhemberg, and was completed in June, 1877, being thrown open to the public six weeks later, on July 18th, on the occasion of the first musical festival. This cottage, which formerly stood in the courtyard of the so-called old "Freihaus" in Vienna, has an added interest from the fact that in it was composed the opera "Die Zauberflöte."

The furniture, it should be noted, is not the original but a clever and exact copy of the articles comprising it. The former is in the collection of Prince Starhemberg. The top step of the cottage is, however, said to be "veritable." In the cottage are kept a great number of wreaths with ribbon streamers, embroideries, etc., which have been sent by admirers of Mozart's genius. Also some beautiful tablets of embossed metal commemorating the first musical festival held in 1877. There is also hung in the cottage the picture "Mozart at the Spinet" by the Italian artist Romaco, a photograph of the only portrait of the composer painted from life which is known to exist, which was the work of Doris Stock of Dresden in 1787; and the pictures of the various performers in the operas given at Cassel. The bust, which stands outside the cottage, is the work 182 of the well-known sculptor Edmund Hellmer, of Vienna, and was the gift of Baron Schwarz.

As one stands in the garden, with its pleasant prospect, quietude, and beautiful flowers, one cannot but feel that few more suitable spots could have been selected for a memorial to a musical genius of Mozart's nature. Far better is it, indeed, than some more pretentious place nearer the haunts of men.


The Mönchsberg and a walk along its ridge should not be missed by any one who has a little time to spare whilst at Salzburg. The explorer will be well rewarded for his toil. One is apt to estimate the Mönchsberg by its Hohen-Salzburg end, which so dominates the city. It is difficult, indeed, from down below in the narrow streets to believe that some 300 feet above one lie not only woods and tree-shaded walks, but even green, flower-bedecked fields. The most direct and interesting way up the Mönchsberg is by the Sigmund Haffnergasse and Hofstallgasse bearing to the left of the Fischbrunnen, and thence over the Mönchsbergstiege. On reaching the top of the flight of steps the way lies in the direction of Hohen-Salzburg as far as the passage leading into the Nonnthal and to Leopoldskron, then one climbs to the left, and after a little distance reaches the beautiful view point known as Konig Ludwig-Fernsicht, or King Ludvig's Lookout.

The prospect from here is wonderfully wide and beautiful, embracing as it does the villas on the other side of the town, and the villages and farms of the valley with their picturesque background of mountain ranges, including nearer in the Göll and Untersberg.



To the left and on the way along the ridge to the fortress is situated the beautiful villa of the famous singer Bianca Bianchi, and from the projecting bastion in the same direction one obtains a fine view of the town below, and valley of the Salzach. Both in the direction of Mülln to the right, and of Hohen-Salzburg 183 to the left, there are many fine views as one takes one's way either by shaded paths or through the fields which lead to the Bürgerwehrsöller, where there is an ancient watch-tower on the slope of the hill from whence one has a wonderful panoramic view of the city and its environs. From the opposite end of the rampart one obtains a widely extended prospect towards Reichenhall, Marzoll, Maxglan, and the Bavarian plain, which is not easily surpassed from the neighbourhood of any other town of the size in western Austria.

One can then either descend to the Marketenderschlössl through the beautiful woods by one of the well-kept paths, and thence reach Mülln, or retrace one's steps, and walk right along to the Hohen-Salzburg end of the Mönchsberg, from whence by entering the fortress and descending by way of the Nonnberg one obtains a fine view of the other portion of the Salzach valley in the direction of the Gaisberg, Hellbrunn, and Anif.

On the Nonnberg, so called from the Benedictine Convent built upon it, stands the fine Gothic Chapel founded in the first year of the eleventh century and beautifully restored in the fifteenth. In it is much fine stained glass, a winged altar piece of great interest; and there are also some interesting frescoes in the old tower. Unfortunately the cloisters are seldom if ever shown to visitors; they are the oldest now existent in the principality, and it is said even in the Austrian empire, dating as they do from the commencement of the eleventh century. They are charming and picturesque, and well worth the trouble which it is generally necessary to take in order to obtain permission to see them.

In Salzburg there is such a wealth of interesting buildings and places that to describe all one has seen or can see there is no space. Perhaps of those remaining to which reference has not yet been made, most people visit the house in which Mozart was born, situated in the narrow, picturesque old Getreidegasse; the Franciscan, 184 formerly the Parish Church; the Church of St. Peter, with its ancient and picturesque burial-ground beneath the shadow of the towering fern- and flower-clothed Mönchsberg, and the Caroline Augustus Museum. There are, of course, also the Dreifaltigkeits Kirche, with fine frescoes and carvings, and the University Church, both worth a visit.

To Mozart's birthplace, along the quaint and narrow Getreidegasse with its beautiful old signs of wrought-iron work projecting from the shop fronts on either hand, come hundreds of English and American visitors annually. Now the house is also a Mozart Museum, with much of interest for admirers of the composer, antiquarians and students. In the birth-chamber itself one finds a most valuable series of family portraits, including some of Mozart's wife, Constance Weber; also those of his landlord and his wife, Lorenz Johann and Maria Theresa Hagenauer. There are also the "scores" of many of his operas, and other compositions, records of the Mozart family; and perhaps most interesting of all the small clavichord or spinet, and the grand piano or reiseclavier, which was a present from his brother Karl, on which he used to play.

In the family sitting-room there are many interesting relics of the composer's father, mother, and other relatives, including Mozart's own pocket-book-diary, a large number of fragments of compositions, which from one cause or another were destined never to be completed, many letters of the family, copies of Mozart's three first published pieces printed in Paris, and several pictures of the house in the Rauhensteingasse, Vienna, where the composer for some years lived and ultimately, on January 5, 1791, died. Salzburg has well-honoured her famous son's memory by the several memorials of him within her gates, including the fine though simply conceived bronze statue in the Mozart-Platz which cost nearly £2000, and was erected by voluntary subscriptions in 1842. By the foundation of the Mozarteum or "Society for the Cultivation of Mozart," 185 not only is the memory of the great composer kept green, but the support of the School of Music of the same name is ensured. Thus the city of his birth, which did him (as is so frequently the case) but little honour during his lifetime, has nowadays become the centre of enthusiasm for his works. Festivals of his music take place during the summer months, at which not only the famous and beautiful Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra takes part, but also the most celebrated conductors and artistes.

Although Salzburg had been the residence of other famous musicians and composers, it is Mozart and his genius which dominates the ancient city's musical life, and proves so attractive an element to musicians and music lovers who visit it.


Michael Haydn, too, composer of much fine church music, was a resident in Salzburg and has a rather commonplace monument erected to his memory in St. Peter's Church. The latter is in the Romanesque style, founded in the middle of the twelfth century, and badly restored in the middle of the eighteenth, and is of great interest to the antiquarian and student of architecture. The portal consists of seven arches which gradually diminish in size, and are inlaid with strips of white and red marble. The very remarkable archings which strike one directly one has entered the building are portions of the original church. On a small altar near the vestry is a well-carved statue of the Virgin, said to be the work of one of the Archbishops, of about the end of the twelfth century, although there appears little real evidence in support of the suggestion.

The frescoes in the nave, representing scenes from the Crucifixion, painted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are worth study. In Salzburg considerable store is set upon the monuments in the church, but few rank high as works of art, although marking the graves or being memorials of distinguished and historic persons connected with the city's life in the past. 186

The beautiful though ruinous cemetery of St. Peter, which, with its crumbling tombs of the great dead, interesting and quaint mural tablets, and arcaded vaults belonging to some of the most important and famous Salzburg families, lies at the foot of the Mönchsberg, is, as well as the most picturesque, the oldest cemetery in Salzburg. It is difficult to exaggerate the interest and charm of the spot; always still, although set in the midst of a city, and within a few hundred yards of the principal and busiest thoroughfares. That it possesses a wonderful and mysterious attraction for tourists we can testify; and, indeed, we would almost go as far as to say that one meets more English and American visitors in this peaceful corner of the city than in any other spot on the southern side of the Salzach.

The celebrated Monastery of St. Peter, founded by St. Rupertus in (about) 582, was, until the first decade of the twelfth century, the residence of the bishops and archbishops of the diocese. The present building was erected during the reign of Archbishop Max Gandolph during the period covered by the years 1661-1674. It can be visited, and the library is full of the most interesting and valuable MSS., early copper plate engravings, and consists of about 45,000 volumes and some 250 illuminated and other MSS., chiefly upon parchment. Several of the latter and some of the early printed books are practically priceless. The Librarian is always delighted to exhibit the treasures under his charge, and in him we found (as doubtless will all intelligent bibliophiles) a kindred spirit, and a most interesting cicerone.


It is almost impossible in Salzburg, especially if one would really know something of the past life of the principality, and the city, to follow that excellent rule of avoiding museums. In the Salzburg Carolino-Augusteum Museum one finds so much that brings vividly before one other times and other customs. Although started but three-quarters of a century ago the Museum has already become 187 a repository of the deepest interest, much frequented by students of all types, the antiquarian and the man of science. It was due to the initiative of Vicenza Maria Süss, one of the leading town officials at the period of its foundation in 1834. The work which he began was well continued and supplemented by that of Jost Schiffmann, the well-known Swiss painter, and an enthusiastic committee, largely to whose credit must be placed the excellent arrangement of the art and other sections of the collection.

One of the most interesting and unique features of the Museum is the suite of rooms furnished accurately and entirely in the style of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; of these one of the most charming is the "Hunting Room" with its fine oak presses, pretty recessed window, and trophies of the chase. In the Hall of Antiquities are many interesting relics of the Roman occupation of the country, and also in the Lapidarium. A most excellent idea took shape in the Hall of Industry, where are collected together many excellent specimens of various "masterworks" of iron, woodcarving, etc.

The Music Room contains some of the most valuable musical instruments of the last three centuries, including spinets, violins, and others, some of these priceless. In the Armoury are relics of deep interest of the terrible Peasants' War, including wooden cannon, crude swords beaten from scythes, executioners' swords, curious and cumbersome firearms, and some of the lances used by the Landsknechte.

The Costume Room has many attractions for lady visitors, who linger not only to admire the fashions of the past, but to inspect the embroideries which came from the industrious and skilful fingers of past generations of women, "old" with the dignity, grace, and charm which the "new" woman so sadly lacks.

On the same floor are the interesting Mediæval 188 Kitchen, with its ancient and carefully kept copper and other utensils glinting at one from their hooks in the half-gloom of the recesses; the Ladies' Chamber, with its charming oriel, stained-glass window, colour of life of the period, and air of repose; the study, to show one the environment old-time students loved; a fine state-room; and a beautiful Renaissance Hall.

After these vivid reconstructions of the past one passes somewhat regretfully to the higher floor and prehistoric things. The priceless Celtic helmet, found in the Pass of Lueg, interesting though it is, seems "lifeless" in comparison with what one has just seen; as do somehow Roman statues and arms, and similar objects. And one needs the beautiful and richly ornamented panelling, oriels, and similar objects of the final room to bring back colour into things.

To visit and study this deeply interesting collection leaves one with a very good idea of the evolution of culture, science, and art during the last five centuries of the principality's history, one's knowledge of native art being easily further extended by a visit to the Kunstlerhaus near the Karolinenbrucke. Salzburg has produced at least one great artist in Hans Makart, who by common consent is esteemed one of the most vivid and brilliant colourists of his day.

In some of the villages near Salzburg, as also during "fair" times and festival times in the city itself, one is able to witness some of the quaint, picturesque, and dramatic peasant dances for which the valley of the Salzach has some reputation.


We were especially fortunate whilst recently there in witnessing not only peasant dances such as we have referred to, but also a peasant ball.

Amongst the dances specially notable was a variety of "Gaillarde," and "Allemande," a type of the dance known as "Siebensprung," where the male performers make a series of seven different movements with hands, 189 elbows, knees, feet; and then almost touch the floor with their foreheads whilst their female companions pirouette around them. The "Allemande," with its graceful twirling and twisting, and interlacing of the arms, and graceful bending of the bodies of the dancers, showing off the lines of the women's figures, is especially picturesque.

Then came types of other and more local dances, in one of which the women pirouetted round and round the room until scarcely able to stand, their short skirts gradually seeming to become inflated like balloons, and ascending inch by inch until knee high, when suddenly the dancers paused, their skirts fell, and with a sharp twirl and swish the latter were wound around their lower limbs in plastic folds.

Then there was a pretty dance commencing with a figure of the "Allemande," and proceeding to a courtship in pantomime, in which the women peered shyly at their partners between the circle formed by the interlaced arms, and ending by the men stooping, and whilst continuing a waltz step, suddenly seizing their companions round the knees and lifting them breast high, all the while continuing to circle the room in a "springy" rather than a gliding waltz.

Then followed a still more dramatic dance-play, in which the whole story of a peasant courtship from early days until the wedding was depicted in pantomime, with half a dozen characters beside the happy pair. Most of the performers were not only graceful and finished dancers, but were possessed of distinct dramatic gifts. The folk songs, accompanied upon rather weird instruments consisting of shepherds' pipes, guitars, fiddles, horns, and what, until it was put together, appeared to be a collection of short pieces of gas pipe of various lengths or strips of metal, were intensely interesting and musical.

What struck us perhaps more than anything else, 190 save the actual dancing and singing, was the charming manners of the women, and the perfect manners of the men. Peasants though they were, there was a complete absence of coarseness or roughness in general behaviour, in place of which one had perhaps a rather grave courtesy. And when at last it occurred to some of the men that perhaps the "foreigners" might like to dance, they approached the ladies of the party with a striking grace and courtesy of manner. The Salzburg girls, too, in their pretty costumes were just as gracious and charming as English girls of the upper middle class, when asked to favour some of the English men of the party with a dance. The scene was made even more kaleidoscopic in effect when at last the sombre evening dress of the latter mingled with and formed a foil to gay kerchiefs, snowy white bodices worn under a type of bolero jacket of the women, and the green and bright brown waistcoats and short knee breeches of the men. Across some of the waistcoats, which were many of them fastened with silver buttons, jangled quite a collection of coins, exhibiting (so we were told) the financial position of the wearer, so that any girl might know what a suitor or possible suitor was worth! We hope that no young man ever puts upon his waistcoat a single silver krone piece more than he is entitled to. But if very much in love to what deception of this kind might he not stoop? And mercenary indeed must be the maiden who would not in the end pardon his offence, which was so warm a tribute to the power of her charms.




Even nowadays a good deal of "costume" can at times be found in the Market, which, surrounded by old-time building and dominated by Hohen-Salzburg, is very picturesque with its tiny stalls—some shaded by huge umbrellas—and buxom market women in short skirts, gay kerchiefs, and sometimes in types of the peasant costumes prevailing in the immediate district. As a general rule the market folk are good models both 191 for artists and amateur photographers, though some of the younger women coquettishly pretend that they object to be photographed, whilst all the while they are desperately anxious to come into the picture.

To leave this fascinating old-world town, where so much of the most beautiful in modern ideas stands side by side with ancient things, without a visit to some of the charming and interesting places in the immediate district—lovely lakes rivalling the deep-blue sky above them in the tint of their waters; peaceful valleys, where pure air invigorates scented by passage through pinewoods and across flower-decked Alpine pastures; wonderful peaks covered with that eternal weight of glorious snow, and bound about in some cases by the immemorial fastnesses of environing glaciers—should be impossible. Our only regret is that neither space nor the scope of the present volume permits of some description of the beauties which we have visited and which lie so close at hand; indeed, almost within call of the beautiful city set in a valley, and surrounded with majestic and lofty mountains, the lower slopes of whose wilder peaks are softened by pine forests, and fertile upper pastures. 192




So many pens have described and praised Meran, the ancient capital of Tyrol, that there must be few adjectives of appreciation left unapplied to it. Many poets have also sung of this beautifully situated little town of some 8000 inhabitants which once played so important a part in Tyrolese history, and nowadays has developed into a fashionable health resort.

It has by turns been called "the Jewel of South Tyrol," "Tyrol's sweet Paradise," and in one of the visitor's books "A Paradise of God's making and man's improving"! Artists love it, and therefore it goes without saying that Meran is both beautiful and picturesque. From whatever side one approaches the town, whether by the more usual route from the West via Innsbruck, and then by the little branch line of the Brenner railway from Bozen; from the south through Verona; from the north by way of Munich and Innsbruck,—one is at once struck by its wonderfully favoured situation amid vineyards, orchards and rich pasture land, set in a wide valley surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, and watered by the Passer River.

It is, indeed, a charming spot in which to either rest—as so many do—or from which to make excursions so varied in character, that they may suit all tastes.



The first view of the town, with its spires, huge hotels, 193 white-walled houses and villas, and the ruins of Castle Tyrol set high on the north-western and vine-clad slope of the Kuchelberg, is one of great beauty. On the lower hillsides are chestnut groves and pine woods; and many of the villas and houses of the town itself appear amid them as though embowered in green.

The railway from Bozen traverses the picturesque Etsch Valley, which is dotted with orchards, and follows the course of the Etsch to where it joins the Passer about three-quarters of a mile from Meran.

The architecture of the town, as is the case with most places of any size in South Tyrol, is distinctly Italian in general characteristics. In fact, one of the things which makes Tyrol, as a whole, of unusual interest to students and artists is the variety of the domestic architecture found within its borders. Although there are many quaint corners and delightful byways in Meran, there is really only one important business thoroughfare, running almost due east and west and of considerable length, with arcaded shops known as "Unter den Lauben" (in the shade). It is probably because it has this aspect that one of the sunniest streets we have ever been in has been so amply provided with shady arcades; and in summer the latter can be appreciated to the full. In the season the long street is at times crowded with foreigners from England, Germany, Italy, and America, and has a busy and cosmopolitan air somewhat out of character with its general old-world look.

Just off this interesting thoroughfare stands the Burg, or, to give it its fuller and ancient name, the Landesfürstliche Burg, in ancient times the town residence of the Counts of Tyrol. Retired as it is in the courtyard of the Magistrats Gebäude it is often overlooked by the passing tourist, although of great antiquarian and historical interest. Dating from the fifteenth century, the building has been admirably and sympathetically restored, and is a treasure-house of fine old furniture and 194 bric-a-brac. There are also some interesting frescoes and coats-of-arms of former owners and inhabitants. It is, perhaps, difficult to realize that amongst the latter in the middle of the fifteenth century was a Scottish princess. But it was to the Burg that Sigismund, son of Duke Frederick of the Empty Purse, brought his bride Eleonora, daughter of James I. of Scotland, over the Brenner and via Bozen, to the house and home he had prepared for her reception.

From Bozen onwards, we are told, the young couple's progress was marked by rejoicings and enthusiasm as they passed from castle to castle, until at last they came, in due time, to the then capital of Tyrol. Eleonora's ultimate popularity with the Tyrolese was, perhaps, even more owing to her skill in the chase than to her intellectual gifts, although the latter were very remarkable for a woman of that period. The translator of "The Book of Celebrated Women," by Boccaccio, waxes very enthusiastic over her, and he is by no means the only writer of the period who has left on record a tribute to the Archduchess' high mental and physical qualities. That Eleonora was of a scholarly disposition and gifted with "tongues" is proved by her translation of a French Romance of the period, "Pontus and Sidoni," into German. It is now a rare book, although copies are occasionally found, and it would appear to have had a considerable vogue at the time it was published. It was printed at Augsburg. In the preface one gathers that the translation was done by the noble authoress to "please his Serene Highness and Lord Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, her lawful husband."

In this charming old palace, set back from the hum and bustle of the street, Sigismund and Eleonora dwelt for some years, happy in the pursuit of learning, the enjoyment of sport, and in the affection of the townsfolk.

In the Burg it is possible to obtain a very good conception of what a mediæval nobleman's house really 195 was like, for not only have many interesting specimens of furniture, presses, chairs and other fittings been preserved, but also household utensils, and other articles of common use.

There are, in the byways and courtyards of the main street, several other most interesting houses dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which will repay the attention of students of architecture. And may we add the ubiquitous "Kodaker"?

One of the most enduring impressions Meran leaves upon the mind is that of being in the true sense "a garden city." No other place of the size in Tyrol possesses so many beautiful and tree-shaded promenades, walks and gardens. But the notice "smoking strictly prohibited" which stares one in the face in the charming Gisela Promenade with its old and feathery poplar trees fringing the bank of the Passer, and in other similar resorts, is probably a regulation distasteful to many.

Of "gartens" and cafés there is no lack. On the left bank of the river is the pleasant Maria-Valerie Garten, where—as is the case with other similar places—an excellent band frequently plays. Of the cafés at least the Café Gilf should be visited, on account of its beautiful vegetation and fine view of the Passer gorge and surrounding mountain slopes which one obtains from the "look out."


To many visitors the Hero Plays, which, for the last fifteen years, have been performed annually, in the spring and generally in the autumn, with scenes from the lives of the famous son of the Passer Valley, Andreas Hofer, and his companions for the chief incidents, will prove of great interest. The plays, which include "Tiroler-helden" and one produced for the first time in August, 1901, entitled "Frederick of the Empty Purse," are acted entirely by peasants.

Many are acquainted with the fine dramatic gifts of the Bavarian peasantry which have found expression in 196 the plays at Ober-Ammergau; but those of the Tyrolese are less well-known and less widely recognized. Any one, however, who has seen one of the Meran "Hofer" dramas will probably agree with us that it was well worth seeing, and that the dramatic art displayed was not less praiseworthy than that of the more famous performances at Ober-Ammergau.

The plays are given outdoors in a large meadow on a huge stage, and with natural scenery formed by a large chalet (with a bell turret above the central gable) and other smaller buildings on either side, with the hill slopes in the background, the stage being the street in front of the chalet, and the "wings" the side streets. The field is generally—especially for the autumn performances—boarded, and there are a limited number of covered-in boxes facing the stage for the use of those who prefer to be sheltered from the sun, which on fine days is somewhat trying in its intensity, as, of course, no sunshades or umbrellas are permitted. The natural beauties of the valley behind form an appropriate and altogether charming "back-cloth" for the scenery, which represents a portion of a Tyrol village with real buildings. The most popular of the plays with the inhabitants of Meran and the Tyrolese generally are undoubtedly those dealing with the period of national history when their country was engaged in its desperate struggle to free itself from the French and Bavarian invaders.

The acting is always excellent, and distinguished by that spontaneity which seems so frequently to characterize outdoor representations. The naturalness which also distinguishes the performances is probably largely attributable to the fact that the actors have most of them been not only well acquainted with the incidents they pourtray since childhood, but are also in the main representing scenes and using language of everyday life; and are not engaged in attempting to interpret scenes and incidents in which they have no personal 197 interest, or of which they have only gained a knowledge by close and tiresome study.


To the artist the stage management, which is remarkably good, and the delightful blending of the ancient costumes in charming tableaux and schemes of colour will make a special appeal.

The plays not only add an undoubted and additional attraction to the quaint and charming town, but also are deserving of the highest praise from an artistic and dramatic point of view.

Naturally Meran is over-full at the times of representation, so the wise traveller books his rooms in advance, unless he wishes (as many have done before now) to "sleep at the hotel of the beautiful star," which in plain English means in the open air, and on the ground.

We have just mentioned the costumes which appear in the plays. At Meran the old costumes (though alas! they are being slowly but surely superseded) have been preserved to a larger extent than in almost any other place we know in Tyrol. The women's dress is undeniably picturesque, just as it is markedly German in general character. Hats are seldom worn, the hair is plainly and extremely neatly dressed, brushed back off the brow, and secured in a simple knot behind by means of a silver or silver-headed pin. The bodices are of velvet or cloth, of the "corselet" type seen in Switzerland and many parts of Germany as well as in Tyrol; and they are worn over a white chemisette with puffed sleeves, which end just above the elbow and are generally there confined by "ties" of coloured ribbon.

The men's costume is scarcely less picturesque, consisting as it does of a high-crowned hat of felt or cloth, bound round with numerous bands of thin red or green cord, the first colour denoting a man is married (a useful danger signal for unwary spinsters!), and the second denoting a bachelor, eligible or otherwise. The jacket is usually of brown or blackish brown cloth; cloth knee breeches (we 198 have seen buckskin on some of the "granfers") with wide red or green braces, and sometimes an embroidered waistcoat, completes the costume. One other feature is almost sure to strike the observer, the white aprons which so many of the men wear when engaged in work. On festive occasions silver belts are worn by some of the men in the surrounding valleys, though we fancy these are considerably less common now than they were even ten years ago.

The variations of dress in the different valleys of Tyrol have been ascribed by a well-known writer upon the subject as rising from the circumstance that peasant costumes are very largely belated fashions of the town; which, obtained perhaps three or even four generations or longer ago, have in time come, by all save students of the subject, to be looked upon erroneously as a mode of dress evolved by the peasant wearers themselves. What in all probability really happened in many cases was, some visitors to the towns when in need of fresh clothes bought town-made and then fashionable garments which were copied by neighbours (as do villagers in England at the present time), and thus perpetuated from generation to generation, and not discarded until some fresh sartorial idea percolated its way slowly and in much the same manner to the often remote regions of these Tyrolese valleys and upper pastures.

On the occasion of the "Hofer" celebrations or "Hero" plays one even nowadays sees a most interesting variety of costumes in Meran, although the differences are not so marked as in former times, and appear rather in small details than in immediately apparent variations.




Amongst the many "Cures" of the Continental Spas and invalid resorts Meran possesses a unique one in the "Grape Cure." Nowhere in Tyrol can the interesting harvesting of the grapes be better seen than at Meran. The vineyards, for one thing, are more picturesque than 199 in many places, by reason of the practice of largely training the vines over trellis work or rustic pergolas. In some vineyards these form perfect covered walks or arcades of delightful green, through which the sun filters to glint upon the purple and green-gold bunches of grapes hanging in profusion on either hand and above one's head. But, as may be imagined, the casual visitor does not have the freedom of the vineyards on the hillsides when once the grapes are ripening off. Then the gates, some of them adorned with rows of formidable-looking spikes and hooks with a great and persistent affinity for clothing, are closely shut against all intruders, and, in addition, that curious individual the Saltner, whose name is probably derived from the Latin word meaning forester, and hence guardian of lands of all kinds, is placed on guard. His costume is such as to bring alarm not only to the birds but even to human beings. Tyrolese children we believe have been brought up to regard the Saltner as a type of "Bogey Man" of a very efficient character. Usually he wears buckskin breeches or leggings, a broad belt in which there shines a whole armoury of weapons of a miscellaneous character comprising old pattern pistols, knives, and sometimes a "horse" pistol of dimensions almost entitling it to be spoken of as a gun. In his cap, which is of an uncommon shape, are such a collection of feathers, martens' tails, plumes, and odds and ends of ribbon as to cause it to resemble nothing so much as the head-dress of a Sioux Indian.

Notwithstanding this "terrific" personage, it is not very difficult with the expenditure of a few kreutzers to obtain permission to enter a vineyard in process of harvesting. The labour employed is chiefly that of women and girls, who, armed with sharp sickles or large knives with heavy and curved blades, stand beneath the trellises and hold a wooden tray in one hand beneath the bunch to be severed. One skilled sweep of the 200 sickle and the latter falls into the tray with a minimum of damage to the luscious fruit.

Here and there along the paths are wooden tubs into which the trays are emptied from time to time. And these tubs again are borne away by men to the huge vats or tubs bound with iron, which are slung to a framework or trolley on wheels to which oxen are harnessed, and by them brought to the nearest convenient point in the vineyard. Then when the vats are full almost to the brim, two men take up their positions beside them, and proceed to crush and pound the grapes, stems and all, into a dark-red, uninviting-looking mess with long-handled, heavy wooden hammers. In many Italian vineyards it is still the custom to "tread" the juice out, a practice which is far less cleanly and hygienic (though it is said more thorough and economical) than the Meran method. After the juice is all expressed it is set aside to ferment, and the other processes of wine making are afterwards gone through.

The famous grape cure consists apparently of eating as much of the fruit as one possibly can. Many doctors affirm that no particular benefit is derived or can be hoped for unless upwards of two pounds of fruit is consumed daily, the maximum quantity desirable being nine pounds! Immense as this may seem, we have been assured that some "patients" have considerably exceeded this amount.

Perhaps the grape cure is so popular because, for one thing, to eat a reasonable quantity of fully ripe and freshly gathered fruit is by no means a disagreeable task for most people, and because it can be taken anywhere.

In the cafés one sees crowds undergoing the cure; on the numerous and shady seats of the Gisela Promenade one sees folks eating grapes. And practically in every street and alley, and along the mountain paths in the vicinity of Meran one meets people with brown-paper bags, or if taking the cure very seriously with little 201 baskets, all eating grapes as though their future well-being depended upon the quantity they could consume in a given time. The "old stagers" generally divide their daily quantity into two or three portions; taking one early in the morning before "Halbmittag," the second about mid-day, and the third at sundown.

To its many other attractions Meran has added for the holiday maker that of a good band, which performs during the season really most excellent music in front of the Kurhaus, or in one or other of the public gardens at Obermais. The Kurhaus, with its sheltered Wandelhalle or promenade, naturally forms the pivot upon which the more social side of the daily life of Meran turns. Here one meets not only the invalid, but the traveller from all parts of the Continent; and in the Kurhaus gardens one finds also those "birds of passage," who alight for a time on their way further north or south.


The Sports Platz is one of the best in Tyrol. On it are held tennis tournaments, cycle races (less than formerly), trotting events, and horse races; whilst in the winter months the centre is converted into an excellent skating lake. The races are largely attended by Italians as well as natives, and at the larger meetings there is generally some event of interest and importance from a sportsman's point of view.

A big race day at Meran has many of the social and picturesque elements of the smaller events at Chantilly. The ladies don their best toilettes, and the beautiful surroundings and brilliant sunshine all go to make a picture of great charm and animation.

On the outskirts and in the immediate neighbourhood of Meran are so many ancient castles that the town might well be called the "city of castles." Just outside the Papist Gate is the half-ruined Schloss Zenoburg, standing on a precipitous rock; whilst prettily situated at Obermais stands Schloss Rubein with a famous avenue of cypresses. Along the picturesque Bozen road is Schloss 202 Katzenstein; which, seen across the fields from the hillside, looks like a grim outpost guarding the valley.

Then there are also the Schloss Gojen, with its environment of shady and odorous pine forests, and background of snow-capped mountains; Schloss Vorst, but half an hour's drive from Meran, and finely situated upon a rocky eminence overlooking the valley, and several others of which could be told stories of romantic and historic interest.

And last, but greatest of them all, there is Schloss Tyrol which was destined to give its name to the whole of the country. As it is one of the most famous it is probably also the best known of all castles to the average tourist and traveller in Tyrol. So ancient is it that historians have been able to discover a mention of it at so early a period as the last decade of the fourth century A.D. But, notwithstanding this fact, the records relating to its earlier days are neither full nor reliable. Of the life that went on within it and the fate that possibly overtook it during the period covered by the years (about) A.D. 400 to A.D. 1000 little, indeed, is discoverable. Its present ruinous condition arose partly from neglect during the troublous period of the wars at the end of the eighteenth and commencement of the nineteenth century, and partly from the fact that during the Bavarian occupation of the country in 1808-9, the then Government sold the castle for the ridiculous sum of a couple of hundred pounds for the purpose of destruction so that the stones could be used as building material![16]




Castle Tyrol stands a relic of past glories, feats of arms, strenuous living, and chivalry on a rocky ridge or spur of the mountains above the vineyards, which climb upwards towards the white and imposing castle walls. Behind and above rise the pine forests running upwards to meet the rocky slopes of the Kückelberg and Vintschgau 203 range. The most ancient portions of the present building are some of the walls, a porch, and two marble doorways dating from about the twelfth century, and the chapel. In the latter there is a fine representation of the Fall of Man, and interesting carvings. From its commanding position it is only to be expected that a magnificent prospect is to be had of the Adige Valley, the chain of the Ulten-Thal and Mendel mountains, and the vineyards upon the slopes which swell upwards from the valley. Seen either soon after sunrise (which few people, we imagine, do) or just at sunset, the views from the castle, more especially that from the Kaisersaal, are of wonderful pictorial beauty and charm.

Though we have too little space to devote to the many delightful places in the Meran valley which invite exploration, or to mention the numerous walks which tempt the pedestrian, we must give a passing word or two to the Château or Castle of Schönna, which lies nearly two thousand feet above sea-level like a hoary and time-worn sentinel at the entrance to the Passeier Valley. It is easily reached from Obermais by an excellent road suitable even for cyclists, and is well worth a visit owing to the representative collection of old weapons gathered within it, and its picturesque situation. Dating from the early years of the twelfth century, it is an excellent example of the ancient feudal fortress-residence of those far-off times. A mention of the Château Lebenberg, distant about an hour and a half's walk from Meran, is justified—although it is now a pension—by reason of its excellent state of preservation, and the historical paintings in several of the most interesting rooms. The walk, too, along the side of the mountains by way of Marling and picturesque St. Anton is one to be enjoyed and remembered.

Some ten miles northward in the Passeier Valley, just a little distance beyond the village of St. Martin, where one sees many examples of the wall paintings which are 204 more especially numerous in the towns and villages of Southern Tyrol, stands the most famous national pilgrimage place and historic shrine, Hofer's Inn, called Wirth am Sand or the "Sandy Inn," literally the "Inn by the Sand." It is quite an unpretentious building standing by the roadside, and would scarcely attract the notice of passing travellers. It is entered by a gallery reached up a short flight of steps. The interior is scrupulously clean, and although it is plainly furnished one is rather the more impressed by this circumstance which leaves the famous Inn, where Hofer was born on November 22, 1767, much as we are told it was in his time. From the pleasant dining-room on the first floor, with curtains of spotless muslin to keep out the almost blinding sunshine of the valley, there are fine views towards Meran, and of the towering mountains across the stony bed of the Passer.

At the Inn there are some interesting relics of the patriot, and pictures of him. One shows him as a big, strongly built man of not much above average height, with a short nose, a fine and lofty forehead, dark eyes, and a rather ruddy face, well-marked eyebrows, and the famous long beard.

At one time Hofer wore no beard, and the story goes that his growing one—which ultimately was declared to be the longest in the valley—arose from the chaff of his companions, who asserted that his wife forbade him to wear one. Whether the tale be true or not it has very general acceptance, and we all know that Hofer's beard was ultimately one of his distinguishing features during the campaigns in which he was engaged. There is a very pleasant balcony on the outside of the house which, tradition asserts, was often used by Hofer and his companions when holding their meetings or councils of war to devise some scheme by which their beloved country could be freed from a foreign yoke.


Hofer's last letter, which is one of the most treasured 205 of the relics, even exceeding in interest the clothes which he wore when shot at Mantua, is a splendid testimony to the dignity and greatness of the man, which surmounted all troubles and disasters and was not lessened or alloyed by triumphs. In it he speaks of his old home, of the rushing Passer, of the beautiful mountains he would see never again, and then goes on to say, "It is the great God's good will that I die at Mantua," and then, "Farewell, beautiful world," adding, "but at the thought of quitting it my eyes scarcely even moisten." Then follow the words, "I am writing this at five in the morning; at nine I shall pass into the presence of God," with the date "20th February, 1810."

Far up the mountain side above his old home is the spot where Hofer hid with his wife from November, 1809, till five o'clock on the morning of January 18, 1810, when he was captured and taken under strong escort first to Meran, and ultimately to Mantua. He had refused to fly to Vienna or take refuge on Austrian territory. He wished to remain amongst his people, perhaps with a vain hope of once more attempting to accomplish Tyrol's freedom.

It is with regret that most travellers leave Hofer's old dwelling. The whole Passeier Valley is, of course, teeming with historic memories, of the gallant doings of the patriot and his companions. Near Schloss Tyrol itself was fought one of the most notable engagements, and a victory won when the French, driven from their position on the Küchelberg, were surrounded by the peasant forces; whilst just outside Meran another skirmish took place, as a result of which the French troops were forced to evacuate the town.


From Meran to Bozen by rail is rather less than twenty miles, and about the same distance by the road, which runs through the valley of the Etsch, or Adige, and in places along the lower slopes of the hills. It is a picturesque journey by either, and for cycling quite delightful. One 206 crosses the Talfer just before reaching Bozen, which lies in a wide basin at the junction of the valley of the Etsch, with the smaller but picturesque Sarnthal, surrounded by great reddish brown crags and precipices of the porphyry mountains on which the semi-tropical cactus grows, and one gets sombre groups of cypresses, and here and there vineyards, and pine-clad crags. The town is a strange mixture of the German elements of Tyrol and the Italian. Its architecture, too, is "an admixture of that of north Italy and South Germany, here and there transfused so that it preserves characteristics of both." It is perhaps for this very reason a town of great charm, and one of considerable beauty. Its surroundings, which include the famous Rosengarten, and many beautiful little valleys and gorges present attractions for a longer stay than one at first contemplates.

It is, moreover, one of the busiest (Bozen people claim that it is the busiest) towns in Tyrol, with a population going on towards 20,000, including its outskirts, yet it possesses some most delightful gardens.

Seen from almost any point of the lower slopes of the surrounding hills, cactus, and vine-clad, and resembling in general luxuriance of vegetation Italy rather than the Tyrol of but a little further north, Bozen is charming. Below one is spread out a garden-like city, which with all its bustling life yet looks more like a holiday resort than a commercial town, with numbers of white-walled villas dotted amidst green fields, vineyards and gardens, in the latter of which blossom all the flowers one knows and loves, and many less common in England.



One of the oldest towns in Tyrol, it stands practically on the site of the Pons Drusi of Roman times. It has for "time out of mind" stood at the cross roads where the Brenner and the Vintsgau routes divide. In the past, Roman armies have passed through it, have crossed the Talfer, or have lain encamped in the fields of its basin-like site. And after them came the Merchants of the Middle 207 Ages, trading between civilized Italy and barbarian northern lands. Still later came Emperors and pilgrims travelling to the "Eternal City," Crusaders outward and homeward bound, roving singers, and hordes of free lances and mercenaries. In a word, Bozen's past must have been a stirring one, and the lives led by her citizens full of the colour of life and gallant deeds.

Anciently, too, the town was fought for and tossed hither and thither by those powerful civil lords the Terriolis, Counts of Tyrol, and the militant spiritual lords the Prince Bishops of Trent. For this reason, and on account of many fires and "grievous o'erflowings of the Talfer in past times," of the most ancient of all Bozens there are comparatively few traces, though within the old town there are yet traceable some interesting relics of the Middle Ages.

In those long back times Bozen was a place of even greater commercial importance than now. To its four annual markets or fairs people from many lands came, and it became the depôt and centre of the great transport trade by the two chief passes leading from Italy into Tyrol and thence to Germany and Austria. As was not unnatural Bozen merchants had a standing of their own, and were, according to one authority, "not a little purse proud and exclusive in their dealings, save when the latter meant that financial advantage would thereby accrue to them."

Although Bozen does not commend itself to most tourists from higher latitudes for a lengthy stay, at least not in summer, as the basin in which it lies, though making it delightfully sheltered in winter, causes the town in the months of July and August to be decidedly hot and rather enervating, there are several places in the immediate neighbourhood to which one can flee for fresher air and cooler days. The town has somewhat declined commercially from the high position it once held, when the trade which flowed into Tyrol through it and northwards 208 out of it was chiefly along the high-roads and over the passes; and thus through Bozen a very appreciable percentage of the whole southern and Italian trade passed. But nevertheless it is still a most flourishing and interesting town.

A native writer says, on this subject, "Bozen ... has during the last decade largely recovered the ground it had temporarily lost through the making of railways, and the decline of transport along the high-roads of the passes owing chiefly to the increased facilities that have arisen for conveyance of merchandize by sea." Certainly one is soon able, when in the town, to realize that in two branches of trade at least Bozen occupies an undoubtedly high position in the commercial world, those of wine, and fruit growing and exporting. The hillsides are literally studded with vineyards and orchards, and Bozen fruit has gained for itself an almost world-wide reputation.

From the artistic side, too, Bozen claims the attention of all who are interested in legendary lore, architecture, and antiquarian matters. As one passes along its chief streets, or explores its byways in the older part of it, one is delighted on almost every hand by vistas of fine houses, shady and charming courtyards, buildings with strangely constructed roofs, and fantastic gable ends, quaintly shaped bay windows, vaulted colonnades, and here and there, stowed away where least one would expect to find them, smaller courtyards with trellises covered with vines, and perhaps an ancient well of rust-red marble to give a finishing touch to the charming picture.



Numbers of artists pause at Bozen yearly on their way south into Italy via Verona to study the rich treasures in the galleries of the cities of Northern Italy, or to rest awhile on their return journey northwards. In Bozen is plenty to paint and plenty to admire, and the townsfolk are noted for the hospitality which still (notwithstanding the great influx of tourists of late years) distinguishes the frank and warm-hearted people of Tyrol in general. 209


Chief amongst the buildings which will attract one's attention stands the Pfarrkirche or Parish Church, which with its elegant tower and open spire, over two hundred feet in height, forms a monument to the artistic and constructive skill of its Swabian builder Johann Lutz in the first years of the sixteenth century. The church is splendidly situated at one corner of the fine open Waltherplatz, which is planted with shady horse-chestnut trees, and, its roof of copper-green tiles set in a pattern, contrasts admirably with its walls and spire of red sandstone. In ancient times the building possessed two spires, both of which were destroyed or so injured as to necessitate their pulling down long before Lutz built his elegant structure. The church itself, which contains a fine altar-piece by a pupil of Titian, and a remarkable stone pulpit dating about the first decade of the sixteenth century, is, in the main, fourteenth-century work, although it was not actually finished until the third decade of the fifteenth, so some authorities state.

In the centre of the Johann Platz stands a fine though simply conceived statue to Walther von der Vogelweide who was born about 1160 at Lajen, near Waidbruck, in which the poet is shown standing clad in a loose robe, with a biretta-like cap on his head and his hands crossed whilst holding a lute. The statue is the work of the late Heinrich Natter, one of the most famous of native sculptors, who was also the artist of the famous Berg Isel Hofer Monument, of the very finely conceived and well-executed statue of Ulrich Zwingli at Zurich, and many other works.

One of the most charming of Bozen streets is undoubtedly the Laubengasse, which greatly resembles the main street of Meran, with its shady arcades on either side under which the shops are situated, and where one can promenade and do one's shopping protected from the sun in summer and the rain in winter. The Karnergasse and Silbergasse are interesting streets, as is also the 210 Goethestrasse leading to the fruit market, where one finds during market hours many interesting types of peasants from the neighbouring villages as well as of the townsfolk themselves. We saw some of the most gorgeous of kerchiefs worn over the shoulders and crossed over the breasts of Bozen or Gries fruit-sellers, which gave an air of quite southern colour and brightness to the little Platz, in which oranges, almonds, melons, figs, and even prickly pears were displayed for sale with all the other fruits one might expect to find, including magnificent cherries in the earlier part of the fruit season.

The costumes of the Sarnthal with the big, broad-brimmed felt hats worn by both men and women, and the gay "Kummerbunds" of the men worn under short "Eton"-shaped jackets, are also seen in Bozen on festive occasions.

The Museum, in which there are many interesting exhibits, including some old peasant costumes well worth the attention of artists, is an imposing building or "block" in the Königin Elizabethstrasse, with corner turrets and an imposing central tower.

Of the more picturesque and older buildings none excels in charm the Franciscan Monastery and Church in the Franziskanergasse. The courtyard, shaded by trees which throw a diaper of shadow and sunlight on the paving stones, with the delicately pretty porch leading into the church, is a spot of sheer delight for the artist and the dreamer of dreams; who there, amid the quietude of ancient things, can the better conjure up visions of other days when Bozen streets rang to the passing of armies, and men at arms, and in them were heard the cries of mediæval merchants selling their wares drawn from north and south. In the Franciscan Church there is a fine altar, and belonging to the Monastery there are some beautiful cloisters. The library, too, should not be overlooked by those interested in early books and similar treasures. 211

On the outskirts of pleasant Bozen, a fine view of which is obtained from the Calvarienberg, there are many charming excursions. Towards the west lies the finely situated Castle of Sigmundskron on a hill between mountains overlooking the river in which there is good fishing: the Mendel Pass, 4500 feet, ascended either on foot, by carriage or by the mountain railway; Tisenser Mittelgebirge, studded with most interesting ruins, and from whence one obtains extensive and beautiful views of the surrounding mountain chains and of Meran.


Towards the north lies the deeply interesting Imperial Castle of Runkelstein, which, dating from the middle half of the thirteenth century, was extensively restored in 1884-88, and finally presented by the Emperor of Austria to the town of Bozen. Situated upon and almost entirely covering a huge mass of rock, it overlooks a bend of the swiftly flowing Talfer, and occupies one of those commanding and almost inaccessible positions beloved of builders in the Middle Ages. The Castle, irrespective of its interests as an architectural survival of a long past age, is much visited on account of the famous frescoes which are contained in a building now known as the Summer House. As one climbs up the steep and narrow path to the castle drawbridge one can the better realize how safe the ancient owners (who were not above raiding the neighbourhood, and of engaging in predatory warfare with their neighbours) must have felt when they had once heard their iron-studded door clang behind them, and seen the ancient drawbridge swung up by its chains.

Till the introduction of artillery, indeed, such a fastness would have been practically impregnable.

The frescoes to which we have referred are especially interesting from the fact that they undoubtedly exhibit a very primitive art. At the time they are supposed to have been painted, that is to say towards the end of the fourteenth century, art even in its home, Italy, was in 212 a comparatively elementary and even grotesque stage of evolution. The figures, which are black with a pea-green background, are, as an American girl said, "Noah's arkical and too funny for words," though we are bound to confess that the irreverence of the remark deeply offended a worshipper of mediæval art who was of the party. The paintings in the first room depict a German version of the story of Tristan and Isolde, which would appear to diverge materially from the one of Sir Thomas Malory, as set out in the "Morte d'Arthur." The main story can, however, be easily followed.

In the second chamber the frescoes, which were a very common form of decoration at the period at which they were done and should not be considered in the light of being of especial significance, depict a complete version of the legendary story of Garel, following the version of a Styrian[17] thirteenth century poet named Pleier. It is generally considered that this Garel was founded upon or was identical with the character of the Gareth or Beaumains of the "Morte d'Arthur," although the evidence is not absolutely conclusive. To English people the fine fresco of the famous Knights of the Round Table sitting in company with King Arthur and Queen Guinevere will naturally be of the greatest interest, although each of the quaint drawings to illustrate the mediæval legend has an abiding fascination for all to whom the past is of moment.

Nor are the outside walls of this quaint pavilion left unadorned. On them are single figures and others in groups of two and three depicting well-known mediæval personages of historical and legendary note: Tristan and Isolde; William of Orleans and Amelie; William, Duke of Austria, and Aglei; pairs of lovers whose fame has outlived the centuries; the three hero kings of ancient Christendom, Arthur of England, the Emperor Charlemagne, and Godfrey de Bouillon. Amongst the large 213 number of figures here depicted may also be seen other groups of three comprising celebrated knights, dwarfs, giants, and other real, mythical, or legendary characters; a gallery of portraits which has probably no equal in any other castle in the world. The story of the deeds of the characters thus immortalized would fill many volumes, and provide some of the most romantic and interesting reading imaginable.



One quits the historic spot with a sense of the greatness of the past as well as with a lingering regret that nothing after all can adequately conjure up for one the stirring scenes, strenuous and vividly "coloured" life, romance and chivalry, that the walls and rooms of Runkelstein must have witnessed.

In an easterly direction from Bozen lies the Eggenthal and its famous waterfall. The road through the former is one of great picturesqueness and grandeur—along the hillsides, across high bridges, and through gorge-like rock cuttings, which to be fully appreciated cannot be travelled better than a-foot. In the same direction, too, lies the beautiful Karrersee, surrounded by its belt of sombre pines above whose feathery tops shine the rocky peaks and snow-clad summits of the Dolomite giants.


From Bozen, too, the famous Rosengarten, which lies to the east of the town, should be visited. But it is not a garden of roses after all, but a collection of stupendous and rocky peaks which blush red at sunset. Those who expect flowers other than alpen rosen, gentian, and the like, will be disappointed, as was the young lady who undertook the excursion in the hope of seeing roses galore such as one may find in the "attar" districts of the Balkan Provinces and especially in Bulgaria.

But if from Bozen one looks merely for the rosy hue to tint the skyward-piercing pinnacles of rock, which have been poetically called the "Rosengarten," or rambles in the picturesque and beautiful valleys and tiny defiles at their feet, one will not be disappointed. And the 214 "roses," like other similar phenomena, are in a sense a weather glass; the deeper the red they glow the finer the ensuing day. At first a plum-hued twilight, such as one gets in the Maloja valley, seems to fall down out of the sky, and then the mountain peaks commence to receive their baptism of crimson. Then at last, as the sun sinks behind the interposing Guntschna Berg, only the highest peaks continue for a short time longer to glow with increasing, and then fading, depth of colour, till at length the plum-bloom shadows conquer the "roses" and the cool twilight comes.

The origin of the descriptive phrase "the Rosengarten" is (so far as we have been able to discover) lost in the mists of antiquity. But there is a rather pretty legend concerning the Garden itself. Long ago (the story tells us), when men were perhaps happier and certainly less sophisticated and cynical than they are now, and believed in fairies, gnomes, and magic, there lived a dwarf named Laurin or Laurenz reigning over the other dwarfs, who inhabited a country in the centre of the Schlern. By some means or other this dwarf managed to see and fall in love with the beautiful, golden-haired sister of a retainer of Dietrich of Bern, in Switzerland. After having seized her he bore her to his palace of crystal in the interior of the mountains, and there kept her prisoner. Soon, however, the brave and gallant knight Dietrich, and his squire, who was named Dietlieb, determined to rescue the abducted maiden, and for this purpose they came up from Italy where they were at the time, and finding an opening entered the Schlern, and after a fierce fight succeeded in conquering the dwarf, notwithstanding the fact that of course the latter was assisted by a magician. Laurin was not, however, killed, but spared by Dietrich at the request of Dietlieb. It was unfortunate clemency, however, as Laurin, professing himself grateful and offering them refreshment after their labours and fight, gave them drugged wine, so that 215 when they awoke they discovered that they had been bound and cast into a dungeon of the dwarf's castle. From this predicament they were happily freed by Dietlieb's sister, Simild, and after another fierce encounter with the dwarfs they defeated them, and trod the famous Rosengarten roses underfoot, their places being taken by those that bloom at sunset upon the peaks above the site of Laurin's mythical palace.

That, at all events, is the story we have been told, and though the Rosengarten and its miniature valleys are beautiful enough for real roses to have their home there, none grow there now save figurative ones caused by the sunset light.

The Rosengarten is a fine centre for mountain ascents, and the famous Vajolett towers and other rocky pinnacles present unfailing attractions to the adventurous rock climber, even though nowadays there can be very few "virgin" peaks or pinnacles to scale.

From the Rosengarten itself as well as from Bozen one can witness the blooming of the roses, and the really wonderful and entrancing play of colour, light and shadow over the stupendous peaks which forms an unforgettable experience when seen during the late afternoon of a summer day and onwards till twilight comes to gradually throw its blue and mystic mantle over the valleys and the mountain summits.


North of Bozen, prettily situated by the banks of the Adige, and some one thousand seven hundred feet above sea-level, stands the little, though somewhat important, town of Klausen, with its long, narrow street following the configuration of the gorge in which most of the houses lie, dominated by the great Benedictine monastery of Säben perched upon a steep vine-clad promontory overlooking the town and river, and six hundred feet above it. A castle till the end of the seventeenth century, the convent was attacked by the French in 1809, and from all accounts the nuns were not respected, for upon the walls of one of 216 the towers on the hill is a painted crucifix, which the people of Klausen say was placed there in memory of one of the nuns who, pursued by the soldiery, jumped to her death over the battlements. The first impression of Klausen is that of cleanliness, for the tall houses strike one in the brilliant sunshine of a summer day as very white, though most of them are relieved by patches of vivid green, where window shutters hang upon the walls or keep the sunshine from the windows. Klausen folk are fond of flowers, too, for many hang trailing from balconies; pink and red geraniums, a variety of clematis, and bunches of ruby-coloured valerian, and tufts of yellow and orange nasturtiums. There are generally many monks about the streets, too; sombre-looking figures in rough frieze habits, who look at the stranger with mild curiosity, and then pass on their silent way up the hillside, or through the one long, narrow street which runs between the mountain side and the rushing river. Klausen women bore a brave part in Hofer's struggle against the French and Bavarians, and dressed in their husbands' and brothers' clothes gave material aid in driving back the French through the pass in 1797.

There is not much to see in Klausen itself, but as a typical southern Tyrolese village it is interesting. Picturesque it certainly also is, set amid crags and rocks of purple porphyry, whose bases and lower slopes are beautified by the greenery of many vineyards, and half encircled by the rushing Eisack. Near by is the famous Castle Trostburg, romantically beautiful with grey walls and red-tiled roof perched high above the pine forest which clothes the steep sides of the rocky spur upon which it stands, and with a patch of vineyard clinging to the wall of its upper square and solid-looking keep. The climb up to it is a steep one, but the view one obtains into the Grödener Thal and of the surrounding heights well repays one.


The castle is one of the comparatively few still remaining in the possession of the family with whose history it 217 has for many centuries been identified. The Counts of Wolkenstein date their occupation from the twelfth century, and one of the most famous of the line was that Oswald born at Castle Trostburg in 1367, or about, whose romantic adventures might form the basis or plot of half a dozen historical novels. As a Minnesinger he set out early in life upon his travels in a gallant and adventurous age; devoted, one must imagine, to the service and adoration of the fair sex, as were supposed to be Minnesingers in general. Like many another adventure-loving lad, he ran away from his ancestral home, light of heart and equally light of purse, to wander through the world singing his way to fame and fortune, or to failure and poverty, as the case might happen.

He appears in the first instance to have attached himself to the suite of one of a party of Tyrolese nobles under Duke Albrecht III., of Austria, who were bent upon a filibustering expedition into Lithuania, a district then lying between Poland and Courland. Afterwards he wandered far and wide over the world, visiting in turn Russia, England, Spain, France, and then sailing for the East, and travelling through Asia Minor and Persia. He seems, from contemporary and other accounts, to have been "everything by turns, and nothing long," except that he probably always kept up his "minnesinging." He certainly was page, soldier, sailor, and sea-cook; and for all one can tell these were but the chief occupation of many he followed during his wandering and adventurous life. At all events he appears to have acted at times as tutor, turning the half score of languages he had picked up to good and practical account. Amongst his more knightly adventures were campaigns against the English in the service of the Earl of Douglas—he was probably present on August 10, 1388, at the famous battle of Otterburn (Chevy Chase)—previously against the Swedes in Denmark in the service of Queen Margaret, who in 1397 united the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden together. 218

Among his more peaceful victories and doings was the favour which he found in the eyes of the Queen of Aragon, who appears to have not only admired his poetic gifts, but to have loaded him with personal favours, caresses, and presents of jewelry.

For several years after his visit to Spain he wandered about, and then at last (like the prodigal son) set his face towards Tyrol. No one recognized him, and he appears to have fallen under the spell of the daughter of a neighbouring knight, who, however, would not consent to marry him unless he would first obtain his knighthood by becoming a Crusader.

Deeply in love with the fair Sabina and not doubting her sincerity, Von Wolkenstein took ship for Palestine, and in due course attained the coveted distinction by gallant conduct in battle, in consequence of which he attracted the attention and gained the personal friendship of Sigismund of Hungary.

Alas! for his hopes. On returning to Tyrol covered with glory, and a "true knight," he did so only to find the fickle and deceitful Sabina married to another. In addition to this he was only just in time to see his father die. As a younger son he inherited the castles of Castelruth and Hauenstein, Trostburg and its lands descending to his elder brother.


His roving disposition was not likely to be stayed now that he had lost both his intended wife and his father, so he once more set out on his travels, this time in the retinue of his friend Sigismund, in whose company he visited several countries. For several years he wandered through western Europe and as far south-east as Egypt, where he appears to have been received with much honour. Once more back in Tyrol in 1405, he became involved in the political upheavals which were caused by the drastic measures of reform instituted by Duke Frederick of the Empty Purse, against which the Tyrolese nobles fiercely rebelled. The ex-Minnesinger 219 took the part of the latter, and in consequence drew down upon himself Frederick's vengeance. The latter burned his two castles, and compelled Von Wolkenstein to flee for his life to the protection of a relative who was the owner of the castle of Greifenstein, which is situated on an inaccessible pinnacle of rock between Bozen and Meran. Duke Frederick and his forces hotly besieged the castle, but failed to reduce it; and although Oswald was severely wounded and lost the sight of one eye he escaped, and a little later joined an expedition against the Moors in the train of John I., King of Portugal. During the severe fighting which took place, and at the capture of Ceuta in 1415, he appears to have so greatly distinguished himself that, we are told, "his fame was such that the troubadours enshrined his deeds in their songs."

Ultimately, he came to his own in Tyrol owing to an act of the Council of Constance in Baden, which not only condemned John Huss—amongst many ecclesiastical enactments—to be burned, but also ordered that Duke Frederick, now an outlaw, who had burned Oswald von Wolkenstein's castles, should rebuild them, and restore to the knight all the property that he and his followers had seized. It is not easy, however, to comprehend how an outlaw who was fleeing from one place to another in fear of his life was to accomplish these things, nor how property taken by the soldiery years before, and probably long ago converted into cash or other uses, could be given up and restored.

We are told, however, that after visiting France in Sigismund's train Oswald returned to his favourite castle of Hauenstein, the ruins of which nowadays are so lost in the vast pine forest which surrounds them as to be almost undiscoverable.

Then Sabina, his old love, once more comes upon the scene, this time as the claimant of the castle on account, so she alleged, of an unrepaid loan made by her 220 grandfather to the Wolkensteins. She invited her old suitor Oswald to join her in a pilgrimage to some shrine for old acquaintance sake; and when he came to her, unsuspecting and unarmed, she promptly had him seized, thrown into a dungeon, and there kept him a prisoner in chains. He lay in treacherous Sabina's castle until by chance Sigismund, hearing of his parlous state, intervened on his friend's behalf, and Oswald von Wolkenstein was set free. He was, however, so maimed by rheumatism and the fetters which had galled him that he ever afterwards went lame.

Once more he was cast into prison, this time by Duke Frederick's machinations, and lay in a horrible underground and tunnel-like cell in Vellenberg not far from Innsbruck. He had married in 1417 Margaret, a daughter of the house of Schwangau, after a long period of betrothal, and to her he was deeply attached. On his second release, after three years' incarceration, he returned to Hauenstein to find his wife dead, and his home fallen into disrepair from neglect.

A few years later we find him, unconquered in spirit though broken in body, at Rome to attend the coronation of his friend Sigismund, who but a year or two later was driven from the throne. In 1435 Oswald once more, as a man of fifty-eight, returned to forest-enshrouded Hauenstein, where he died nine years afterwards, never having again left it.

Of course, the castle is haunted by the spirit of this unhappy and adventurous knight and Minnesinger, and there is still this belief amongst the peasantry of Seis and the neighbourhood round about. And the few who have ever ventured near the ruined pile after sundown aver that those who do are sure to hear the ancient Minnesinger chanting a dirge-like lay, accompanying himself upon his lute. But if this be so Oswald's spirit has wandered far from his body, for his remains repose at Neustift near Brixen. 221

He was not only one of the most picturesque and romantic figures of the band of Minnesingers who were so numerous during the Middle Ages, but also in a measure an historical figure. By some authorities he is considered to be the last of these strange wandering minstrel adventurers. Probably it would be more correct to speak of him as the last really great Tyrolese "Minnesinger;" but, whichever estimate be right, his place on the roll of fame relating to the deeds and songs of these is assured by reason of his gallantries, misfortunes, and adventurous and knightly doings.


On the way to Klausen one is wise to make a diversion down the narrow but picturesque Grödener Thal to St. Ulrich, which charming village, situated in a basin and almost surrounded by thickly wooded slopes, and beyond them stupendous and rocky peaks with the serrated pinnacles of the Langkofel in the background, is the centre of the Toy industry of Tyrol and an increasingly popular tourist resort. The road is a steeply ascending one, and one comes upon the first glimpse of the village, which stands midway down the valley between Waidbruck and Wolkenstein, quite suddenly. One's first impression is of a typical Tyrolese village of considerable size, its white—very white—houses standing out clear cut and prominently against the background of dark-green pines, and the lighter green of the valley fields in which they are, many of them, set. Of late years the clean-looking cottages of the villagers, the balconies of which are as often as not hung with delightful flowers, have been supplemented by good and large hotels, villas, and other modern up-to-date tourist accommodation. But, nevertheless, St. Ulrich is not yet spoiled, and there are still many of the almost mahogany-coloured barns and storehouses left, with their picturesque balconies running right round them, on which the grain and herbs are placed to dry, wood to season, and other stores are kept, forming so sharp a contrast to the hotels and white houses. 222

Although we imagine St. Ulrich's chief attraction is its quaint and interesting toy-making industry, there are many others including most beautiful scenery, and the numberless excursions which can be made from it. In winter time, to quote the quaint phraseology and spelling of a local guide-book, it has "a very strange charme for the friends of Tobogganing and Ski-sport has the valley in the always mild and snowy winter-time." And regarding the accommodation offered, the same luminous authority goes on to say there are "very comfortable stabled hotels and land-houses extraordinary fit as a summerset for residence, likewise for a start place for numerous high-parties to the Dolomites."

But let us give a brief description of the Toy Industry, which chiefly serves to differentiate the village from all others in Southern Tyrol.

St. Ulrich's wares are ultimately sent all over the world, and whether in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, or Rome one is almost sure to find amongst the toys, carved figures of saints, crucifixes, artists' "lay figures," chalets, and other articles some examples of work from this famous valley of wood carvers. The fact that nearly 3000, or about three out of every five, of the inhabitants are engaged more or less directly in the work will give some idea of its magnitude.

The carving industry at St. Ulrich is supposed to date from about the commencement of the seventeenth century, and there are some figures of the Virgin and Saints still extant in churches of the district bearing dates of that period, and other images of apparently much earlier date, which show that even in those remote times the carvers of St. Ulrich and the Grödener Thal possessed considerable skill and reputation. It was, however, one Johann von Metz who at the commencement of the eighteenth century appears to not only have raised the standard of the work of carving to greater perfection, but also to have organized and extended the sphere of the trade itself. 223

In the years which immediately followed, the peasants were in the habit of themselves setting out into other lands with stocks of their work for sale; and some at least, according to tradition, found their way to England, and even across the Atlantic, where they abandoned the active work of carving for that of establishing trading depôts in connection with St. Ulrich, and thus they distributed the work done in the far-off and almost then unknown Grödener Thal throughout the commercial world.

Nowadays to sally forth with their stock-in-trade on their backs or in a cart is no longer the practice of the workers. The greater number are employed by firms which act as wholesale distributing agencies for them, to whom they take their weekly output of work. Most of the villages of the valley are employed in the carving industry; St. Christina, for example, making a speciality of "lay figures" and hobby horses.

Not only are most of the men of the villages in the Grödener Thal thus employed, but also many of the women and children. And it is no uncommon sight to see quite mites cutting away at blocks of the softer kinds of wood by the roadside or on the doorsteps of the cottages; and sometimes one meets the women on their way down from the woods or upper pastures with their barrel-like receptacles upon their backs, roughly shaping some article which will be finished off when they get home.


Some of the carving done is really good, but it cannot be said to be cheap. One cannot find bargains in St. Ulrich, or, for the matter of that, in any of the villages of "Toy Land." The demand is too great, and the means of distribution too well organized for the peasants to care in the least whether one purchases a "bit" or not. There are practically no shops where carving is sold by the workers themselves, as nearly all are employed under contract or otherwise by wholesale dealers. But the tourist can generally visit one or other of the large ateliers, where, in particular, the carving of images and more elaborate 224 articles is done under the superintendence of artists. It is an experience and a sight well worth spending an hour or two over. In that time, by watching several figures at various stages approaching completion, one can obtain a very good and clear idea of the different transformations which the rough-hewn block undergoes ere it assumes its final shape of a Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Antony, or St. Christopher. Many of these statues and smaller figures are sent to a different workshop for painting and gilding; and it is chiefly in the white chalets on the mountain side that the toys and smaller articles are made.

The goods are stored principally in the larger houses of the villages. One of the chief depôts bears the name of the man who developed the industry, whilst other well-known merchants are Insam, Purger, and Prinoth. In these warehouses one sees shelf upon shelf laden with toys, figures, dolls, and other carved work; miniature waggons, monkeys on sticks, hobby horses painted in gay and let us add entirely "unnatural" colours, with flaming red, jet black, or piebald manes. The toys are of all prices, just as they are of many sizes and qualities as regards "finish;" hobby horses costing from half-a-krone to several florins each; dolls ranging in price from a halfpenny and even less to five or six kronen. Figures intended to form the contents of Noah's arks are there by the bushel, the cheaper kind bearing, it must be admitted, but faint and partial resemblance to the animals they are intended to represent; the better kinds being excellent miniatures of lions, elephants, tigers, giraffes, bears (especially good these), and the hundred and one smaller animals and insects of the patriarch's great family party; and accompanying all the delightful smell of freshly cut pine and other woods in the warehouses given over to unpainted things, and the somewhat overpowering smell of new paint in the others.

Some of the dolls, more especially those which have Tyrolese costumes represented in wood, need great care in 225 carving; and others are swiftly done, some by elementary machinery. The best wood used is the pinus cembra, or Swiss pine, which originally grew thickly on the sides of the mountains, but has now largely to be imported owing to the fact that whilst the trees have been cut down by the thousand, scant provision appears to have been made for the future by planting others. There is, however, plenty of the wood still left in the immediate neighbourhood.

Nowadays at St. Ulrich there is an excellent Imperial School of Drawing, and modelling, and there would appear to be a distinct advance of recent years in the carving (of animals and figures especially) in consequence of the teaching given, though in their main characteristics the animals and small figures produced have not much varied from the ancient types.

The church of St. Ulrich, although comparatively modern, dating only from quite the end of the eighteenth century, has a beautifully adorned interior; rather ornate and highly coloured perhaps, but interesting and typical. There is also in it a Mater Dolorosa by Maroder, and in the sacristy a fine marble Madonna by a pupil of Canova, Andrea Colli. The restored chapel of St. Anthony is also worth seeing, as it possesses a remarkably fine altar-piece, the work of Deschwanden.


There is a distinct dialect in the villages of the Grödener Thal, locally known as Ladin, which is said by philologists to be directly derived from the Latin tongue, and to date from the days of the Roman occupation. It is certainly so different from the dialects of modern Italy that it is almost impossible for the stranger, even though well-versed in those, to understand it. In some points it may be said to resemble the Grisons Romanche, and Romanese of the Engadine; but the parallel is not at all a close one, and needs several distinct qualifications. Although a deeply interesting one to philologists, it is impossible to deal with the question at all fully here. Certainly one would be inclined to think that this peculiar 226 dialect has an Etruscan origin, for it is well-known that considerable remains of that people have from time to time been unearthed in the Grödener Thal, and, indeed, in the immediate neighbourhood of St. Ulrich itself.

St. Ulrich is charming in winter, when the village is half-buried in snow, and the lower slopes of the environing mountains provide excellent toboggan "runs," and ski-ing grounds. How different the little place appears under these conditions from the sunny spot set amid green fields and pleasant pastures that it is in summer, only those who have seen it under both conditions can easily realize. And truly (as the local guide we have before quoted says) "in winter there are many grateful excursions for the high-flying parties, and swift ski-ing." By "high-flying parties" one should doubtless understand those who wish to ascend the higher slopes.

Costume still survives at St. Ulrich and in the Grödener Thal, where (although less worn than even a decade ago) one still meets with women wearing the old style dress, with huge broad-brimmed felt hats trimmed with wide ribbons, and having short "streamers" down behind, or the still quainter high "sugar-loaf" hats, shaped almost like those of dancing dervishes, fitting down over the ears and allowing only the least suspicion of the forehead to remain visible. Wide linen collars, almost large enough to be called capes, with either plain edges or scalloped, and handsome aprons of silk, brocade, or other materials; wide skirts and a profusion of ribbons go to make up a costume which is always picturesque and often actually handsome.

From Klausen, to which one returns on one's way northward, one proceeds to Brixen, charmingly situated in the valley of the Eisack, amid green fields, and pastures, and afforested slopes. The twin towers of the Cathedral in the centre of the picture at once catches the eye from whatever point one approaches the town.



Brixen, though little more in size and population than 227 a large village, is yet one of the most interesting places in Southern Tyrol. It is not only historically and architecturally important, but is a pleasant place from which to explore the beauties of the neighbouring Puster Thal, Valser Thal, and Lusen Thal if only one's time permits. Anciently it was one of the most notable towns in Southern Tyrol, for it was during nearly a thousand years, and, in fact, until 1703, the capital of an ecclesiastical principality, with a long line of distinguished bishops, some of them almost as much noted for their militant as their spiritual qualities. It is still the seat of a bishopric, and in the town are many evidences of its past ecclesiastical importance and splendour.

Artists find much in Brixen to attract them, as do also students of architecture, and although the valley is wider than in some similar resorts, making mountain ascents longer before one can reach the higher peaks, there are many excursions to be made, and interesting villages to be visited. That it is an attractive town its many visitors make evident, and in the pleasant gardens, which seem always cool even on the hottest summer day, situated between the Eisack and the smaller Rienz, one meets not only with interesting Brixen types (sometimes peasants in costume), but also most of the foreign visitors who may be staying in the place.


The Cathedral, dating from the fifteenth century, is a handsome and even striking building, with its lofty twin towers, and their beautifully "weathered" copper domes. These are the oldest parts, most of the building itself having been restored and rebuilt as recently as the middle half of the eighteenth century. There are some extremely beautiful and interesting cloisters, with numerous frescoes on the groined roof, and some quaint mural tablets and tombstones. The view from the cloisters upon a sunny day across the courtyard is one of great charm in its play of light and shade, tempting one to linger in their hoary coolness and solitude. There is also an ancient chapel of St. 228 John, dating from the eleventh century, containing some good frescoes of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. The tombstone of the famous Oswald von Wolkenstein is in the inner courtyard, which lies between the Cathedral and the Church of St. Michel, depicting the knightly minnesinger in armour with lance, and pennon, and lyre. Near this is also an interesting copper relief, depicting the scene of the Resurrection, placed there as a memorial of a noted local coppersmith named Hans Kessler, who lived in the first half of the seventeenth century.

One reaches the Bishop's Palace by several interesting streets, in which some of the more ancient houses are to be found. There is a charming courtyard with colonnades, and a delightful garden, peaceful and full of flowers and the sentiment of other days. And here, fortunately, the traveller can gain admission for half an hour's restful contemplation of its beauty, and perhaps the study of some of the historical events which the town has witnessed.

From Brixen to Sterzing one traverses the widening, narrowing, and again widening valley of the Eisack. Past Spinges, with its memories of the fierce battle in 1797, when General Joubert was marching through the Puster Thal to make a junction with Napoleon. His advance was not, however, permitted unchecked. The inhabitants of Spinges might not be many, but they were Tyrolese. It happened, too, that a few companies of the Landsturm were in the neighbourhood, and so these and the men of Spinges marched out to meet Joubert's immensely superior force. The French troops were armed with bayonets as well as guns, and the barrier they made was found unpierceable by the brave but badly armed patriots. But the opportunity or need produced the man as it had done rather more than four centuries before in Switzerland when Arnold von Winkelried gathered the Austrian spears into his bosom at Sempach. In this case it was one Anton Reinisch, of Volders, who 229 "played the man," and heroically leapt, scythe in hand, amongst the French bayonets, a score of which pierced his body, and thus, hewing right and left ere he fell, carved a way for his comrades, and enabled them to break up the French lines.


But Spinges will be celebrated still more in romance, as it has been in history, by the act of that anonymous maiden "the Maid of Spinges," who, during the fight around the church of the village, mounted in company with the men the wall of the churchyard, and, armed with a hay fork, helped, by her strong arms as well as her example, to successfully repel three fierce attacks of the French soldiery. Unknown[18] by name, yet the fame of her courageous act, typical as it was of those of many others of her sex during the long and fierce struggle waged by the Tyrolese against the invaders of their beloved land, has descended through generations.

On the other side of the valley to Spinges is Franzenfeste at the mouth of the defile known as the Brixener Klause. Few people stop at Franzenfeste, we imagine. To ramble on the hillsides would be an act of foolhardiness, for they are honeycombed with forts. It is a great strategic position, commanding the Brenner and the entrance to the Puster Thal; and investigation of the hillsides and neighbourhood, it is needless to say, is not encouraged by the Austrian Government. It is possible in the future that the spot which saw much fighting in 1797 and 1809 will again be the scene of military operations, and a struggle not less fierce, and far more bloody. Who knows?


Sterzing, with its sunny main street of which a most charming vista is got as one enters the town through the ancient gateway on the Brenner road, and shady arcades which remind one of the "unter den Lauben" of Meran, 230 stands on the site of a Roman settlement, Vipitenum. It is situated at the junction of three beautiful valleys, the Ridnaun Thal, Pflersch Thal, Pfitscher Thal, in a broad basin-like depression, encircled by shapely mountain slopes, and on the right bank of the Eisack. Though nowadays possessing a population of less than 3000, Sterzing at once strikes one as having an air of importance and prosperity, hardly in keeping with its small size. Formerly, however, the town was an important mining centre, and the larger of its quaint and picturesque balconied and bay-windowed houses owe their origin to the wealthier inhabitants of the past. Marble quarrying and polishing is still carried on somewhat extensively, and doubtless helps to retain an air of commercial life and industry in the quaint old place.

Sterzing is wonderfully decorative and compact in general effect; and there are a surprising number of fine and interesting buildings to be seen in its narrow old-time streets. The Rathaus, with its striking bow windows, is of late Gothic architecture, and in it is a fine fifteenth-century altar-piece, and some interesting and well-executed wood carvings. This building, now used by the town officials and magistrates, was formerly doubtless a mansion of a wealthy merchant. In it is one of the best preserved specimens of a Gothic ceiling, dating from about the middle of the fifteenth century, that we have seen in Tyrol in any private house of similar size.

The church has been extensively, but on the whole well restored. It dates from the sixteenth century, and has a Gothic choir of note, and nave and aisles restored in the Rococo style, the ceiling paintings of which are by Adam Mölckh. The general effect of the interior is good, and the church has some interesting architectural details.

The decline of Sterzing is attributable to the same cause as that of many other townlets and villages upon the 231 old post-roads, and the roads over the passes which have gradually become less and less used as railroads have multiplied. But, in the case of Sterzing, its gradual descent from the position of importance it once occupied, traces of which are found in the numerous fine houses still standing, was undoubtedly more owing to the exhaustion or abandonment of the mining industry than to the coming of the railway which so seriously affected the road traffic of the Brenner Pass.

Near Sterzing, it should be remembered, Hofer and his peasant forces fought the first big engagement of the struggle in 1809, which ended in the defeat of the Bavarians, who were driven back across the Brenner, Hofer having crossed the Jaufen from his home at St. Martin in the Passeier Valley.

Matrei, or, as it is also called, Deutsch-Matrei, is the only place of any size or importance which we have not already described on the line between Sterzing and Innsbruck, or along the Brenner road. The little town is charmingly situated, and like others of similar character and altitude (it lies nearly 3300 feet above sea-level), is becoming more and more resorted to by tourists and travellers upon the Brenner route. The Castle of Trautson, belonging to Prince Auersperg, stands on the hillside above it. Sterzing forms a fine centre for ascents and excursions, and there is a most interesting pilgrimage church on the north-eastern flank of the Waldrast Spitze dedicated to the Virgin, and known by the name of the mountain; it dates from the middle of the fifteenth century. Its foundation was in consequence of a peasant's dream, in which he was directed to go to the woods, lie down and rest, and there he should be told what to do. When he had done this the Virgin appeared to him, and bade him build a chapel on the spot over an image of her which had miraculously appeared no one knew how some years before. To this chapel was given the name of Maria Waldrast (Wood's rest), and although the monastery, 232 which was built on the spot more than a century and a half later, in 1624, is now but a ruin, the pilgrimage is even nowadays made by the devout to the church which is so beautifully situated more than 5300 feet above sea-level. 233



Trent, which is easily reached from Bozen through the Etschland by the Bozen-Verona line, which winds through some delightful scenery and passes many a ruined castle perched high on inaccessible heights, is not only a large town of upwards of 25,000 inhabitants, but was anciently one of the wealthiest in Tyrol. It is generally supposed to have been founded by the Etruscans, and both Pliny and Ptolemy make mention of it; but whoever designed Trent seized upon a beautiful situation, and the builders have left behind them in the quaint town, broad streets, handsome palaces of dead and gone nobles, and a forest of towers and spires, delightful survivals of mediæval days. Surrounded by limestone crags, the city itself, notwithstanding its Italian character and fine atmosphere, gives one at first sight an impression of lack of colour which is not usually the case with Italian towns.

Regarding the foundation of the city and the origin of its name, there is at least a local tradition that it was founded in the time of Tarquinius Priscus, about B.C. 616, by a body of Etruscans led by Rhaetius; and these founders, although so far removed from the sea, instituted the worship of Neptune, from which circumstance the ancient name Tridentum was derived. Be this as it may, 234 the circumstance is interesting, as in these Etruscans under the leadership of Rhaetius one can perhaps discover the origin of the Rhaeti, who ultimately gave so much trouble to the Empire of Rome. At any rate, Rhaetius gave his name to the district in the immediate vicinity of Trent. The interesting Castle Del Buon Consiglio, which forms so dominating a feature of the town, and possesses a circular and lofty donjon of the type of Guy's Tower at Warwick, with its fine Renaissance loggia in the inner or fountain courtyard and several storied arcades in the older, was once the residence of the Prince Bishops, but now used as barracks. In it is preserved an ancient inscription relating to the government of the town, which proves that the regulations and statutes were very largely modelled upon those of Rome itself.

Those who can do so should certainly endeavour to visit Trent during the latter part of the month of June, not merely from the fact that this month is charming by reason of the beauties of nature, the wealth of tender new foliage and delightful climate, but also because on the 26th of the month falls the Festival of Saint Vigilius, the patron saint of Trent, and the martyr missionary who anciently did much to Christianize the country. At this fête the ancient city, whose by-ways and narrower streets are full of interest, picturesqueness, and charm, is seen at its gayest and best. All the many churches are crowded with worshippers, thousands of whom have flocked down from the surrounding mountains and come in from the various villages of the Etschland, bound first upon religious observances in honour of their patron saint and afterwards to take part in the characteristic games and amusements which give the city for the time being such a festive and Bank Holiday air. In former days the more violent amusements were often supplemented by the performance of religious dramas, somewhat on the lines of the better known and more elaborate plays of Ober-Ammergau and the Brixenthal, and also by the illumination of the 235 surrounding hills by huge bonfires, which are said to have had their origin in the religious observances of even more remote times than that of the Etruscan occupation.

Saint Vigilius, who was born at Rome, eventually became the Bishop of Trent, and ultimately suffered martyrdom during one of the many persecutions which took place, and were similar in character to those of the fourth century.

The city during its early wars was several times sacked, and more than once burnt by the Bavarian hordes which overran the country and even at last reached the gates of Rome itself. Thus Trent came to be built at various periods upon former foundations, and researches of recent times have tended to show that, as was the case with Rome itself, the comparatively modern Trent is built upon soil several feet above the level of its first site. One Italian authority, indeed, states that the streets of the original town lie some fourteen feet below the level of those of the present. Traces of at least three distinct lines of walls marking the growth of the city at various times have been excavated, leading also to the discovery of many interesting relics of Roman days, including tessellated pavements, portions of an amphitheatre of considerable size, ornaments, household utensils, etc.

The bishops still retain their title of Prince, but they lost their power as territorial rulers at the time of the secularization which took place throughout Tyrol, and also in the principality of Salzburg.


Although this ancient city, which is characterized nowadays by a cleanliness and order so often found wanting in Italian towns, has undergone many vicissitudes and has been the scene of important historical events, to the Trent folk of to-day and to many of the visitors who come to it the chief events in connection with its history will undoubtedly remain the sittings of the famous Council which commenced in the year 1545. Many may wonder how it came about that so comparatively small a town should 236 have been chosen as the meeting-place of a Conference intended to attempt the co-ordination of the beliefs and doctrines and the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs of the whole of the then Christian world. Probably the sole reason for this selection was the geographical position of the city, which lay then, as it does to-day, a frontier town, so to speak, between Italian and German influences, and though situated on Austrian soil, yet containing an Italian-speaking population.

The Council opened on December 13, 1545, and continued its sittings (with interruptions) until December 4, 1563, the last being the twenty-fifth in number. The meetings of the Council took place at various times during the reigns of three Popes, Paul III., Julius III., and Pius IV., and amongst the enactments of the Council the Canon of Scripture, including the Apocrypha, was confirmed, and the Church named as its sole interpreter; that traditions were to be considered as equal with Scripture, and the seven sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, the Lord's Supper, Penitence, extra-Unction, Orders, and Matrimony were also confirmed; transubstantiation, Purgatory indulgences, celibacy of the clergy, auricular confession, and other matters were dealt with.

The first sitting was held under Cardinal Del Monte, the papal legate, who rose amidst the assembled prelates and representatives and asked them whether it was their wish, "For the glory of God, the extirpation of heresy, and the reformation of the clergy and people, and the downfall of the enemy of the Christian name, to resolve and declare that the Sacred General Tridentine Council should begin and was begun?" The whole company, we are told, answered "Placet," a Te Deum was sung, and it was agreed that the first sitting of the Council should be held on the 7th of January. The sittings were continued at various times without any untoward event till the year 1552, when Maurice of Saxony invaded Tyrol, and although the Council was sitting, most of its members fled the 237 country after having re-enacted the various decrees and ordinances which had been previously passed.

Ten years later, what was to all intents and purposes another Council met at Trent, and a solemn service was again held, at which Cardinal Gonzaga was elected president. A quarrel seems to have arisen between some of the archbishops and bishops and one of the French envoys. The former did not agree to some of the terms of the proposition made by the Archbishop of Reggio, whilst the latter raised an objection to the Council being considered a continuation of the first Council.

The building in which the Council sat has been stated at various times to have been the Cathedral, in the Piazza del Duomo, but there seems very little doubt now that the place of meeting was not there but in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, situated on the Piazza of the same name. In it on the north wall of the Choir hangs a large picture representing some three hundred of the various chief dignitaries as they sat in the Council Chamber. The members numbered nearly a thousand in all, and in addition to the cardinals, archbishops, bishops, abbots, chiefs of religious orders, and representatives from the University, there were also present ambassadors from the Emperor of Germany, and from the Kings of France, Spain, and Portugal, from the republic of Venice and Genoa, from Switzerland, and from the German electors.

There were at first serious disputes regarding the mode of conducting the business of the Council: what subjects were to be brought up for discussion, and which of those so brought up should have precedence. The German prelates and representatives appear to have been favourable to the discussion of subjects of a more practical nature, realizing as they did that one of the chief causes of disruption and want of unanimity in the Church was the presence of practical and easily located abuses. They therefore strongly urged that the first work of the Council should be of the nature of reforms affecting these abuses. 238 On the other hand, the Italian prelates and envoys were most favourable to the discussion of matters of doctrine and ecclesiastical observances. These differences of opinion were, however, ultimately overcome by an agreement that for each session of the Council dealing with dogma there should be one held to consider the question of practical reforms.

The first president, Cardinal Del Monte, frankly acknowledged that many abuses had crept into the Church, and to prove the sincerity of his reforming proposals voluntarily yielded up his pluralities of office; and this example was followed by the Prince Bishop of Trent, who offered to resign the See of Brixen.

In 1547, owing to an epidemic then raging in Trent, the first session was closed, and the next sitting took place at Bologna. Charles V., who had been a very active promoter of the Council, objected to the change of venue and insisted upon it being adjourned. It again sat in 1551 at Trent, and an interesting feature of the sitting was the presence of Protestant delegates and envoys from Maurice, elector of Saxony, and from the elector of Brandenburg. Queen Elizabeth declined to send any representative, preferring to accept the decisions of an English convocation. After transacting a considerable amount of business the Council was adjourned, and did not again meet for a period of eleven years. On that occasion many points came up for discussion, and a considerable number of measures of practical reform were agreed upon. One of the most important was the suppression of the alms gatherers, men who were sent for the purpose from Rome to different countries with power to sell indulgences. It was by this means that a large amount of the money with which St. Peter's, Rome, was built was obtained.


Amongst other important matters decreed by the Council was that prohibiting the sale, printing, or keeping of any books whatever on sacred matters under pain of anathema and fine imposed by a canon of the last 239 Council of Lateran, unless first approved of by the ordinary. It also provided that offenders should have their books burnt; should pay a fine amounting to a hundred ducats; should be suspended a year from the exercises of their trades; and goes on to add that they should be visited with a sentence of excommunication; and, finally, should their contumacy become worse, be so chastised by their bishop by every means granted by the law that others might take warning from them and not be tempted to follow their example. It was also decreed that even those who lent forbidden books, which included the writings of arch-heretics, such as Luther, Calvin, and others, even though in MS., should be liable to the same penalties; and all those who should have any such books in their possession, unless confessing the author's name, should themselves be regarded as the author.

Cardinal Lorraine, who attended with fourteen bishops, three abbots, and eighty learned doctors of divinity on behalf of King Charles IX. of France, was charged with instructions from that monarch to entreat the Council to concede the following reforms and benefits: that in France the sacraments might be administered, the psalms sung, prayers offered up, and the catechism taught in the language of the people; and that the sacrament should be fully administered to the laity. Also that some strenuous means should be taken to check the licentious lives of the clergy; and that the Council should make any concessions tending towards peace and the abatement of schism which did not controvert or interfere with God's word. The French ambassadors also asked for clear instructions concerning the doctrines governing the uses of images, relics, and indulgences; and also they were instructed to urge argument against exacting fees for the sacrament, benefices without duties, and many other things which the more liberal minded and progressive of the prelates regarded as grave abuses in the Church. One astonishing objection which Renaud Ferrier, 240 the then President of the Parliament in Paris, in company with Lansac, raised before the Council was to the dogma that the Pope's authority was supreme, their contention being that the Council was above the Pope!

As we have said, this important Council on religion came to an end in December, 1563, when the President moved its dissolution. Before the closing scene, the acts of the Council were finally agreed to and signed, "the ambassadors also adding their names." Then the President dismissed the members in the following words: "After having given this to God, most reverend fathers, go ye in peace." To which all present replied, "Amen." Then Cardinal Lorraine rose and called down the blessing of the assembly upon the then reigning Pope, Pius IV., and also upon his predecessors, Paul III. and Julius III. "By whose authority," said the Cardinal, "this sacred Council was begun; to them peace from the Lord and eternal glory and happiness in the light of the Holy Saints." To which those present answered, "By their memory ever held in sacred benediction."

Then there were prayers for the reigning monarchs whose ambassadors were present, for the holy œcumenical synod of Trent, whose faith and decrees all present declared they would keep for ever. Then came the final scene, when the Cardinal, standing in the midst of the vast assembly, declared in a loud voice, "Anathema! anathema! to all heretics!" To which there came the reply, "Anathema!" And thus ended not only the Council of Trent, but also the last great general Council of the Roman Catholic Church.


The church of Santa Maria Maggiore, in which the Council held its sittings—a rather plain red marble building, which, however, has a fine Lombardian campanile—will always be one of the most interesting churches amongst the many of Trent. Severe outside, the interior is exceptionally ornate. The organ-loft, completed in 1534, twenty years after the commencement of the church, 241 is one of great beauty. Designed by Vincenzo Vicentin, it has a white marble balustrading, the supports of which are thickly encrusted with decorative work and statuettes of delicately fine workmanship. In the church are also several interesting and good pictures, amongst the number one ascribed, though possibly incorrectly, to Tintoretto.

There are one or two interesting traditional stories connected with this church. The first relates to the beautiful organ, and runs as follows: "So fine a tone and so esteemed was the work of the now—so far as we have been able to ascertain—unknown organ builder, that the Town Council are said to have determined to blind or maim him so that it should be impossible for him to construct another instrument like it for any other city. The unfortunate man, unable to get the Councillors to give up their diabolical intention, asked as a last favour to be allowed to play on the instrument he had made ere the barbarous sentence was carried out. But as soon as he was in the organ-loft he set to work and irreparably injured the vox humana stop which he had invented, and which had been the greatest attraction of the beautiful instrument; and thus he punished the Council who had determined to reward his genius in such a terrible manner."

The other legend is of the crucifix, still to be seen in one of the side chapels of the Cathedral, which on the occasion of the final Te Deum, when the Council was disbanded on December 4, 1563, was seen to bow down in token of approval of the constitutions and enactments which had just been signed.

Of the fifteen or sixteen churches of Trent, the Cathedral, which was commenced in the eleventh century and finished in the fifteenth, in the form of a Romanesque basilica with a lantern above the joining of the cross, is the most important. It is built of the same reddish brown marble as the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which stone abounds in the immediate neighbourhood. There are some remnants of seventh or eighth century carvings, notably 242 the Lombard ornaments of the three porches, which are of great interest. The interior of the church, which is dedicated to Saint Vigilius, contains many frescoes and some good pictures and other objects, including a Madonna by Perugino, a copy of the Madonna Di San Luca in the Pantheon, which was presented to a Bishop of Trent whilst on a visit to Rome in the middle of the fifteenth century, and has ever since been an object of great veneration to the townsfolk and peasantry of the district round about.

The Museum in the Palazzo Municipale, which, at any rate, a year or two ago was unfortunately closed during the months of July and August, when many tourists are in Trent, contains some very interesting Roman antiquities, including inscriptions, household utensils, ornaments, coins, pottery, and similar objects, and is well worth an hour or two for inspection.


Dante's connection with Trent does not appear to be, even at the present time, very clearly proved, although there would seem to be no doubt whatever that the poet spent some few months, at least, in the Trentino. This theory gains some considerable support from references which occur in the "Divina Commedia" to the Trentino, which (various authorities state) are so detailed as to be only possible from personal knowledge. It may, however, be pointed out that, as in the case of Shakespeare, who described many places quite accurately to which he could never have been, it is possible Dante's knowledge of the Trentino was not gained from personal experience, and the theory advanced of his sojourn in the neighbourhood, based upon references to the district in his works, is not unassailable. A considerable number of books, pamphlets, and articles have been written, however, by Italian, German, and English scholars and students of Dante in support of different theories regarding his visit to these parts. One of the most learned and thorough writers upon this subject—Zaniboni—appears to have no doubt that Dante was in the Trentino, but that the "Inferno" was 243 not written during his supposed visit to the Castle of Lizzana, but soon after his return to Italy. Other authorities have inclined to the view that the Val Sarca, near the tiny village of Pietra Murata, is the real scene of Dante's "Inferno"; and those who know this desolate and even terrible spot, where the very ground seems blighted, the heat intense between the towering and craggy cliffs, and the whole of the valley the scene of a horrible desolation, with huge boulders tossed hither and thither, and not a blade of grass and scarcely a patch of lichen to be seen, will be inclined also to support this view. But whatever the truth may be, Trent has put in a claim to Dante in the shape of the magnificent monument to him, from a design by Zocchi, erected in 1896 in the centre of the Piazza Dante, near the station. The figures around the base of the column upon which the statue of the poet stands, with his right arm upraised and outstretched, and his left pressing a roll of MS. to his breast, are remarkably well executed, and the whole effect of the memorial, with its background of craggy mountains and its environment of flower-beds, is impressive.

There are, of course, numberless interesting buildings, and also several other churches worthy of study and attention; but, perhaps, amongst all the domestic buildings and palaces of Trent, including the Palazzi Wolkenstein and Sizzo, and the Tabarelli, in which are magnificent private collections of pictures and other objets d'art, none exceeds in romantic and legendary interest the Teufelspalast, which has been known by several other names at various times, and latterly as the Palazzo Zambelli. This beautiful home (now a bank) was built by George Fugger, a relative of the wealthy banker, Anthony Fugger, of Augsburg. The legendary story is as follows:—

George Fugger having become acquainted with one Claudia Porticelli, a beautiful young woman of Trent, fell desperately in love with her, and although the fair Claudia does not appear to have discouraged his suit, she was too 244 proud to yield too readily to his proposals, and in addition was very patriotic, and inclined to the view that a Tyrolese maid should marry a Tyrolese man. It was in pursuance of this idea, when at last her lover pressed her strongly for an answer, that she told him she would never marry a man who lived so far away from her beloved home, and that she wondered how any one who did not possess a tiny pied à terre in Trent, should for a moment think that he could have any claim upon her affections. This reply to his suit might, one would think, have discouraged most people, but George Fugger, who possessed vast wealth, had no intention of yielding up his claim, or his supposed claim, to the beautiful Claudia without a struggle; and, moreover, Claudia Porticelli, although discouraging him so distinctly, had (like a woman) put off the evil day of giving a final answer for a period of a little more than twenty-four hours. In this delay, George Fugger saw the solution which great wealth and determination of character placed within his reach. He determined, therefore, within the short space remaining before Claudia gave him his final answer, to build a house "worthy of the human gem whose casket it was to be."


Twenty-four hours or so in which to build a palace was, however, such an impossibly short time that no man could hope to accomplish the task by human aid alone. Therefore (so the legend goes) he sought the help from a source to which no good Christian would think of turning, namely, that of the Devil. In legendary lore there are many stories of the Devil assisting men and women to an accomplishment of their desires, but almost invariably at the price of their souls.

George Fugger, however anxious for the Devil's assistance, was too keen a man of business to wish to endanger his soul; so the object he set himself to accomplish was to obtain the Evil One's aid without paying the Evil One's price. The Devil was summoned, and he willingly enough undertook the task upon the usual condition, of the 245 surrender at the end of life of the soul of the person he was helping. George Fugger, without hesitation, signed the bond with his blood, only stipulating for the insertion of a small clause, which provided that his Satanic majesty should on his part do Fugger one small service ere claiming the price of his assistance. The Devil must have been in a good humour, for he agreed to this quite willingly and unsuspiciously, and the two parties went their way, each well satisfied with his part of the bargain.

Teufelspalast was, naturally enough, of magnificent design, and at the time it was built was furnished with the most luxurious fittings and decorations that the mind of man or devil could imagine. Marbles of different kinds entered largely into its construction, and the gilding, decorations, and carvings were such as to become famous throughout even a country noted for great and beautiful palaces. When the building was completed, the Devil summoned the owner, and asked him to name the little service that he was to do him. George Fugger had thought out his little scheme of outwitting the Devil, and he took a bushel of corn and strewed it over the different floors of his vast mansion. Then he said to the Devil, "See! If you can gather together all the corn strewn about the palace grain by grain, and deliver it back to me without the loss of a single grain before morning, then my soul shall be yours. On the other hand, should you fail to do this, my soul remains my own as well as the palace you have built."

The Devil, we are told, was not in the least disconcerted by the task which had been set him, and without doubting for a moment that he would successfully accomplish it, he set to work to gather up the grain. In the end, just before sunrise he had completed his task, all but the finding of five grains of the corn. He searched high and low for the missing grains, but to no purpose, and ere he could find them daylight, which was to mark the end of the time allotted for his task, began to appear; but the Devil, notwithstanding the absence of the five grains, consoled 246 himself with the thought that Fugger would never discover the loss of five grains amidst the many hundreds of thousands of others which he had heaped up in the measure. When Fugger came to see whether the Devil had performed his task or not, he counted out the number of grains of corn, and, of course, discovered the absence of the five, so he asked the Devil where they were.

"Oh," said the Devil, "they are there, the measure is piled quite full up, and you cannot be so particular as all that."

Fugger replied, "That is all very well, but five grains are missing, and I must have them, or you have not performed your task, and lose all claim to my soul in return for the palace you have so marvellously built me."

The Evil One replied, "You have miscounted the number. I have built your house and picked up all the grains of corn, and I am not going to be done out of my part of the bargain; besides, you cannot prove that there are five grains short."

"Oh yes, I can," replied Fugger; "stretch out your right hand." And the Devil, not seeing that it could be any harm to comply with the request, forthwith stretched out his great hand. Fugger seized it, and said, "There lie the five grains under your own claws. The corn I set you to pick up had been sanctified by being offered before the Holy Rood, and for this reason you were prevented from fulfilling your purpose. You have not collected the grains into your measure by dawn, as agreed, and therefore our bargain is annulled."

The Devil was in a terrible way. He did not see how to escape conviction of failure, and so he sought to terrify Fugger by an exhibition of his Satanic wrath. He set to work and began to attempt to tear down the building which he had so recently completed. But he no longer had any power over the palace, and only succeeded in breaking a sufficiently large hole in the wall to enable him to fly through it and depart. 247

For many years this hole, which had been bricked up, was shown to visitors, and was esteemed by many of the Trent people of the lower class as proof positive of the superhuman origin of the palace and the truth of the legend.

The end of the story is just what might be expected. The fair Claudia, who probably never meant to refuse the rich banker, consented to marry him, now that he had a home in Trent. And there they lived, so it is said, happily ever afterwards, and in due time died.


In the immediate neighbourhood of Trent are several other buildings and places of very considerable interest and of great picturesqueness. One favourite excursion is to the chapel of Madonna Alle Laste, which lies on the hillside to the east of the city, about half an hour's stiff walking from the Port Aquila, a little way off the road to Bassano. From this spot one not only obtains good views of the town, but can visit on a spur of the mountain the celebrated marble Maria Bild, to which there is an interesting legend attached. This "picture" has been an object of veneration with the people of Trent and the district round about for centuries.

Some time about the middle of the seventeenth century this fine tablet was sacrilegiously injured and disfigured by a travelling Jew, much to the rage and indignation of the people of Trent. And although a German artist, Detscher by name, did his best to restore the carving, it was impossible for him to entirely obliterate all trace of the injury it had received. But, so the legendary story goes, by some miraculous power it was altogether restored in one night, and this miracle so increased the veneration in which the Maria Bild was held that people thought there was no kind of disease too desperate that it could not be cured by prayers at such a holy shrine. Several miracles are ascribed to this wonderful carving, which became so venerated that ultimately a chapel was built for it and placed in charge of a hermit; and later on 248 a community of Carmelites was established on the spot by reason of the generosity of Field-Marshal Gallas, and this remained until the secularization, now many years ago.

The convent buildings, however, still stand, and from them there is a fine view of the distant range of mountains, and the foreground slopes covered with peach and other fruit trees.

With the many other interesting walks and legends attached to the scattered villages which lie in the immediate neighbourhood of quaint and historic Trent there is no space to deal. Most travellers must leave Trent reluctantly, for it is beautiful in situation and deeply interesting from all points of view.

To the south and south-west of it lie two interesting towns. The first is Roveredo, the second Arco; the former, though a less frequented and less historic town than Trent, is yet one of some importance and remarkably well situated. It dates from Roman times, and received its name Roboretum in consequence of the enormous oak forests by which it was surrounded. The high road which leads to it, owing to the fact that it was one of the ancient ways into Tyrol, is crowded with ruins of ancient fortresses and of castles in a state of more or less decay. Most of these, including Predajo, Castlebarco, Beseno, Lizzana (at the last named of which Dante lived during the first few years of the fourteenth century, after his banishment from Florence), and others took part in the various struggles for the possession of Tyrol which were waged at different times between the Emperor of Germany, the Republic of Venice, the Prince Bishops of Trent, and other powerful families of the district who carried on private and other feuds throughout the Middle Ages.


At the time of Dante's banishment from Florence Castle Lizzana was the home of the Scaligers, who gave shelter to the poet during his exile. Not far from the Castle is that famous Sclavini (or land slip) di San Marco, which is in reality a vast "steinmeer," and is probably 249 rather of the nature of a great and possibly pre-historic moraine, than a land slide. But be this as it may the locality of this immense accumulation of huge rocks thrown hither and thither no doubt provided the poet with at least the inspiration of the descent into the Inferno,[19] which runs as follows:—

"The place, where to descend the precipice

We came, was rough as Alp; and on its verge

Such object lay, as every eye would shun.

As is that ruin, which Adice's stream

On this side Trento struck, shouldering the wave,

Or loosed by earthquake or for lack of prop;

For from the mountain's summit, whence it moved

To the low level, so the headlong rock

Is shivered, that some passage it might give

To him who from above would pass; e'en such

Into the chasm was the descent: and there

At point of the disparted ridge...."

Cary's Translation.

There is a legend that a beautiful city, once known as San Marco, which was destroyed by a landslip that took place at the beginning of the ninth century, lies buried under the gigantic rocks. At any rate, in the Middle Ages this belief prevailed, with the result that the peasants of the district were for ever digging amidst the débris in the hope of finding some of the vast treasure which tradition said had been buried with the city. The story, which possesses an almost Boccaccian touch of humour, goes on to say that on one occasion a peasant, whilst thus excavating, came across a vast boulder, on which was written in letters of fire in Italian, "Fortunate will they be who turn me over." Naturally enough, the peasant was in a state of great delight; surely this was an indication that the riches for which he sought would be found hidden underneath the stone. Calling his neighbours together, and, doubtless, promising them a share of the spoil, after almost superhuman exertions, the great rock was rolled 250 over; but instead of finding in the cavity disclosed the treasure which they expected, they found but another inscription on the under side of the rock of a jocular and taunting nature, also in Italian, which, literally translated, ran as follows: "Thanks for turning me over; I had a pain in my ribs." As the Italian peasant, of all others, cares little for unremunerative toil, and is easily depressed by such sarcasm, we are told, "From that time forth the supposed ruined city of San Marco and its buried treasures were left in peace."

Not far from this spot, too, on the other bank of the river, is the home of another legend of a deep cavern, concerning which there is a tradition that years and years ago it was the retreat of a cruel, white-bearded hobgoblin who lived on human flesh—children by preference—and that whoever should have the courage to explore the cavern to its depths would find at the end of it the remains of the hobgoblin, and that his spirit would reward the adventurer by telling him where a vast treasure lies hidden.

Possibly the legend had some origin in the fact that the district close here was once infested by a fierce band of robbers, who plundered and robbed, not only travellers, but the people of the country round about. Towards the end of the twelfth century the band became so formidable that the then Bishop of Trent despatched a force against them and destroyed the robbers' lair, building on the spot where it was, and from whence they were accustomed to attack travellers, a hospice for the protection of wayfarers, the chapel of which was dedicated to St. Margaret.


Some dozen miles southward from Trent, down the pleasant valley through which the Adige wends its tortuous way, lies Roveredo or Rovereto, a busy and prosperous town famous for its silk culture, situated on both sides of the river Leno, and dominated by the ancient castle, which, built by the Venetians, has withstood many a fierce siege. The silk trade, that gives Roveredo its chief importance, was introduced into the town as far back as the middle of 251 the sixteenth century, and has contributed very greatly to its continuous prosperity. Strangely enough, the principal family of Roveredo at the beginning of the eighteenth century established business relations with England, and a prosperous trade was the result.

The town is prettily situated, and from the hillside above it presents the usual characteristics of red roofs and white walls which distinguish most Italian towns. It has many charming by-ways, flights of cobble-paved steps leading up through quaint arches into zig-zag, narrow streets of great picturesqueness, in exploring which one is tempted to spend much time, particularly if possessing a camera. Its chief streets, however, are wide and handsome, notably the Corso Nuovo, planted with shady trees, leading from the railway station to the town.

Although there are seven or eight churches in Roveredo, none of them are of any great moment, but there is a good altar-piece, supposed to be the work of Giovanni da Udine, in the church of St. Rocchus, a building erected in the middle of the seventeenth century owing to a vow made by the inhabitants to do this during a visitation of the Plague if the scourge was stayed. Although not a place to stay in for any considerable length of time, Roveredo is undoubtedly worth a visit from those who like picturesque architecture, and also on account of its pleasant situation.

Arco, which is on the way to Riva, lies almost due west of Roveredo, but is reached by rail circuitously, via Mori, Nago, and Vignole, and is picturesquely situated in the midst of laurels, palms, and olives, dominated by the large and ancient castle situated on a pine-clad rock high above the town. This castle was bombarded by the French, and destroyed during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1703. The church, a prominent object of the pretty town, is of considerable interest, and amongst other places worthy of note is the château of the late Archduke Albert, which has a remarkably fine winter garden. Arco has of recent years gained some note as 252 a health resort for invalids with a consumptive tendency and, in consequence, possesses quite a number of excellent hotels.

From Arco to Riva is but a few miles, and, if possible, these should be travelled by carriage in preference to the train, as the road lies through the most delightful meadowland, fertile, and stretching upward on either hand to the towering heights which shut in the valley. Riva, which is the Tyrolese port of charming Lake Garda, is one of the most delightful spots in all Tyrol. As one stands on the promenade, far towards the south stretches the beautiful lake, whose deep-blue waters and exquisite environment of mountains have been sung by poets and described by travellers in every language of Europe. At the head of the lake there is a very busy scene of coming and going tourist-steamers, sailing craft piled with merchandise, hay, and other produce, giving the little harbour quite a business-like air, which, combined with unusual picturesqueness, cannot fail to charm every one who comes to it.

The town itself is situated chiefly at the foot of the precipitous Rocchetta, on the sides of which olive trees, figs, palms, aloes, and other vegetation grow; whilst above one hangs a deep-blue Italian sky, luminous in summer with the brilliant sunshine of northern Italy. A wanderer in the quaint streets and by-ways, some of the former of which are arcaded, will come across many a picture and many a piece of charming architectural detail for canvas and camera, whilst close to Riva, on the shore of the lake, is the little village of Torbole, the resort of artists, who find in its primitive character of a fisherman's hamlet a veritable mine of delightful subjects for pictures.

The Parish Church of Riva deserves attention; it is really a handsome building, and has much of interest in its interior. On the outskirts of the town is the church of the Immaculate Conception, which was built by Cardinal von Madruzz for the purpose of enshrining a wonder-working picture of the Blessed Virgin. Two churches 253 which have their origin in times of plague, those of San Roch and San Sebastian, erected in 1522 and 1633, are found in the town. The district round about has the distinction of supplying the whole of Tyrol with the branches of olive which are used on Palm Sunday; and Riva was long considered the most northerly limit at which olive trees would flourish. This idea, however, has of recent years proved to be erroneous, as they are now cultivated as far north as Bozen.


The ascent of the Altissimo di Nago, although a tough climb for all save practised walkers, is well worth the trouble, as the panorama of the lake obtained from the summit is one of astonishing beauty. Many visitors to Riva also go to San Giacomo for the purpose of seeing the sun rise, just as the ascent of the Rigi is made. Behind one extend mountain range upon mountain range, and lofty peak upon peak of rocky and snow-clad Alps; whilst to the south lies the beautiful Lake Garda, of royal blue in the growing light, and the widespread plains of Lombardy on either hand studded with fair cities, of which number Milan, if the atmosphere be clear, will seem—though actually far distant—to be so close that a good before-lunch stroll should enable one to reach it.

This favoured town not only takes one to the southern limit of Tyrol, but provides a charming rest-place, from which many interesting excursions may be made before setting one's face, reluctantly it will surely be, northward once more, through perhaps the grander but less soft and rest-provoking scenery of wilder Tyrol. 254



To many who visit Tyrol the most interesting district of this delectable land is the Dolomite region, which forms by far the greater part of the South Tyrol Highlands and offers not only unique opportunities for climbers, but also much impressive and beautiful scenery.

It is only in comparatively recent years that the Dolomite of south-eastern Tyrol has become a popular holiday-ground of tourists and travellers. But a few decades ago it was—except to geologists, a few artists, mining experts, and the more enterprising climbers—a terra incognita, a region scarcely more known to the general travelling public than the centre of Africa. Even nowadays it is far less frequented by western European holiday-makers than it deserves to be.

Formerly there was some excuse for an ignorance and neglect which a lack of easy transit, good roads, and railways to near-by points might be held to condone. But at the present time so much has been done to throw open this fascinating mountain district to the traveller, rest-seeker, and artist that the excuse can no longer be urged.

Concerning the climate, scenery, people, and accommodation now offered to travellers, much can be said in praise. Indeed, regarding all of these, it would be difficult to say everything one might without running the risk of being accused of partiality or exaggeration. 255

In this portion of Tyrol (as, indeed, may be said also of others) one still meets with hospitality and courtesy at inns and rest-houses which are not chiefly based upon the expectation of personal aggrandisement or monetary reward, just as one still finds quietude wedded to splendid scenery and beautiful prospects not yet exploited.

In the Dolomite region, though its popularity is yearly increasing, one can yet happily meet with comfortable hotels, which are not overrun by the type of tourist for whom a good dinner is more than fresh air and scenery, and dress clothes and gorgeous costumes of an evening a sine quâ non. In a word, we have found that the Dolomite region is free from many of the disadvantages of Switzerland—that most exploited of European countries, and the one in which nowadays perhaps the least quietude and rest is to be found—and provides a playground for the mere pedestrian as well as a most attractive region for the exercise of the climbing instinct.

It must be admitted, however, that in the less frequented passes and valleys one has occasionally to "rough" it in a mild kind of way, and that one needs to be a good and enduring walker to "do" the region on foot. But although some of the inns in the lesser known valleys are yet somewhat primitive, the cooking is usually good, and the beds, though the linen may be coarse, will be found almost without exception spotlessly clean.

It may be added that French is of little use in the Dolomites, except in the hotels at the most frequented tourist resorts, such as Toblach, Cortina, Karer See, Bozen, etc., Italian and German being generally spoken—the former almost everywhere in the region; the latter chiefly in the Gader Thal, Grödener Thal, and the district north of the Ampezzo Thal; although in scattered hamlets south of the latter, here and there one finds peasants speaking both.

The Dolomite region is most accessible from the Venetian frontier, Bozen, or Bruneck; and the true Dolomite 256 district, which contains all that is most magnificent as regards scenery and attractiveness to the mountaineer and geological student, lies midway between the points we have mentioned, and covers the comparatively small area of some fifty miles by forty miles.

Even nowadays there remain many peaks in the Dolomites yet untrodden by the foot of, at least, modern man, as well as numberless delightful paths amid exquisite scenery, where flowers carpet the earth and tiny streams make their water-music. Along which by-ways, from sunrise to sunset, one can travel amid the great silence of the hills without meeting a single fellow-wayfarer. Many of the summits are upwards of 10,000 feet in height, and they who first climb their rocky walls, deeply fissured sides, and ice- and snow-clad peaks, will have accomplished tasks not inferior to those performed by the intrepid mountaineers of the past who have scaled the great heights of the Alps or the Himalayas.


Ever since geologists have speculated and argued concerning the origin and nature of natural phenomena, there has been a conflict of opinion amongst Tyrolese, German, and French geologists in particular concerning the Dolomites. But although speculations have been many, and various plausible theories have from time to time been advanced, it may, we think, safely be said that none have been absolutely proved or universally accepted. Baron Richthofen is perhaps the ablest exponent of what is commonly known as the Coral Reef theory of origin, and this has of late years been largely accepted by leading geologists of different nationalities.



Baron Richthofen bases his theory chiefly upon the following points: "(A) The isolated nature of the mountains themselves, and the fact that their sides are frequently so steep and clear-cut as to preclude any suggestion that they have been so made by the ordinary processes of attrition, and that in general form they resemble atolls. (B) That in their substance there are often found fossils and deposits 257 of a strictly marine character very closely resembling those found in coral reefs; in addition to which the configuration shown by many of the peaks is almost exactly similar to that found in the coral reefs of to-day, with precipitous and almost perfectly vertical sides, where they would have been (if the coral-reef theory is the correct one) constantly scoured by the tide, and with much less precipitous sides on the inner or lee side. (C) The fact that there is no trace discernible of any volcanic origin. (D) They also, in their general shape and lines, enclose spaces in a similar way to that which coral reefs invariably enclose." There are many other points of resemblance advanced in Mr. G. C. Churchill's exhaustive "Physical Description of the Dolomite District," into which it is, however, unnecessary here to enter more deeply.

Of the Schlern, the magnificent peak which rises from so wild and picturesque a wooded ravine to a height of 8402 feet, Baron Richthofen makes the positive assertion that it is a coral reef, and that its entire formation is owing, like that of the "Atolls" of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, to animal activity and deposit.

The Dolomites, which may be said to stretch between the Eisack, Etsch, and Puster-Thal towards the south-east, and extend over the Tyrol border into the Venetian district, derive their name from the well-known geologist, Dolomieu, who lived in the eighteenth century, and during the latter part of it travelled extensively in Tyrol, and was the first to call the attention of scientists and others to the peculiar structural formation of the southern mountain ranges. It may be briefly here said that their material is largely limestone, but is distinguished from the other chalky Alps by a special admixture of magnesia. The fact that long ages ago the sea must have covered this region, and did so for a period of long continuance, is proved by the circumstance that, when climbing, one often finds on the very summits of the highest peaks fossilized sea-shells. Many authorities are inclined to the belief that 258 some at least of the Dolomites have been assisted in their growth, if not actually formed, by volcanic agencies, and this theory is borne out by the fact that craters are traceable in some of them even to-day. But whatever may be the true origin of these magnificent peaks, there can be no doubt regarding their unique formation.

It may be urged by some that the Dolomites do not possess the severe and apparently unapproachable majesty of the snow-clad Middle Alps, with their mighty glaciers and fields of perpetual snow; but as regards their beauty of colour, the wildness of their romantic scenery, closely connected with the most lovely and panoramic of landscapes, they are unequalled, just as the climate of the district in which they stand is delightful and invigorating.

In this comparatively small area one has a variety of scenery unsurpassed by any, so far as we know, on the Continent of Europe. Within the confines of the Dolomite region one has the wide range of lofty mountains and terrific cliffs, in places reminding the traveller of the cañons of the Rocky Mountains, with pinnacles, battlements, and towers, rearing themselves on every hand like ruined and Titanic fortresses, yet with their wildness softened in a measure by their beauty of colour when gilded by the sunrise or bathed in roseate hue of sunset light. Between the lofty peaks which rise skyward into the very vault of heaven, as it seems to the wayfarer at their feet, stretch lovely, winding Alpine valleys, often well-wooded and with turf of a most delightful greenness strewn with myriads of Alpine blossoms. Through valleys sweet with the odours of pinewoods and flowers run rushing torrents or more quietly flowing streams, which often have their origin in tiny, dark-blue Alpine lakes set amid environing pine forests, in whose tranquil waters are reflected the towering rocks and secluded woods which surround them.

To these beautifully situated spots, which are peopled by happy and friendly disposed peasants, come year by year an increasing number of travellers from other countries 259 of Europe and from America, flocking into all the more frequented parts intent upon enjoying the beautiful scenery over which hangs, during the summer months, a vault of deep-blue sky, looking all the bluer by contrast with the snow-clad Dolomite peaks, whose grandeur and fascinating beauty are not easily forgotten by those who have once gazed upon them.


One of the great advantages of touring in the Dolomites to pedestrians, and cyclists more especially—although cycling provides plenty of "collar-work"—is the wonderful network of roads which cross the country in all directions. The surface of these roads is generally excellent, although several of them reach altitudes of between five and six thousand feet above the sea. The gradients have been well seen to, the road ascending by winding curves up the hillsides mostly by such easy stages as enable them to be traversed either on foot, in a carriage, motor-car, or even on a bicycle without much difficulty or fatigue. In this manner one reaches the open, sunny plateaux and ridges which serve to divide the separate groups of mountains one from the other, where the traveller can almost always find accommodation in good modern hotels or in well-arranged and modernized inns.

It is in the possession of these numerous well-managed and excellently appointed hotels and inns that the Dolomite region excels; and they are of such variety as regards size and the kind and cost of accommodation which can be obtained at them, that almost all tastes and purses can be suited. This has been more especially the case during the last decade, in which new routes have been opened up, and further and adequate hotel accommodation provided. Huge buildings, affording every possible comfort and modern convenience, patronized by the wealthy visitor, hotels on a less grand scale, suited to the requirements of the well-to-do middle classes, and yet more modest, though not less well-managed and comfortable, establishments, where for an 260 almost incredibly small sum pedestrians and tourists of more restricted means can obtain excellent food, are all to be found in the Dolomite region. In the larger hotels at the more noted resorts, of course, one finds much the same "life" as that prevailing at such places as Ischl, Semmering, Pontresina, St. Moritz, and Lucerne, where bands play during dinner, ladies wear elaborate Parisian toilettes, men dress for dinner, and climbing is, for most of the visitors, quite a secondary consideration to that of enjoying "smart" society. In the smaller places one finds greater simplicity and, to our thinking, greater charm, with more of the life of the people in evidence and less of the exotic.

But the Dolomites themselves present many attractions to the climber, and yet provide numerous ascents which can be undertaken by the comparatively untrained and inexperienced. This is largely owing to the fact that they consist chiefly of isolated groups of mountains of great height, but which, owing to their isolation, are not approached by long and toilsome journeys ere the actual climbing itself commences, such as is often the case with the greater peaks of the Central Alps. Numbers of the higher ones, reaching to upwards of 9000 feet in height, may be ascended without any great fatigue by well-made paths, thus providing for the tourists who are not expert climbers plenty of exercise with just those elements of adventure and inspiration which prove the greatest charms to all climbers, and the reward at the end which comes to those who penetrate the higher regions of a purer atmosphere, and a larger outlook upon the glorious beauties of mountainous districts.

There are, of course, many other Dolomite summits which can only be ascended, and should only be attempted, by practised and hardy climbers, for whom great heights and the risks attending their ascent possess no terrors. It is generally conceded that the district provides both for the inexperienced and most experienced climbers some of the 261 most interesting mountain ascents in Europe. In the Dolomite region, especially of recent times, climbing has made extraordinary progress. Summits, the ascent of which a few years ago was looked upon as a great achievement by even good climbers, are now scaled by numbers of people every year; and each year brings additions to the conquered peaks, some of which were a decade ago looked upon as absolutely unclimbable, and likely to remain so.

The Dolomites are, indeed, gradually becoming as well known to climbers and would-be climbers of even the countries of Western Europe as are the Swiss Alps, and annually a larger number of lovers of Alpine scenery take their holidays in this region; and of late years the district has been visited by many even in winter time. In summer, although much accommodation has already been provided for tourists, it is, up to the present, decidedly insufficient for all the visitors who flock to this region during the months of July, August, and September. It is, therefore, advisable for any one who wishes for a comfortable time during those months to secure rooms in advance at all places which are to be visited, more especially at those centres of attraction to which the greater number of tourists are in the habit of gravitating.


The Dolomites may be divided into the following groups, running from east to west.[20] (1) The Sextner Dolomites, the most important summits amongst which are the Drei Schuster Spitz, 10,375 feet, which is ascended generally from the Fischelein Boden; the Elferkofel, 10,220 feet; the Zwölferkofel, 10,150 feet; Oberbacher Spitz, 8700 feet, and the Drei Zinnen, 7897 feet, two absolutely bare peaks of sulphurous limestone, streaked with pale orange, rising grandly and boldly from behind the Monte Piana plateau like two huge scored and fissured fingers of 262 a Titanic hand. (2) The Ampezzaner Dolomites, with Monte Cristallo, 10,495 feet, with its many peaks veiled by snows, glassing itself in the agate green waters of the lovely pine-environed Dürren See. Monte Antelao, 10,710 feet; the three Tofanas, ranging in height from 8565 feet to 10,635 feet; and the Sorapis, 10,520 feet. (3) The Agordinischen Dolomites, with the Nuvolau, 8685 feet; Monte Pelmo, 10,395 feet; and Monte Civetta, 10,565 feet, whose western face from Caprile was unascended till as recently as 1895, when Messrs. Raynor and Phillimore, with two Ampezzo guides, made the ascent. (4) The Grödener Dolomites, which embrace the beautiful Rosengarten, the Schlern, 8415 feet; the Sella-group, including the Sellajoch, 7275 feet; Rodella, 8155 feet, and other lesser peaks; and the Geislerspitzen, with its highest peak, Sas Rigais, 9930 feet. (5) The Fassaner Dolomites, consisting of the groups of the Latemar, 9166 feet; the Marmolada, the highest of all the Dolomites, a huge group with several peaks, including the Puntadi Penia, 11,020 feet; the Marmolada di Rocco, 10,820 feet, and other magnificent and lofty summits; and the Pala Group, including the Cimone Della Pala, 10,450 feet, the Pala Di San Martino, 9830 feet, and the Pala Della Madonna, 8336 feet.

There are numberless interesting and picturesque excursions to be made in this charming region of the Dolomites, but the space at our disposal will only permit of the mention of a few of the most accessible, interesting, or picturesque.



Innichen Through the Sexten Thal to Lake Misurina.

Innichen, reached from Toblach through a beautiful pine (larch) forest, is a prettily situated townlet on the Puster Thal road, with good accommodation for visitors. It possesses a fine monastery church, dating from the 263 thirteenth century, which is one of the most interesting and unique buildings in Tyrol. It contains some very extraordinary and grotesque figures and faded frescoes, and a small chapel built in imitation of the Holy Sepulchre by one of the villagers, who once made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The road leads a little below past the village into the Sexten Valley, the principal hamlet of which is Sexten, or St. Veit, which is nowadays a charming and much-frequented summer resort, where one may wander amidst almost illimitable pine forests, and enjoy fresh mountain air and quietude surrounded by exquisite scenery. From Sexten one reaches in about an hour Fischlein Boden, by way of Moos, along a beautiful path through the pine woods, from whence one obtains an admirable view of the head of the valley, with the Drei Schuster Spitze, the Oberbacher Spitze, Drei Zinnen, Elferkofel, Zwölferkofel, and Rothwand, and an almost unrivalled vista of snow peaks. From this point, passing the Zsigmondy Hut, 7320 feet, one comes to the Bacherjoch. From the Zsigmondy Hut, the Elferkofel and the Zwölferkofel may be ascended, both of which are, however, very difficult. Over the Bacherjoch a footpath leads to the Drei Zinnen Hut on the Toblinger Riedel, 7895 feet, on past the celebrated Drei Zinnen to the pretty Misurina Lake, tree-bordered and mountain environed, one of the most charming and picturesque spots in the Dolomites.

Toblach through the Ampezzo Thal to Schluderbach and Cortina.

From Toblach there is an excellent excursion through the Ampezzo Valley to Schluderbach and Cortina. The starting-point is situated on the watershed of the high Puster Thal, and is a great place for consumptives and different forms of fresh-air cures. It is visited by people from almost all parts of the world, and in consequence the 264 hotel accommodation is excellent and even luxurious. The village of Toblach itself is at the head of the Ampezzo road, which here leaves the Puster Thal at an altitude of nearly 4000 feet, and leads due south, passing between the Sarlkofel, 7740 feet, on the right, and the Neunerkofel, 8418 feet, on the left. The Puster Thal railway, which comes within about a mile of the village, makes Toblach easily accessible, and it is in the neighbourhood of the station that the huge modern hotels are built, acting, as it were, as gateways to the beautiful Ampezzo Valley. The road through the latter is a magnificent one, well suited for motoring if care be taken in descending some of the sharp curves which lead down into Cortina; and especially beautiful upon such an evening in June as we traversed it, just as the sunset hues were illuminating the higher peaks with that roseate glow which is destined too soon to fade to purples and through them to the slatey blues of twilight.

From Toblach the ascent is very gradual to the pretty and romantically situated Toblach Lake; and thence one passes on to Landro at the head of the valley of the Schwarze Rienz, where rise the lofty and snow-clad Drei Zinnen with the waters of the Dürren See, jade green and beautiful in colour, with Monte Cristallo with its cap of eternal snow and its glacier, the Piz Popena and Monte Cristallino, rising in the background. From the Dürren See to Schluderbach, 4730 feet, is a distance of less than two miles; and here, too, one finds a beautifully situated village surrounded by fine scenery, and provided with excellent accommodation for tourists whether they be but passing along into Italy or inclined to make a lengthy stay.




From Schluderbach the road passes over the boundary between Tyrol and Italy, through a beautiful forest, past a 265 deep ravine, down to Ospitale, 4835 feet, situated at the base of the Crepa di Zuoghi, 6745 feet, and afterwards skirting the Peutelstein or Podestagno, 4945 feet, by a wide though sharply curving road skirting precipitous slopes and crossing the deep gorge of the Felizon by the Ponte Alto, down to Cortina d'Ampezzo, 4025 feet above the sea, reached by carriage from Toblach in about seven hours, and distant from it just over twenty miles.


Cortina is beautifully situated on the left bank of the River Botta, with the fine Tre Croci Pass (which takes its name from the three large wooden crucifixes) opening away behind the town eastward, and the Tre Sassi Pass widening out before it westward. The town is the principal one in the commune of Ampezzo, and is surrounded by stupendous heights and grand snow-clad mountains, amongst which are some of the most splendid of the Dolomites. For years past Cortina has been so considerable a resort of tourists and rest-seekers that splendid accommodation is nowadays obtainable; and one of the first impressions made by the place upon the traveller who comes to it after that of its picturesqueness is its prosperity. It is far cleaner, too, than most Italian or semi-Italian towns of its type. Though the climate is so favourable—even in the coldest of winters the thermometer seldom falls far below freezing-point—the soil of the district is very poor, and the appearance of most of the mountain-sides and valleys is bleak. There is in consequence little agriculture and no cultivation of the vine in the immediate neighbourhood of Cortina. Indeed, throughout the Ampezzo Thal pasturage and timber-felling, and not agriculture, are the chief industries, although wood-carving and the manufacture of gold and silver filigree work is carried on to a very considerable extent.

The festivals and fairs of the district are amongst the most important of south-eastern Tyrol, and at them one still sees many of the charming peasant costumes which have had here, as elsewhere, a tendency to die out. The 266 huge silver-headed hairpins of the girls form a particularly noticeable feature of their elaborately and neatly plaited coiffures.

The main street of Cortina is a sunny and picturesque one, many of the houses possessing quaint, irregular roofs, and the church, little piazza, and hostelries making up a charming picture, with a beautiful vista of pastures and mountain summits at the end of the street.

The church, with its stately detached campanile, from the gallery of which, nearly 250 feet above the level of the street, there is a fine and extensive view of the town and valley, is one of the largest for many miles around, and contains, amongst other things, an unusually handsome altar, and some beautiful wood-carvings by Brustolone. The churchyard (unless recently altered) is a desolate though a picturesque spot, unfortunately a standing memorial of indifference for the memory of those who have passed away, and irreverent neglect.

All who reach Cortina, whether they stay long or merely for a few hours, should go to the Aquila Nera Inn, if only to see the interesting and varied paintings of two of the sons of a former proprietor named Ghedina which adorn the walls of the dining-room, staircase, the outside of the "Dependance," and even the whitewashed walls of the outhouses and stables. The subjects are of great variety, displaying in many cases much technical skill and imaginative gifts, and comprise military and religious figures and designs, grotesques, and on the walls of the square-built and solid-looking Dependance are some large groups representing painting, sculpture, architecture, and other domestic subjects, especially noticeable being the painter-like and clever manner in which modern objects, such as telegraphic instruments, cameras, steam-engines, etc., have been handled.

From the top of the campanile, in which are hung great bells, one has the village and the valley spread out at one's feet, with the Ampezzo Thal stretching north and 267 south and the passes of Tre Croci and Tre Sassi stretching east and west.


In the valleys surrounding Cortina there are many beautiful wild flowers and specimens of Alpine flora, amongst the most noticeable of which are the wild daphne and the smaller mountain gentian; we fancy, too, that in another very beautiful though small pink flower with waxen petals, which grew in large clusters, we found the Androsace glacialis, although two botanically learned friends differed as to the correct name of this charming specimen.

On the way to Cortina via Schluderbach one can, by branching off southward soon after leaving the village, reach, either on foot through the woods or by a good carriage road through the Val Popena, the beautiful and nowadays much-frequented Lake Misurina, in which the peaks of the Drei Zinnen and the tree-clad lower slopes of environing hills are charmingly reflected. The lake, although of comparatively small size, is justly considered one of the most beautiful in Alpine regions, and on its banks several large hotels have already been erected for the accommodation of the increasing number of visitors who come to this quiet and lovely spot which lies nearly 6000 feet above sea-level.

One of the most picturesque excursions in this extreme southern limit of Tyrol is by the carriage road, which, after passing through the village, traverses the forest and by a gradual ascent reaches Tre Croci, 6000 feet above sea-level. All along this beautiful road, which traverses the slope of the Crepe di Rudavoi, one obtains the most beautiful peeps of the huge cliffs of Cristallo to the right, with fine vistas of the Marmorole and Sorapis on the opposite side. At Tre Croci the beautiful Ampezzo Valley suddenly bursts upon the view with the huge mass of the Tofana right across the valley, whilst in the distance and to the south-west appears the serrated ridge of Croda da Lago; and yet further distant the snow-clad summits of 268 Marmolada. From Tre Croci the beautiful road runs direct to Cortina down a rather steep incline. Although the former means of reaching Cortina from Schluderbach by the high road and through the Ampezzo Thal is the more easily accomplished, none who have taken the road by way of Misurina will regret its greater length because of its greater interest.

Schluderbach—Plätz Wiese—Pragser Wildsee—Niederdorf

From Schluderbach, too, there is another road branching northward from the Imperial Road to Niederdorf on the Bruneck-Innichen-Toblach line, leading over the Plätz Wiese, upwards of 6500 feet above sea-level. There is a fine hotel on the Plätz Wiese, about two hours from Schluderbach, and it is from thence that one ascends the Dürrenstein, 9320 feet. This easily climbed mountain, although not providing much excitement for the expert Alpinist, is one of those which amply reward the climber for the fatigue and trouble of the ascent. As one stands upon the summit one has spread out around on all hands a most astonishing and magnificent panorama of the Dolomites, as well as of the glaciers and Middle Alps which lie to the north. Amongst the great heights and groups, on a good day plainly visible from the mountain, are those of the Tauern, Ortler, and Adamello, and the beautiful Pragser Thal, with amongst the chief heights the Hohe Gaisl, 10,330 feet; Cadini, 9320 feet; Monte Cristallo, 10,495 feet, with its glacier, and many other giants of the region.


The road from Plätz Wiese continues past the little watering-place Alt-Prags to Niederdorf, to reach which occupies about three and a half hours. There is from this road another, branching off and leading past the watering-place of Neu-Prags, with its prettily situated 269 houses and hotels, to the lovely Pragser Lake, nearly 5000 feet above sea-level, and distant from Niederdorf seven and a half miles. Pragser Lake, or the Pragser Wildsee, is one of the most beautiful, secluded, and romantic of all the Alpine lakes, surrounded and sheltered as it is by the mighty walls of the Seekofel, 9220 feet; the Herrstein, 8035 feet; Col de Ricegon, 8770 feet; Hochalpenkopf, 8420 feet, and many other wild and impressive heights. In the olive-green waters of the lake itself the two first-named giants are reflected with wonderful distinctness and beauty; whilst on the slopes of most of the surrounding mountains the silvery, star-like flowers of the edelweiss and the royal blue gentians grow with a luxuriance scarcely equalled in any other part of the Dolomite region. The climate of this Alpine lake is indeed bracing and health-giving, for on the hottest summer day one finds a cool and refreshing air coming down from the mountains and traversing the surface of the lake, whilst in the evening the temperature is not materially lowered, as so often occurs at places having such a considerable altitude and set amid great peaks, so that one can remain in the open air quite safely, even though lightly clad, until the beautiful Alpine twilight wraps the lake and its shores in a mantle of mysterious beauty, and night seems to descend from the summits of the great peaks around.

No one, however, should think of visiting Pragser Wildsee in the summer season without first bespeaking accommodation at the beautiful hotel situated on the borders of the lake, or they may find themselves compelled (as have been many others before them) to turn their backs upon this lovely spot for lack of accommodation, as this is always crowded with visitors during the months of July, August, and the early part of September. This charming resort is most easily reached from Niederdorf, situated on the Puster Thal railway, one station eastward from Toblach. 270


From Cortina the old Imperial or high road takes one out of the Dolomites to the south-east into Venetian territory to Belluno, an interesting and picturesque old town standing on a hill between the Piave and Ardo, which at this point flow together. The Cathedral, built chiefly by Tullio Lombardo in the early years of the sixteenth century, was unfortunately greatly damaged during the earthquake in 1873; but it has been largely restored, and contains, in addition to many interesting architectural details, some fine altar paintings. From the summit of the campanile, which is upwards of 200 feet in height, one obtains a most exquisite view of the old town and surrounding country. The Prefecture, in the Piazza del Duomo, is a fine early Renaissance building dating from the end of the fifteenth century, and was originally the Palazzo dei Rettori.

Belluno will shortly be connected by rail with Cortina, and possess a station of its own. The new Dolomite road, however, travels from Cortina in a south-westerly direction to the rock-strewn Falzarego Pass, 6945 feet, lying in the shadow of the Hexenfels, 8126 feet, whilst to the south-west rises the impressive, snow-covered Marmolada, with the Col di Lana, 8084 feet, in the foreground of the picture. From this pass one can ascend the Nuvolau, 8460 feet, from the summit of which there is a panoramic view of the railway and surrounding peaks. At the other end of the pass the new Dolomite road descends more than a thousand feet into the valley of Andraz, a little, picturesquely situated village from which several interesting excursions can be made, near which lie the ruins of a very ancient castle bearing the same name. Buchenstein, the chief village of the Buchenstein Valley, distant from the end of the pass some nine miles, is reached by the road from Andraz. There are some excellent inns, and the village is 271 splendidly situated and makes a good centre for holiday makers.



Buchenstein—Caprile—Alleghe See—Arába.

Near it a little road branches off to the south-east, which, leading through Italian territory and crossing a stream, leads to Caprile, just over the Italian frontier, descending on the left side of the Val Cordevole, with fine views of the Val di Livinallongo. The village of Caprile, at the far end of which is the short Venetian column, surmounted by a lion of St. Mark, a relic of the days when the Venetians ruled the district, is a somewhat straggling one, with many of the houses built upon arches. The church is ordinary, although there are some quaint decorations to the organ-loft worth seeing. But, disappointing as is the village itself, its beautiful surroundings, with the truly magnificent prospect of Monte Civetta, and the beautiful Alleghe Lake, tempt one to prolong one's stay.

From Caprile the road leads to the Lake, which lies at the foot of Monte Civetta. The high road, however, which is fairly level, leads first of all to the village of Arába at the foot of the Pordoijoch, 7355 feet.


On the way to Arába one can also reach, direct from the Puster Thal station, St. Lorenzen, through the wildly beautiful and romantic Enneberg Thal, which forms the shortest route to the middle division of the great Dolomite road. One peculiarity of the Gader or Enneberg Thal, and other similar valleys of the district, is the fact that the peasantry speak neither German nor Italian (although in some valleys the latter language is gradually becoming more used), but the patois known as Ladin, which 272 somewhat resembles the Romanche of the Grisons district, although each valley has certain peculiarities of dialect. No doubt these latter will in time die out, and German will become the common language of the more German valleys, and Italian of the more Italian.

The carriage-road, which is 45 kilometres (28 miles) in length, is not suitable for motors; it leads past Pedrazes, 4350 feet high, and Corvara, 5110 feet, to Arába. Near Corvara lies the way over the Grödener-Joch, 7010 feet, into the beautiful Grödener Thal, often sung by the poet Walther von der Vogelweide.

Waidbruck—Grödener Thal—Arába.

The usual starting-point, however, for the latter is Waidbruck, to the south of the Brenner road between Franzenfeste and Bozen. From Waidbruck, 1545 feet, which lies at the head of the Grödener Thal, with the Trostburg, 2040 feet, towering above it, the road goes to St. Ulrich, 4055 feet, distant eight miles, the chief village in the wide valley, prettily situated and surrounded by tree-clad slopes, beyond which rise some magnificent rocky Dolomite peaks. The church, dating from the end of the eighteenth century, has a beautiful interior, containing some excellent examples of the woodcarving for which the Grödener Thal has for ages been and still is famous.




From St. Ulrich it climbs upwards through the valley, which at each step becomes more beautiful and more magnificent, to St. Christina, 4685 feet, with its mountain pastures dominated by the huge Langkofel-Joch, 8800 feet, and many other impressive heights, such as Secéda, 8270 feet, Geislerspitzen, 9930 feet, to the north, and the Plattkofel, 9740 feet, to the south; the Stella Group to the south-east, with the Col dalla Piëres, 9055 feet; and the Pitzberg, 6020 feet, Puflatsch, 7140 feet, and the more distant Rosengarten and the Schlern to the south-west. 273

From St. Christina the road continues over the hill to St. Maria in Wolkenstein, to Plan, 5290 feet; from whence mule tracks lead over the magnificent Grödener-Joch, with its protection hut, or hospice, 7010 feet, into the Enneberg Valley to Arába; and also over the great Sella-Joch, 7275 feet, to Canazei, in the Fassa Valley, which lies southward of Pordoi. There are several excellent and interesting ascents which can be made from the Grödener Valley. First of all there is the romantic Geislerspitzen, which, however, should only be attempted by the skilled climber, as it is both a laborious and difficult ascent. In the same category, though more difficult, and suitable only for hardy mountaineers, are the Grosse Furchetta, with its highest point 9930 feet; Kleine Furchetta, a few feet less; the Fermeda-Thurm, 9440 feet; and the Gross Nadel, 9250 feet. Starting from the Sella-Joch, the magnificent Sella, with the Boè Spitz, 10,340 feet, as well as the wildly rugged Langkofel, can be ascended. From the Sella-Joch also one can easily ascend the Col Rodella, 8155 feet, which lies to the south-west of the former, from which summit one obtains a very fine and extensive panoramic view.


In Arába, the second part of the new Dolomite high road, which comes over the Pordoi-Joch to Canazei, in the Fassa Thal, the way ascends in wide zig-zags through a beautiful and broad Alpine valley, in which those interested in botany will find a wealth of Alpine flora scarcely excelled by that of any portion of Tyrol, up to the heights of the Pordoi-Joch, where there is an inn at which meals can be obtained, and from which a most magnificent circular panoramic view extends. From this place well-made tourist paths extend in many directions to the Boè-Spitz as well as to the Fedaja Pass, 6710 feet, and the frontier between Tyrol and Italy; a most attractive road, with the 274 huge snow peaks and glaciers of the giant Marmolada close at hand.

The new Dolomite road goes from the Pordoi-Joch in a south-easterly direction, traversing a magnificent forest with wonderful and ever-changing views of the craggy peaks of the Dolomites, and thus on to Canazei in the curve of the Fassa Thal.

Canazei—Fassa Thal—Neumarkt—Tramin.

This little town, 4790 feet, distant from Arába just over twelve miles, is charmingly situated, and much resorted to by tourists as a centre from which to make numerous interesting short tours in the Dolomites. The inns are simple in character though comfortable, and for that reason many will find that they possess an attractiveness exceeding that which one finds in hotels of a more pretentious class. The high road leads near Canazei, past Gries, Campitello, Vigo, and Möena, to Predazzo, the chief town in the Fassa Thal, 3340 feet, about nineteen miles from Canazei.

The place occupies, so we are told by Baron Richthofen and other authorities, including de Saussure and Churchill, the site of an ancient volcanic crater, although it is indeed difficult for those unversed in geology and seismic phenomena to realize the fact. Predazzo, which stands in a broad valley at the junction of the Val Travignolo and Fleims Thal, is a prosperous town, mainly owing to the mineral wealth in the immediate neighbourhood, which of late years has been developed and worked, and the fertile nature of the valley. The inhabitants are principally iron workers, farmers, and hay or timber merchants, and their sphere of trade is a far wider one than the uninitiated would imagine, extending as it does throughout the Austrian Empire, to Germany, Switzerland, and other countries. The town cannot, however, be described as either very 275 picturesque or pretty; there are too many saw mills and iron furnaces in it, and these in a measure serve to destroy the beauty of a naturally pretty valley. But the painter of figure studies and tiny domestic pictures, and the camera user with an eye for quaint "bits" may find them in the older portion of the town amongst the wooden buildings; and picturesque groups of women and girls are sure soon to reward the patient artist or photographer who takes up a position commanding the stone fountain in the main street, to which many come daily to draw water.

There is a fine new church, which, however, cannot displace in one's artistic or sentimental affection the old one with its Tyrolese belfry and weather-worn look. The famous and curious old house known as the Nave d'Oro, now an hotel, but once the home of Giacomellis for hundreds of years, is worth inspection, as some of the armorial bearings of this erstwhile noble family still appear above the old carved doorways, and serve as decorations of the ceilings and fireplaces. The visitors' book contains what must be one of the most valuable (so far as scientists and geologists are concerned) collections of autographs to be found in any Tyrolean hotel.

Predazzo is one of the finest geological centres in Eastern Europe, and in the immediate neighbourhood of the town many beautiful and varied minerals and crystals are found, amongst them the Tourmaline granite, Uralite porphyry, and the Syenite porphyry, with its marvellous crystals, which, so far as we have been able to ascertain, are unique to this district.

Although Predazzo is chiefly—and, in fact, almost entirely—given over to mining, smelting, and timber-cutting, there is yet, amid all the hum of the timber sawing-mills, and the roar and smoke of the furnaces, a considerable lace-making school for women, where this most delicate of industries is taught and practised. Some exquisite specimens of lace are to be seen, and can be purchased at moderate cost. 276

An interesting fact in connection with the rich pasturage on the slopes of the Latemar is that it belongs by common right to the descendants of the original families founding the village, and was given to the latter by a grant dating from the Middle Ages, but by whom made it does not appear absolutely certain.

The road leads on through the Fleimse-Thal, past Cavalese, where there is an ancient palace of the Bishops of Trent, which has a painted façade. The building is now used as a jail. There is here a fine Gothic parish church, standing on a hill, with an old marble entrance porch, and some interesting pictures by native artists. The road then leads one on to the railway station at Neumarkt-Tramin, which is twenty-four miles from Predazzo and ninety-eight miles from Toblach.



Vigo di Fassa—Karer See.

At Vigo di Fassa, 4565 feet, the chief village in the Fassa Thal on the road to Bozen and the Karer Pass, the road branches off, leading in a westerly direction over the Pass, 5270 feet, and past the Karer See, 5030 feet, which lies at the base of the Latemar, to Bozen.


Karer See is one of the most beautifully situated places between the Rosengarten and Latemar, and is also one of the most celebrated and fashionable resorts in the Dolomite region. From its situation and numerous delightful walks and excursions which can be taken from it, it is especially suited for a lengthy stay, and for these reasons partakes somewhat of the nature of the well-known Swiss resorts such as St. Moritz, Pontresina, Engleberg, and other places of a similar character. Many of the hotels are most beautifully situated on the borders of the lake, with a picturesque background of pine woods, beyond which tower the serrated and deeply fissured summits of the Dolomites, with striking views of the great peaks of 277 the Latemar, Rothwand, Ortler, Oetz Thal, and Stubai Alps. From Karer See the Latemar and the Rosengarten, whose highest point is 9780 feet, are easily visited, and among the excursions which those who are not expert climbers can take is that from Karer See, by the Rosengarten, past the Ostertag and Ciampedie hut, 6530 feet, to the Vajolet hut; or past the Kolner hut, 7630 feet, over the Tschager-Joch, to the Vajolet hut, 7430 feet. Starting from the Vajolet hut, one can ascend the Vajolet Thürme through a ravine filled with débris and a steep slope usually covered with snow; the Rosengarten Spitz, 9780 feet, and the Kesselkogel, 9845 feet; Cima di Laura, 9440 feet, and several others. All of those mentioned are difficult ascents, and should only be attempted by expert climbers and with guides.

From the Vajolet hut a fairly good footpath also leads over the Grasleiten Pass, 7100 feet, to the hut which occupies a magnificent position with an extensive view of the giant Dolomites in the immediate vicinity, and towards the west a fine prospect of the Presanella and Ortler Group. From this point the path leads through the Bärenschlucht up the Schlern.


The Schlern, which is a huge accretion of Dolomite rock, towering above the green, undulating plateau which forms its base, the middle peak known as the Alt-Schlern or Petz, 8402 feet, is the highest of the series, although several of the peaks approach it in altitude within a few hundred feet. The Schlern forms one of the most attractive groups of Dolomite peaks, on account not only of the magnificent view which rewards the climber, but also because excellent accommodation for tourists and climbers has been provided on the slope of the Alt-Schlern just above the plateau, at a height of 8040 feet. There are 278 situated the Schlern house, belonging to the Bozen Alpine Club, with upwards of thirty beds, and the Schlern Inn, containing a little over half that number.

The starting-place for the ascent of the Schlern is usually Waidbruck, already referred to, and from thence a carriage-road leads by way of Kastelruth and the charmingly situated summer resort Seis, 3285 feet, to Bad Ratzes, 3950 feet, situated in the wild but well-wooded gorge of the Frötschbach. Between Seis and Bad Ratzes, set in the forest, are the ruins of the ancient home of the Minnesinger Oswald von Wolkenstein. From Bad Ratzes the peaks of the Schlern can be easily reached by a mule track, although serious climbers generally take up their residence at either the Schlern House or the Schlern Inn whilst ascending the various peaks which can be most easily reached from that point.

Blumau—Tierser Thal—Rosengarten.

From the Schlern and Rosengarten district one proceeds from the railway station to Blumau, 1020 feet, near Bozen, into the renowned and picturesque Tierser Thal. The carriage-road from Blumau takes one through pretty scenery in about two and a half hours to the little village of Tiers, and then on to Weisslahn-Bad, 3818 feet, from whence tourists' paths have been made leading up the Schlern to the Grasleiten hut, and over the Niger to the Kölner hut, from which one can then either ascend the Rosengarten, or proceed through beautiful flower-bedecked Alpine meadows to the charming Karer See.

Karer See—Bozen.

From Karer See the road, which, though a fair one, is not practicable for motors, winds, gradually descending, through beautiful woods to Welschnofen, 3865 feet, a 279 favourite summer resort, situated in a fine open valley with splendid views of the towering serrated ridge of the Latemar on the right, and on the left the beautiful Rosengarten. From Welschnofen there is a good road to Birchabruck, 2895 feet, a pretty place where the Welschnofen Thal branches to the left, and the wildly romantic Eggen Thal, leading to Bozen—which is the principal town in southern Tyrol—to the right.

Fassa Thal—Paneveggio—San Martino—Trent.

At Predazzo there branches off from the high road another good road which leads over the Rolle Pass, 6510 feet, into the Pala Dolomites, and then over Primero, 2350 feet, on one side towards Venice, and the other towards Trent. This fine high road threads its way through a splendid forest to Paneveggio, 5055 feet, a pleasantly situated village—set amid pine woods—from which one can return over the Lusia Pass, 6745 feet, to Möena, and ultimately to Karer See, with magnificent views of the Colbricon, the Cimon della Pala, and the Oetz Thal Alps in the background. From Paneveggio, too, the road climbs up the Rolle Pass, which forms the watershed between the Adige and Brenta, and then descends to San Martino, 4740 feet, which is charmingly situated in a beautiful wooded dell at the foot of the Dolomites. The road from the head of the pass to San Martino, once a monastery, is by stupendous zig-zags cut through a splendid forest. Yearly the little village is becoming more and more popular, owing to its beautiful situation, the equableness of its climate, and the many charming excursions which can be made on every hand suitable either for the pedestrian or the climber.

The Imperial road from here descends rapidly to Primiero, and then traverses a wildly romantic ravine full of boulders, and with tree-clad mountain slopes to Primolano, on the Italian frontier, and thence to Tezze, 740 feet, 280 which is the present terminus of the railway, and is the principal point on the Val Sugana road uniting Tezze with Trent, 640 feet, the chief town of the Italian Tyrol, with 25,000 inhabitants.

These, then, are a few briefly sketched tours in the Dolomite region which will, as we ourselves know, well repay the seeker after magnificent scenery, pure air, and solitude, or society, as the case may be.

Quite recently a most excellent and original type of relief map of the Dolomites has been published, which on account of its clearness and comprehensive character makes it a very valuable, if not positively indispensable, companion for all who wish to travel in this most interesting, though somewhat complicated district. Fortunately the map, which is published at a remarkably moderate price, is to be obtained at all the principal railway stations of the south Austrian railways, and one cannot do better than obtain a copy ere setting out for a Dolomite tour, whether it be an extended one or not.

We would call particular attention to the fact that the Dolomites being, many of them, on the frontier between Austria and Italy, there are numerous fortresses dotted about in quite unsuspected corners, the sketching and photographing of which, or even of their immediate surroundings, is very strictly prohibited. Warnings on signboards are erected at all the points of danger, and the instructions placed thereon should on no account be disregarded. The consequences of so doing are likely to be extremely unpleasant, and possibly lead to the at least temporary incarceration of the offender. 281



The first view one has of Kufstein from the railway, or rather of its ancient fortress of Geroldseck, which dominates the prettily situated little town, is almost bound to evoke the remark that it is a Salzburg in miniature. Indeed, the parallel is not an inapt one, for the partially tree-clad and rocky eminence on which the last stronghold held by the Bavarians at the end of the invasion of 1809 stands bears considerable resemblance to the greater Mönchsberg with the town spread out at its feet.

The river Inn has narrowed ere it reaches Kufstein, which may be called the border town of north-eastern Tyrol, and now flows rapidly onward to meet the Danube. The place is pleasantly situated; but it is rather on account of the interest and beauty of its surroundings than to the town itself that its growing popularity as a holiday resort must be chiefly ascribed. And yet, with that ancient and grim old castle above one, with its huge round tower dominating the rock on which it stands, and the charming valley and pine-clad slopes of the environing hills spread out on either hand, one is tempted to linger in the town. 282

The Castle, which in all probability occupies the site of Roman Albianum, marks the position of one of the oldest settlements in Tyrol. Even in the times of Charlemagne there is at least one record of the place "Caofstein," accompanied by some interesting details. From its position near the borderland of an antagonistic race Kufstein's history is romantic, stirring, and chequered. As a well-known writer upon Tyrol aptly says, "For centuries it was turned into a political shuttlecock, now taken by force of arms, then by stealthy surprise, now mortgaged, then redeemed or exchanged for some other possessions by its whilom owners."[21] And its general fate and varying fortunes were similar to those of other frontier fortresses, such as Kitzbühel during the Middle Ages.

The grim fortress upon the rock, somehow or other, when seen in the fading light of evening, seems to bear its story of cruelty, rapine and harshness on its face. Many a gallant heart in the old days, which people are so prone to label "good," pined or fretted to death within its walls; and, unless tradition is entirely at fault, many a noble maiden and dame also were incarcerated and died tragic deaths within its thick, grim walls, and in its sunless dungeons.

The history of the fortress, so far as it concerns us, may commence with its cession to Bavaria in or about 1363 by the Duchess Margaret, the last of Count Albert's successors as rulers of Tyrol, when she found herself unable to govern the country. She had acquired the estates of Kufstein, Rattenberg, and Kitzbühel on her marriage with Louis of Brandenburg; and when she ceded Tyrol to Austria it was stipulated that these properties should revert to Bavaria.


These possessions remained Bavarian until the reign of the Emperor Maximilian I., when the two latter gave allegiance to him. Kufstein, however, refused to yield, 283 and so in 1504 Maximilian appeared before it, and commenced a siege. This event is particularly interesting, as some authorities state it constituted the first occasion on which proof was given that the introduction of artillery meant the death-knell of mediæval fortresses, however strong and hitherto regarded as inaccessible they might be. We are told, however, that the guns brought to bear upon the Castle by the Emperor in the first instance were quite ineffective, so much so, indeed, that the Governor, named Pienzenau, whose sympathies were strongly Bavarian, aroused the Emperor's anger by causing some of the garrison to sweep up with brooms the dust, which had been the only damage done by the besiegers' guns to the Castle walls, which were of great thickness, and also to dust the latter themselves with the same articles in full sight of the besiegers. The guns were either too small, or had been placed at too great a distance from the Castle to do more than graze it with their shot.

Finding his culverins and "serpents" of no avail, the Emperor dispatched some one to Innsbruck for two monster guns, known as Weckauf and Purlepaus, which the Governor of that town, Philip von Recenau, had recently cast at the foundry. These weapons, of which drawings are extant, although the chroniclers of the time do not mention their calibre or dimensions, were of considerably larger size than "Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol" at Dover, and threw balls of about 300 pounds in weight, it is said, for a distance of nearly two thousand yards. The arrival of the great guns put a very different complexion upon the siege; and after they had been brought to bear upon the castle, and had been fired,[22] it was found that their shot not only penetrated the fourteen-feet-thick walls with ease, but even the rock itself was pierced, according to some historians, to a depth of eighteen inches. Pienzenau now wished to surrender to the Emperor, provided his life was spared. But Maximilian 284 did not forget the incident of the brooms, which bears some slight analogy to the historic "broom" incident connected with the Dutch Admiral Van Tromp, who hoisted one at his masthead in derision of the English, whom he claimed to have swept off the seas. "So he is anxious to throw away his brooms, is he?" the Emperor is said to have remarked. "He should have taken this course before. He has caused by his obstinacy the walls of this fine fortress to be so shattered, so he can do no less than give his own carcase up to a similar fate."

And although great efforts were made to obtain pardon for Pienzenau and some of his more important supporters they were unsuccessful, the Emperor remaining quite obdurate. It is this execution of a brave man (whose courage and fidelity to his nation should have aroused nothing but admiration) which is a stain upon the Emperor's record. No less than five and twenty of the principal defenders were condemned to be executed. The survivors of the garrison attempted to escape secretly before the general assault, which had been arranged, took place, but they were captured. The first to be beheaded was Pienzenau; but when seventeen (some authorities say eleven) of his companions had shared the same fate, Eric, Duke of Brunswick, interceded with Maximilian so earnestly that the lives of the rest were spared. This same Eric had formerly saved the Emperor's life in battle, and possibly this fact influenced the latter towards clemency. Over the grave in which the victims of Maximilian were buried by the people of Kufstein was erected a little chapel at Ainliff on the opposite bank of the river.

The booty and valuables taken from the Castle were placed together and divided (including, for those times, the very large sum of 30,000 florins in hard cash) according to the rank of the victors. The Emperor showed himself on this occasion more just to his troops than he had been clement to the defenders, as he paid his share of the spoil into the common fund. The small booty he took consisted 285 chiefly, if not entirely, of skins of the lynx and marten, and other hunting trophies.

Kufstein, after its reduction by the Emperor Maximilian, was garrisoned, and in succeeding ages underwent numerous sieges, including the memorable one during the campaign of 1809, when Speckbacher performed deeds of bravery which were almost apocryphal in character.


As is perhaps only natural, there are many legends and romantic stories connected with the fortress, some of them arising out of the life-histories and achievements of the many distinguished prisoners who were from time to time during the Middle and succeeding ages confined within its walls. Amongst the more romantic captives was the famous Hungarian brigand, Andrew Roshlar, who was tried and condemned to death at Szegedin nearly forty years ago, to whose account upwards of a hundred murders were ascribed.

Kufstein must have been a difficult place from which to break out, but there is, at least, the tradition of a prisoner in the fifteenth century making good his escape. He was a Tyrolese knight captured by the Bavarians, and confined, apparently with some degree of comfort and laxity of surveillance, in one of the upper chambers of the great round tower, from which, through the devotion of the girl (a maiden much beneath him in rank) to whom he was secretly betrothed, he succeeded in escaping. The story goes that this girl, who came from some place west of Innsbruck, having discovered the whereabouts of her lover after some difficulty, succeeded in obtaining a post as maid in the household of the then owner. After some weary weeks of waiting, she obtained access to her lover's cell, having been given the work of carrying up to him daily his supply of food and water. It was then arranged between them that she should each day convey to him a small quantity of hemp, out of which he was to fashion a rope. This she did, concealing the hemp in the bosom of her dress. In course of time the imprisoned knight had 286 made a sufficiently long rope to reach from his window to the ground, the bars across which he had gradually almost filed through from the outside inwards, so that any one casually examining them would not be likely to discover the fact. Everything was ready for the escape, and it was arranged that the same night the girl was to make her way out of the Castle and join him ere the great gate was shut.

On the day fixed she had brought the captive's allowance of food about noon, as usual, when on leaving the cell and making her way downstairs she was accosted by one of the steward's sons who had sought her favour. She was horrified to find that he suspected the plot, and that the price of his silence was her honour. She hesitated, and pitifully entreated him to spare her, but to no avail. Then, when he told her that not only would discovery mean her own death in all probability, but certainly the death of her lover, she yielded. About sundown she left the castle, and mad with grief at the shame and insult she had been compelled to suffer, she wandered about until it was dark. She had determined to assure herself of her lover's escape, and then to cast herself from the steepest point of the rock upon which the Castle stands down into the valley below. In the dusk she at length saw faintly a black figure descending against the wall, and then she heard cautious footsteps approaching the thicket in which she stood concealed.

With a half-stifled cry which she could not altogether suppress, she hurried through the undergrowth, and was within a few yards of the edge of the rock, when she was seized by her lover and saved from destruction. The story goes on to say that they both escaped, and that the knight eventually married (and, let us hope, lived happily with) the brave girl who had compassed his deliverance.



The town of Kufstein itself does not call for extended description. But one feature that immediately prepossesses the visitor in its favour, if one arrive, as we did when last 287 there, on a hot summer day, is the number of shady promenades to be found, more especially on the east side of the town, in the neighbourhood of the delightfully picturesque Kiengraben. None should fail to visit the Calvarienberg, from which there are delightful and extensive views of the Castle, town, and valley.


To reach Kitzbühel from Kufstein it is necessary to change trains at Wörgl, eight and a half miles down the Unter-Innthal, and proceed up the Brixen Thal by the Staatsbahn past Hopfgarten to Kitzbühel. The town is a charming one, surrounded by gardens where once there ran a moat, and containing some interesting houses along the banks of the Kitzbühler Ache. Many of them still have Gothic roofs and gables, which give them a mediæval appearance, and one of great charm. The town has of late years become a favourite summer resort, and its fine situation in a wide valley nearly 2500 feet above sea-level has much to recommend it. But its fame is by no means merely that of a summer holiday spot. It is almost equally resorted to for winter sports of tobogganing, ski-ing, and skating, and may be, in fact, called the Tyrolese Grindelwald or Adelboden. Then the snow-clad valley is indeed beautiful, more like fairyland than aught else, with only the church spires of Kitzbühel and the pines on the hillsides to break the wide white expanse.

The Kitzbühelhorn is a favourite ascent, from which very fine views are to be obtained, especially of the giants of the Tauern range, the Chiemsee, and the rocky and impressive Kaiser Gebirge. The pasturage and the Alpine flora in the neighbourhood of Kitzbühel are especially rich, and there are many beautiful excursions to be made in the district round about. In the Brixen Thal, indeed, the artist and the student of costumes and ancient customs, which are, alas! so rapidly dying out, will find much of interest. In many of the villages the annual contests, consisting of wrestling and other sports—which anciently were often so strenuous as to lead to serious injury to the 288 combatants and competitors, and even bloodshed—still take place. At Kitzbühel there is an athletic gathering in June, which is held on a plateau near the inn on the Kitzbühelhorn, and partakes of the character of the Grasmere Sports of our own land, and the Braemar gathering in Scotland.

The peasants as a general rule in the Brixen Thal, as in the more famous Ziller Thal, are musical, and often indeed are quite skilled musicians; and frequently as one wends one's way through the flower-spangled pastures or climbs the mountain-side, from some isolated hut or shady nook beneath a boulder will come the musical tinkling of a cowherd's zithern or the flutey notes of his pipe. But, as a rule, we have found the players shy of performing before strangers, who will therefore be well advised if they listen to the music unseen and without seeking to discover its source.

The Brixen Thal, too, is a great dairy district, the chief industries of which are butter- and cheese-making.

As regards the scenery of the valley one may say that in few others in Tyrol does one come across a greater variety of light and shade, or more delightful cloud effects. Indeed, the clouds, which at one time seem as though they will sweep down the mountain-sides and obscure everything, and at others sail majestically, like huge cotton-wool argosies, across the blue vault of heaven, thousands of feet above the highest peak of the Tauern Giants and the bare and grey limestone peaks of the Kaisergebirge, in themselves form pictures and phenomena of the greatest beauty and of ever changing interest.


Kundl is a small village some four miles south-west from Wörgl, and it would attract little attention from travellers were it not for the curious church of St. Leonard auf der Wiese (St. Leonard in the Meadow) and the quaint legend attached to it. The story goes that early in the eleventh century a stone statue of St. Leonard came floating down the Inn to this spot; and the people, recognizing 289 that for a stone statue to float was nothing less than miraculous, after securing it, set it up by the roadside, so that all who passed by should see and reverence it. Probably modern scepticism will lead us to suppose that the figure was in reality of wood and not stone; and then the miracle explains itself! The region is subject to floods, and doubtless the figure of St. Leonard came from some church higher up the valley which had been destroyed by avalanche or inundation.

However, the story goes on to tell us that the statue had not long been placed in position alongside the high-road ere Henry II., Duke of Bavaria, himself passed that way, and seeing it paused to ask an explanation of its being there. When the story had been told him, he seized the opportunity (as did many other rulers in those days) to strike a bargain with Heaven which, whilst benefiting Mother Church, would also be not without profit to himself. He therefore vowed that if the expedition into Italy, which had brought him along that road, should prosper and his forces be victorious, he would on his return build a handsome votive church over the spot where the figure of the saint stood.

Alas! for human vows, even those of one destined to become an Emperor. Although his arms prospered, and he was crowned at Pavia, and made King of Germany, he forgot all about St. Leonard. Some years later (in 1012) fortunes and the cares of his kingdom once more brought him into Tyrol on his way northward and to the spot where the figure of the saint still stood by the roadside. Then another miracle happened, for his horse, "although urged forward with whip and spur and words," refused to pass the spot where his master had formerly made so solemn a vow, and stood foaming and champing his bit much to his rider's embarrassment. As was but natural, the Emperor at once remembered his vow and set about fulfilling it.

The church, which was forthwith commenced, was 290 finished in a couple of years, but a catastrophe marked its completion. Just as a young man was about to place the vane in position he was seized with sudden giddiness, and falling to the ground was dashed to pieces. "His body," so a somewhat quaint local version of the story has it, "was gathered together by the horrified onlookers," and his skull—which can still be seen—was placed at the foot of the crucifix on the high altar as an offering. There is a record in the church of the fact that the Emperor erected the building, and that Pope Benedict VIII., who was a nominee of his, made the very considerable journey from Rome to consecrate it. There would, however, notwithstanding this, appear considerable reason for doubt whether he did.

The image now to be seen only dates from 1491, and there is no record regarding the disappearance of the original "miraculous" one which it must have replaced. The interior of this church has suffered both from neglect and whitewashing at various times. But there are some quaint and excellent carvings, including a few pew ends, and also some fine iron work, and the figures adorning the ten columns which surround the high altar are interesting. It is as one comes into the village that the prettiest view of the church is obtained.

Rattenberg, which is some five miles distant from Kundl on the main line and road, is not much visited by tourists, and is chiefly of note on account of the copper mines, which are still worked. The town is, however, decidedly picturesque and repays a visit. Scarcely anywhere in Tyrol in a place of similarly small size does one get such contrasts in architecture. And, doubtless, for this reason one seldom fails, during the summer months, to find several artists at work in the narrow streets. One side of the river is occupied by houses and buildings of the most solid, gloomy, and altogether unprepossessing character, whilst on the opposite bank one finds the very antithesis in the pretty, light-looking dwellings, quaintly 291 painted in delicate shades of buff, pink, and sky-blue. Beside them and between them are quaint courtyards and narrow alleys of often an extremely picturesque character.


Many people seem to confuse the Castle of Rattenberg, which dominates the little town and river, with that of Rottenberg, the crumbling ruins of which lie on an eminence overlooking the roads which lead out of the Inn Thal into the Achen Thal and Ziller Thal, once the seat of one of the most powerful feudal families of Tyrol. Rattenberg Castle is said by some authorities to date back to the days of the Roman occupation, and even to Etruscan times, and its history has been not less stirring and chequered than that of most other similarly placed fortresses of the Inn Thal. The chief event in connection with it was the imprisonment of Wilhelm Biener, the brilliant Chancellor of Claudia Felicitas de Medici, wife of the Archduke Leopold V. Biener, unfortunately, afterwards fell into disfavour with the pro-Italians at the Court of Claudia's son and successor, the Archduke Ferdinand Karl, Regent of Tyrol, and was executed at Rattenberg in 1649 and buried near the wall of the churchyard. Those who wish to know more of the romantic and stirring period of Tyrolese history in which Biener lived and died cannot do better than read that fine historical novel, "Der Kanzler von Tyrol" (The Chancellor of Tyrol), by Herman Schmid.

The story of Biener's fall may be briefly told. Claudia de Medici, on the death of her husband, with her Chancellor's advice and assistance, succeeded, not only in governing Tyrol wisely and well during the minority of her two sons, but, by the exercise of great wisdom, contrived to escape embroilment in the terrible and disastrous Thirty Years' War in which the whole of the rest of the German Empire was involved. Her rule, however, was not altogether without some harshness, which was chiefly shown in the collection of taxes, and in this matter the 292 Chancellor Biener was naturally concerned, with a result that his zeal for his beautiful mistress's interests caused him to incur the hatred of a certain section of the Court and community at large. On one occasion he found himself in serious opposition to the then Bishop of Brixen concerning the payment of certain dues, the legality of which the bishop questioned. Biener appears for once to have failed in his usual skilful and diplomatic treatment of affairs. He wrote a very intemperate letter to the bishop, which the latter never forgot nor forgave. Years after the death of Claudia, the resentment against Biener took more definite shape, and he was accused of having misappropriated some of the money belonging to the State which had passed through his hands. Tried by two Italian judges, he was found guilty (though, apparently, upon very flimsy evidence), and condemned to death.

The fallen Chancellor made a last appeal to the Archduke Ferdinand Karl, son of his late mistress, and the Archduke, thoroughly believing in Biener's good faith and innocence, and, doubtless, remembering his many distinguished services to his family, reprieved him. Unhappily for the condemned man, his greatest enemy, the President of the Council, named Schmaus, was able to so delay the messenger that he arrived too late to save the Chancellor.

Biener was led out for execution, and on stepping on to the scaffold, he cried out, "As truly as I am innocent of this thing, I summon my accuser (Schmaus) before the Judgment Seat above before another year shall pass away."

When the executioner had done his work, and stooped to pick up the head to exhibit it to the multitude, he found that he had also unknowingly smitten off three fingers of the victims right hand, strangely (so the story goes) bringing to mind the remark of the Bishop of Brixen on reading Biener's letter years before—"The man who could write a letter like this to me deserves that his fingers which held the pen should be cut off." 293

By an equally remarkable occurrence, we are told, the President of the Council, who had been not only Biener's most relentless enemy but his chief accuser, died within the specified time of a terrible disease.

The wife of the Chancellor is supposed to haunt the mountain paths in the neighbourhood, and at night may be sometimes met with proclaiming her husband's innocence in a moaning voice. The story, doubtless, has its basis in the circumstance that the unfortunate woman lost her reason and ran away no one knew whither, but was ultimately found wandering aimlessly, and quite bereft of her senses, on the mountain-side between Brixlegg and Rattenberg. There was for many years (and may be still for aught we know) a tradition that when any one was about to die in the little village near Innsbruck, where Biener's wife, after her marriage, lived happily for many years, she appears to warn them.

Near the town, in one of the mining buildings, is a most curious picture done upon a wooden panel, combining a representation of the mining works about 1500 with one of the Crucifixion, in which the miners, with their pickaxes and shovels laid down beside them, are seen kneeling in prayer.


Brixlegg is but a mile or so from Rattenberg. The neighbourhood is pretty, and there is a charming view from the bridge. The little busy town also forms an excellent centre from which to make some of the shorter excursions into the Ziller Thal and Achen Thal. But, although there are considerable smelting works and a wire-drawing industry at Brixlegg, to the tourist it is chiefly its reputation for peasant dramas which forms the chief attraction in the town, which is, however, quaint and in a measure picturesque.

The rural plays of Brixlegg are not only interesting by reason of the historical scenes they many of them represent, but also as survivals of a very early (if not the earliest) type of German dramatic expression and art which has 294 come down to us. Most of the plays, types of costume, plots, and all the various items which go to make up these performances have done service for generations; but occasionally new plays are written and staged, mostly dealing with historical incidents and characters. In some parts of Tyrol where these plays survive, till at least very recent times, old masks were extant, which must have been handed down from the early Middle Ages, and possibly (so some competent authorities assert) date from Roman and Etruscan times. The Brixlegg performances should most certainly be seen by all who are interested in the true peasant drama and the evolution of dramatic art. The representations are far more interesting as native and peasant art than those of Meran, where to a certain extent outside criticism and influence have served to bring about modifications, the Meran performances lacking some of the naiveness and spontaneity of these simpler peasant dramatic plays.


Just after leaving Brixlegg, on the left-hand side of the road stand three castles of note—Matzen, Lichtwer, and Kropfsberg. The first named is one of the most interesting and well-preserved examples of the mediæval schloss in Tyrol. A whole volume might be devoted to a description of its beauty of situation, architecture, romantic history and sieges, and yet leave much unsaid. Its huge round tower dominates the landscape, just as its beautiful lower courtyard, with its four tiers of cloistered corridors round two sides, with the "springs" of the arches supported upon short columns of unworked marble, its fine main hall, with priceless carved and panelled oak and hunting trophies, make it a unique possession. There is a charming view of its rivals, Lichtwer and Kropfsberg, from the drawing-room window, whilst standing at which (according to old chroniclers) one of the Frundbergs was shot dead by a crossbow bolt fired by his brother from the tower of Lichtwer, of which castle the latter was the owner.



Of special interest to most visitors who may be 295 fortunate enough to be permitted to see Matzen and its treasures will undoubtedly be the famous figure of Christ upon the cross in the chapel; the library—one of the oldest rooms—with its fine Renaissance chest; the fine collection of old pewter; the hunting-room, with the many trophies of its famous "sporting" as well as literary owner;[23] and perhaps not without interest to most visitors will also be the stone table, once standing upon the place of execution at the other end of the castle, but now in the shadow of the great circular Roman tower, just outside the postern entrance from the garden. At this table in olden times, it is said, the owner of Matzen sat when dispensing justice to his vassals or retainers. Set in the wide valley, and girt around by trees, Matzen is one of the most picturesque as it is one of the most interesting and historic castles in Tyrol.

There is not much to detain one at Jenbach, which is a small town at the entrance to the Achen Thal, on the northern, and the Ziller Thal on the southern, bank of the Inn.

Just before one reaches Schwaz, one sees storied Castle Tratzberg high on a wooded spur of the Bavarian Alps, with its three turrets in line, seeming to overhang the rocky eminence upon which it stands. Up above the castle, scarcely visible from the valley, is the famous pilgrimage church of Georgenberg, which all who can should visit.

The path, though toilsome, winds through a sweet-scented pine forest. As one nears the goal of one's pilgrimage, the way is marked by stations of the cross. One passes through a silent region, and, as one ascends, the pretty villages scattered below in the valley of the Inn are gradually and for a time lost to view. Scarcely any one is met save a stray pilgrim or some tourist curious enough to make the ascent, and no sound is heard save the soughing of the summer breeze in the pines and the tinkle of little streams or the water-music of the Stallen torrents. 296 At last, through an opening in the environing forest, one catches the first glimpse of the white church, with its Romanesque tower and rust-red roof, standing on a steep and barren rock some three hundred feet in height, to reach which the covered wooden bridge spanning the deep ravine must be crossed.

And what a shrine it is! An isolated tabernacle set upon a rock in a solitary place, and amid surroundings of the greatest beauty and impressiveness; shut out of the world and shut in with nature. The cross at the head of the bridge records the miraculous escape of a girl long ago who, whilst attempting to pick the fairest flowers for a chaplet to place upon the Madonna's head or lay upon the altar, fell into the ravine, a distance of over one hundred and fifty feet, and yet escaped serious injury when death seemed certain.

The impression one receives when at last the summit of the rock upon which the church stands is reached is one of great solemnity and even of grandeur. For a time the outer world has receded from one's mind and ceased to exist. And when one enters the church itself, the impression which has been created cannot fail to be intensified by the silent, kneeling figures almost always found within, with their faces illumined with rapture and faith or transfigured by religious fervour.


The little chapel of "Our Lady of Sorrows" (Schmerzhaften Mutter) comes first, surrounded with a tiny graveyard, in which are buried the favoured few who have had their wish gratified to rest in death in the solitary but beautiful spot they loved and visited when alive. The larger building, the church of St. George opposite the chapel, contains one of those most curious legendary relics of which not a few have been preserved from time immemorial in Tyrol. The story of the miracle which produced the relic is briefly as follows:—About the year 1310, in the days when Rupert I. was the fourteenth abbot in charge of the Monastery of 297 Georgenberg, the ruins of which surround the present church, a Benedictine monk was saying Mass in this very church. Just as he was about to consecrate the cup, a doubt came into his mind as to whether such a miracle as the changing of the water and wine into blood could be accomplished in his unworthy hands. Torn with doubt, he nevertheless proceeded to use the words of consecration; and he was struck dumb with astonishment and awe to find, in place of the white wine and water he had placed in the cup, blood, which overflowed the chalice and fell upon the wafers. Some portion of this miraculous blood was preserved in a phial, which was set in a reliquary and placed upon the altar. In former times this precious relic, we are told, has worked many miracles, and is venerated almost as much to-day as in mediæval times.


The pilgrimage of St. Georgenberg is one of the most famous and ancient in Tyrol. So ancient, indeed, that its origin appears to have dated as far back as the end of the tenth century, when a chapel was consecrated here by Albuin, the then Bishop of Brixen. Even before this, however, Scherer asserts that a young Bavarian nobleman named Rathhold, from Aiblingen, "having learned the hollowness of the joys of even his great position, made up his mind to live apart from the haunts of men in some wilderness and solitary spot." And in pursuit of this determination he wandered on through the fertile fields and valleys of his own land and those of the Inn until he at length reached this spot in the Stallen valley, and ultimately came to the rock upon which the church stands. Up on the mountain-side he carved out for himself a cave where he lived as a hermit. But after a while a desire possessed him to go to some of the shrines of the greatest saints. He visited many, even travelling so far afield as to the shrine of St. Jago de Compostella; and at length returned once more to his hermit's cave to finish his 298 days in prayer and contemplation. But he brought back with him a picture of the Madonna, over which with his own hands he reverently erected a protective shrine.

Soon from all the district round about, and even from distant parts of Tyrol and Bavaria, people came to worship at the shrine; and ere long "Our Beloved Lady under the Lindens" became a great pilgrimage resort. One day, years afterwards, so the story goes, there came to the place another young Bavarian nobleman who had wandered far in pursuit of game, and on hearing of the shrine had determined to visit it himself to ascertain what were the attractions and virtues of a place which was so venerated by the peasants of the mountains and valley round about. On his arrival at the little chapel he sought the hermit guardian, when what was his joy and astonishment to discover, in the white-bearded recluse, the elder brother whose strange disappearance from his castle home years before had caused much grief. Overjoyed at the meeting, the younger brother vowed that he would build a chapel on the spot more adequate for the protection of the holy and miraculous picture, and also a "shelter house" for pilgrims.

The work was soon started, and from far and near peasants and even nobles came or sent offerings so that they might have some part in the work. Then a strange thing happened. All the virtue, which had made the spot one of miracles, and one of such good fortune to the halt, diseased, blind, and dumb, seemed to depart. Hardly had the workmen commenced the foundations of the proposed chapel ere accident after accident occurred, some of them fatal. The stones would not remain in place, and everything connected with the building "went wrong." Another curious happening was the presence day by day of two white doves, which came down, apparently from out of the woods higher 299 up the mountain-side, and picked up every chip of wood upon which any of the workers' blood had fallen when they cut themselves with their tools (as they frequently did), and then at once flew away with the chips in their beaks.



Finding that this action of the doves continued and that no progress could be made, the hermit determined to seek an explanation of the mystery, and so one day he followed the birds up the mountain-side, and on reaching the spot where he saw them descend he found to his astonishment a perfect miniature chapel or shrine which had been constructed out of the chips and shavings the doves had carried away. "In this miracle the hermit discovered the directing hand of God, and going down again to his brother he entreated him to have the contemplated chapel built upon the spot which had been so miraculously pointed out." This the latter willingly consented to do, and the work now progressed without accident or other interruption. The chapel so erected, which is further up the hillside than the larger church of St. George, was rebuilt at the time the latter was erected in the eighteenth century.

From time to time other pilgrims both noble and simple who visited the shrine set amid the woods and mountains were moved to remain, and thus gradually a community was gathered together living in roughly built huts in the vicinity of the hermit's cell, which in course of time about the twelfth century was put by the then Bishop of Brixen under the rules governing the order of St. Benedict. The monks not only built a monastery but cultivated the surrounding land, and quite a large community at last dwelt in this secluded spot. But the life of the monks was destined to be very chequered, and often troubled with grave misfortunes. Fire, avalanches, famine, and disease all did their best to extirpate the brotherhood. And at last, at the beginning of the eighteenth century—after having been 300 established at St. Georgenberg for more than five hundred years—it was decided to remove the monastic institutions to Fiecht.

Vast funds were needed, for the then abbot, named Celestin Böhmen, who was a native of Vienna, and had formerly been an officer of artillery, projected the new monastery and buildings upon a lavish and colossal scale. There was, however, no lack of funds. St. Georgenberg held a place in the hearts of all the people for a wide district round about, and money also flowed into the monastic coffers from foreign lands from which pilgrims had come to the famous shrine. Then a great disaster happened. The abbot, tempted by the vast wealth which had been placed in his hands, and perhaps weary of his life of retirement from the world in which he had once been a prominent figure, fled with the money which was to have been used for the new abbey at Fiecht. The work of building was for a time brought to a standstill, as no trace of the defaulting abbot could be discovered. But after some years a sufficient sum of money was obtained to permit of the work being continued under the direction of Abbot Lambert. The result was the present handsome late Renaissance building; which, however, comprises but a small portion of the first magnificent scheme. The renegade Abbot, Celestin Böhmen, some years after his flight and crime, once more became enamoured of a life of contemplation, and suddenly appeared at the monastery, confessing his wrong-doing and throwing himself upon the mercy of his former companions. He did not appeal to their clemency in vain; for, refusing to deliver him up to justice, they allowed him to end his days in piety and repentance, which one can only trust was genuine.

Such, at all events, is substantially the story as told by Burglechner and other writers.

A strange fascination seems to enshroud this quiet 301 and secluded shrine of St. Georgenberg, and certainly it is one of the pilgrimage places which most inspire one with the spirit of those remote ages when in the making of such journeys many found comfort, peace of mind, and refreshment. Indeed, one almost wonders that the monks should have deserted it for a new home and a less quiet situation on the hillside near Schwaz, which has now for some years been used as a school.


Just before reaching Schwaz one passes the old and fine castle of Tratzberg, which well deserves a visit, not only on account of its art and other treasures, but also by reason of the delightful views obtained from it. Tratzberg, which was sold by the Duke Frederick to a rich mine-owner named Christian Tanzel in 1470, with the title of Knight of Tratzberg, was often visited by the Emperor Maximilian I. on his various hunting expeditions in the neighbourhood. Knight Tanzel spared no expenditure to make it one of the most beautiful and famous castles in the Inn Thal. Not the least interesting of the many finely decorated rooms which it contains are those which were generally occupied by Maximilian on his visits, and the fine apartment known as the Queen's room, with beautiful presses, interesting portraits, and magnificent panelled ceiling. The armoury, too, full of mediæval cannon, pikes, lances and other ancient weapons, never fails to interest the student and archæologist, who, whilst wandering through these ancient and wonderfully well-preserved rooms, gains a more vivid idea of the conditions of life in the Middle Ages than much "book learning" could give him. In the great hall are some remarkable frescoes in tempera, depicting the genealogical tree of the house of Habsburg with quaint groups of portraits. Some of the antlers, which are so attached to the wall as to serve as portions of the design, are said to have been hunting trophies of Maximilian himself.

The two Maximilian rooms, which open one into 302 the other, are happily in much the same condition and state as when occupied by the Emperor. The panelling, whilst not comparing for elaborateness with that in some of the other rooms, is good, and the ancient stove, dating from the fifteenth century, is of great interest. On the walls of the room in which this stands is an inscription in chalk, said to have been written by Maximilian himself, which sums up a quaint philosophy, and has been translated thus—

"I live I know not how long,

I die I know not when;

Must go I know not whither;

The wonder that I so joyful am."


In 1573 the castle and lands passed into the possession of the famous Fugger family, and ultimately into that of the Enzenbergs, one of whom is the present owner. There is at least one gruesome story and tradition told in connection with Tratzberg, which is not itself at all gruesome-looking, as Tyrol castles go.

It appears that the ancient owners of the castle were most of them more noted for love of the chase than for being "instant in prayer," and one was so great a defaulter in this respect that, although he could always hear the notes of the hunting horn blown early in the morning and rise with alacrity to obey its summons, sad to relate, when the chapel bell rang for Mass, it was quite a different matter. One morning the bell woke him as usual, and as usual he yawned, and turned over in his bed for another nap, thinking, no doubt, pityingly of the folk who had got up early to attend the service. He had no sooner done this than he had a dream or vision of the old chaplain performing the service in the chapel, and of the devout worshippers gathered to listen to him. Then the triple tinkling of the Mass bell announced to him the most solemn rite of the service was being performed. Then came a rumbling noise, the very foundations of the castle seemed to shake, and the building to sway as though about to collapse, and 303 the hundreds of windows rattled and shook. The knight, who was superstitious if not religious, terrified beyond control, shrieked aloud, and then tried to hide himself under the bedclothes in his terror. His cry was heard by some of the servants and retainers, who came hurrying to the room; and upon entering they were horror-struck to find their master dead, whilst upon his throat were the imprints of three claws, which had burned as well as torn the skin. The inference drawn was that the knight had been enjoined by some Heavenly spirit to rise and repair to the celebration of the Mass, but had resisted the Divine influence, and had been claimed by his master, the Devil, who had strangled him. Some marks on the walls of the room where he died were for years afterwards shown as those of the wicked knight's blood.

There are many other traditions and legends attached to this famous castle, which is one of the several buildings in Europe making a claim to possess exactly as many windows as there are days in the year; but for these stories, interesting though they are as exhibiting the credulity, barbarism, and imaginativeness of mediæval times, we have not space.

Not far from Tratzberg is the quaint, interesting, and flourishing town of Schwaz, on the right bank of the Inn, and overlooked by the Castle of Frundsberg. It was, far back in the times of the Roman occupation of Tyrol, a station of considerable importance and size; but after the evacuation of the country it gradually declined until the fourteenth century, when it was little more than a scattered hamlet of poor houses, with an inn for the accommodation of travellers who were too weary to proceed further on their way to Innsbruck, or who had been overtaken near the place by nightfall.


Then at the commencement of the fifteenth century, according to Burglechner, a vein of silver ore was discovered through the rampant behaviour of a bull, who went mad or became uncommonly energetic, and, tearing up the 304 grass on the hillside with his horns, was the means of disclosing what afterwards proved to be a vast deposit of silver ore. The news of the discovery was brought hot haste to the poor hamlet by the herdsman who was in charge of the animal, and the inhabitants flocked out to investigate the story of the shining metal which had been uncovered. In a very short time Schwaz regained its ancient prosperity and importance, and at one time, when the silver mines were at their best, the population, which nowadays is about 6500, was not far short of five times as many. The discovery of the silver caused several of the noble families in the neighbourhood to forsake the calling of arms and knightly service for that of mine owning and mine working; and the vast wealth of the Augsburg merchants and bankers, notably the Hochstetters, Ilsungs, and Fuggers, was largely employed in the working of the mines which had been speedily opened up. Amongst the noble families who turned miners or mine proprietors was that of the Fiegers, one of whom was an intimate companion of Maximilian I. The latter, when Fieger died full of years and leaving an astonishing progeny and an enormous fortune behind him, was present at his old friend's funeral. His son, Hans Fieger, married Margaret von Pienzenau, who, on her coming to her husband's home, was accompanied by a vast cavalcade consisting of four thousand horses, of which those drawing her coach were shod with silver.[24]

The mining industry was speedily developed by the immense sums wealthy merchants in Bavaria and elsewhere were willing to embark in speculation, or advance upon the security of the mines themselves; and so skilful and daring did the Schwaz miners become, that later on their services were requisitioned for use in the mines of other districts, and for military mining operations against the Turks in Hungary. In the siege of Vienna in 1529 305 by the Turks, Soliman the Magnificent, who invested the city with an army of 300,000 men, was forced to raise it, after losing nearly a fourth of his men, owing to the countermining of the Schwaz miners. Two centuries later, the Schwazers undermined and blew up the splendid and almost impregnable fortifications of Belgrade before it was ceded to Turkey; and at various times their services were engaged by the Dukes of Florence and Piedmont.

Schwaz, too, has the distinction of having had one of the earliest of printing presses set up in the town; and matters referring to mining and mining methods were often referred to the experienced and skilful miners and engineers of Schwaz.

Just as was the case with the miners of the not far distant Principality of Salzburg, those of Schwaz embraced the doctrines of Luther, and made serious attempts to put down Roman Catholic clericalism and oppression. On two occasions at least they marched in considerable numbers upon Innsbruck, but were met at Hall by the Bishop of Brixen, who prevailed upon them to return to their homes by promises of redress of their grievances. But though they consented to do this and did not proceed further down the Inn Thal, in Schwaz itself the new faith and its supporters became so powerful that at one time the latter managed to possess themselves of half of the parish church, in which portion the Lutheran service was performed. Ultimately they were ejected, and had to meet in a wood near the town, where two followers of the Reformer, who had been deprived of their status as Catholic priests, used to preach.

The appearance some little time later of a Franciscan, who came to Schwaz with the object of "stiffening" the backs of the Catholics and stamping out the new faith, led to collisions of a violent character between the two parties.

One story, that was very generally accepted as a miracle by the Catholic population, concerning these 306 disputes, which sometimes were not confined to words and arguments alone, is as follows. A leader amongst the reformers is stated to have exclaimed during a heated discussion, "If Pastor Söll (one of the priests who had accepted Luther's doctrines) does not preach the true doctrine, may the Devil carry me up into the Steinjoch." Hardly, we are told, were the words out of his mouth when the speaker vanished.

It is unnecessary to add that the Lutheran faith received a heavy blow from this incident, and the effect of the miracle, establishing, as the Catholics claimed, the true faith, was further increased when the unfortunate man who had thus been so suddenly spirited away returned some time afterwards, confessing his transportation to the Steinjoch, with a bruised body, and shattered faith in Pastor Söll.

Later on the mining industry was brought almost to a standstill owing to religious disputes, and an invasion of Anabaptists. And although the latter were expelled, and many thousands of those who favoured the reformed faith were brought back to the true fold through the instrumentality of the Jesuit fathers from Hall, the mines from this time commenced to decline in richness, and never recovered their former productiveness. For a considerable period copper and an excellent quality of iron was found in large quantities after the silver gave out, but the place as a mining centre declined more and more as the years rolled by.

Schwaz, in addition to its religious dissensions, has in the past suffered from a visitation of the plague, "when the inhabitants died off like flies"; and it also suffered terribly in the campaign of 1809. In the latter year the Bavarians under the Duke of Dantzic and their French allies under De Roi determined to strike terror into the hearts of the inhabitants of the Inn Thal by burning the town. They attacked the place, and not content with putting the inhabitants to the sword practised 307 upon them the most horrible cruelties; more especially upon the women and young girls; some so revolting as to be indescribable in print. None were spared; "old and young alike were outraged, then either slain or thrown into the river or the blazing ruins which had once been their homes."


Fortunately, although little of the town itself was left standing to show succeeding generations what ancient Schwaz had been like, owing to successive occupations by hostile troops at the latter part of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth centuries, the fine parish church which had been commenced in 1470 (about) and was consecrated in 1502 was less injured than might have been expected. The plan of the building is remarkable, containing a double nave, each complete with its aisles, choir, and high altar, the cause of this peculiarity being the fact that the miners were of sufficient wealth and importance at the time of its construction to insist upon having a separate church to themselves apart from the townspeople. Indeed, even nowadays one of the high altars is known as "the Knappen Hoch Altar," or Miners' High Altar. In the roof, composed of copper tiles, of which there are said to be no less than fifteen thousand, provided as a contribution by the mine-owners and miners, and in the device of crossed pickaxes, appearing here and there in the decorations of the building, one can clearly trace its connection with the mining industry, and the interest the miners themselves showed in its erection.

The church at various times has been unskilfully restored, but it still contains some very interesting and fine monuments, that to Hans Dreyling, a metal-worker and founder, being especially worthy of note. In it are depicted not only the metal-worker, but his three wives and children, who are habited as knights, all being under the protection of St. John the Baptist. This remarkable work is by the famous founders Alexander Colin of Malines, and the even more famous Hans Löffler. There 308 are, too, nine altar pieces by Tyrolese painters which should be carefully noted.

One finds some interesting painted houses in Schwaz, as in many other villages and towns of the district of the Inn Thal, and some of the frescoes, most of which depict religious subjects, are of considerable merit.

The town, however, is not one to which many travellers come, or in which tourists linger, although it is on the main line of railway, and has considerable interest for those for whom church architecture, legendary lore, and picturesqueness of a sort possesses attractions.


The deserted and ruined castle of the famous Frundsberg (whose name, by the way, outrivals that of Shakespeare in the many forms in which it is and can be spelled), a fortress which was there before the dawn of the Christian Era, and no one seems to know quite how long even before that, is quite close to the Schwaz. Its history is obscure for many centuries after the period we have named, and only the barest fragments have come down to us of the doings and life at Castle Frundsberg during the eleventh down to the end of the fourteenth century. It was in the time of "the famous fighter of a fighting race," Georg von Frundsberg, son of Ulrich, knight of Frundsberg, born at Mindelheim in 1473, and the founder of the Landsknechte, that the castle and the family appear to have reached their zenith of prosperity, wealth and fame, the former two characteristics being chiefly due to Georg's marriage with a wealthy Suabian heiress. He was "one of many sons, most of whom became distinguished, and three of whom (Georg himself being one) were much esteemed by the Emperor Maximilian." Georg was, at a very early age, made a general, and after the Battle of Regensburg, in 1504, was knighted on the field by Maximilian, who had witnessed his astonishing bravery and feats of arms. When only four and twenty, he was esteemed a skilled and unequalled leader of men, and in his campaigns against the Swiss and Venetians he was 309 wonderfully successful. Some most astonishing feats of personal strength of his are recorded; how he could push an ordinary man over with one of his fingers; could catch a runaway horse and bring him to his haunches with one hand; and many a time clove his opponents in two halves with a blow from his two-handled sword. It is not unlikely that his immense natural strength had a good deal to do with his being exalted into a popular hero, and being made the central figure of many legendary tales and astonishing romances. Of him they sang—

"Georg von Frundsberg,

Von grosser Sterk,

Ein theurer Held;

Behielt das Feld

In Streit und Krieg.

Den Feind niederslieg

In aller Schlacht.

Er legt Got zu die Er und Macht."

Which maybe roughly translated: "George of Frundsberg, of marvellous strength; a hero of renown; invincible upon the field of combat and war; victorious in every battle. The honour of which success he gave to God."

He threw in his lot with the Lutherans, and commanded the troops under Charles V., and was one of the knights who were concerned in the attack upon Rome.

Although at one time immensely wealthy, when he was at last taken with an apoplectic seizure during the siege of the latter city, and carried home to die at Mindelheim, he was a ruined man. He had spared none of his wealth in the prosecution of expeditions in which he had been engaged, where, as often as not, the kings and emperors on whose behalf they were undertaken failed to pay the troops. To his credit, Georg von Frundsberg seems to have invariably paid the men himself; and we are told he seldom took the booty which fell to his share, selecting only some comparatively valueless, though generally historically interesting objects, such as flags and banners, a 310 sword (jewelled sometimes, it is true, but still comparatively unimportant monetarily compared with the vast treasure he might have taken as his share), or the helmet of a conquered challenger, preferring that his men should be well paid by the major portion of the loot for their bravery and endurance. In those days money advanced by nobles and others to warring princes to carry on expeditions was generally not recovered from the actual borrowers, but repaid by robbery of the conquered, out of the booty seized, or by means of the ransoms paid by distinguished prisoners. So it happened that Georg von Frundsberg, scorning these means, was gradually ruined, for neither Charles V. nor Maximilian saw to it that the vast sums he from time to time expended on their behalf during their campaigns were repaid to him.

His motto, which ran, "The more opponents the greater honour," was characteristic of himself and of his race. But with his death, and the financial embarrassments which afflicted his heirs, owing to the heavy mortgages on the estates which he had left behind him, with no means of discharging the same, the Frundsbergs declined rapidly in power, and the race came to an end in the male line on the death of his son George (one of nine children) in 1586,[25] though there are descendants in the female line of the Frundsbergs living at the present time.

The castle afterwards fell into ruins, and its history may be said to have ceased with the close of the sixteenth century. The Bavarians, however, made use of the ruined walls for "cover" during the campaign of 1809, when they were attacked by the forces raised by Hofer and his comrades.




From Schwaz to Zirl,[26] beyond Innsbruck, is between twenty-nine and thirty miles, either by train or road. The latter is quite good for cycling, and those who are not cyclists or pedestrians will find to make the journey by carriage a delightful way of reaching the picturesque little village from which the ascent of the Gross Solstein may be made, and that also of the more romantic and famous Martinswand.

The village is, unlike many of those lying in the Unter-Innthal, east of Innsbruck, an agricultural one, with most of the houses built in straight rows, and having quaint and picturesque, but not very clean or salubrious, courtyards in the rear. Some of the most charming groups of peasants, ox-carts, and "farm scenes" are to be found at Zirl, which is a good deal visited by artists, and invites the attention of amateur photographers.

In most cases the houses have their dwelling-rooms and sleeping accommodation on the first floor, which is reached by flights of steps, and the exteriors of the dwellings are 312 made picturesque and quaint by the projecting gables of carved wood, and the galleries which jut out beneath them, where the corn, herbs, and other produce is either laid out or hung up to dry. As in other villages of the Inn Thal, one sees the love of colour in the delicate pink, blue (almost a lavender), and green tints of the stucco-work on the house-fronts and walls. Zirl is a picture-village, too, and on the houses, as one drives or walks through the narrow streets, one catches glimpses of paintings of Virgins, saints engaged in vigorous and deadly combats with evil-looking monsters of the dragon tribe, and here and there, set in a niche in the wall, a tiny figure of a Madonna, saint, or crucifix protected with glass, and often surrounded with a chaplet or bunches of withered flowers.

One of the Inns, named "the Regenbogen," has a most vivid and even startling representation of a rainbow (which gives it its name) painted over the arched doorway.

The church of Zirl is chiefly interesting from the frescoes it contains, which are the work of Schöpf. The churchyard is a spot in which to linger. It is instinct with the pathos which comes in a measure from partial neglect, and picturesqueness of environment.

One of the little town's chief attractions to the antiquarian and the student of ancient and curious things will undoubtedly be the Calvarienberg, which lies a little to the north; green and beautiful, and crowned by a picturesque pilgrimage church. The ascent is comparatively easy, and well repays one for the climb, not only on account of the interest of the "Calvary," to form which the natural rocks have been adapted, but by reason of the delightful views which are obtainable from the plateau.

The path is dotted here and there by tiny buff-coloured chapels, painted a sky blue inside, marking the stations of the cross; and from almost all, as one turns round and faces the way one has come, or looks out over the valley below, there is some charming view, or tiny tree-framed vista, to arouse one's interest and delight one's eyes. The 313 church, were it not so isolated, and set amid greenery, and surrounded with flower-bedecked grass, would strike one as garish, so bright in tone are the colours with which it is adorned. But somehow or other there, amid silence scarcely ever disturbed by the noises of the village and only occasionally broken by the musical tinkle of cow bells, and in a sunshine and air which is so bright and breezy and clear, one's artistic sense seems to rest unshocked by the vividness of the distemper and paint, and the crudity of the decorations.


The village is, of course, very closely connected with several incidents in the defence of Tyrol against the various Bavarian invasions; and in the immediate neighbourhood is the Martinswand, which rises sheer from the valley below Zirl, and was the scene, according to tradition, of a perilous hunting adventure of the Emperor Maximilian. The story is as follows: It was on Easter Monday, in the year 1493,[27] when "Kaiser Max," as he was familiarly and affectionately called by his Tyrolese subjects, was staying at Weierburg, that he determined to set out on one of his favourite hunting expeditions on the Zirlergebirge. There are many accounts of what happened, but one of the most credited says that the chamois which the Emperor had been stalking suddenly led him down the precipitous face of the Martinswand.


Intrepid hunter as he was, however, the steepness of the terrible descent, which suddenly opened up beneath his feet, did not quench his ardour for the chase nor deter him. But unfortunately, in his haste in scrambling down the rocks, the iron nails in his hunting boots were torn out one by one, until when he at last reached a rocky ledge scarcely a foot in width there was but a single spike left in either of them. To descend further was impossible, and upon glancing upward along the path he had come, the Emperor at once saw that retreat by the same way was equally hazardous. So there he hung literally between 314 earth and sky, visible as a mere speck from the valley which yawned beneath him. A less fearless sportsman might well have been unnerved by the position in which he found himself, or exhausted by the strain put upon him. But the Emperor was made of tough and enduring stuff, and his nerves were iron. Not only did he manage to retain his foothold at that dizzy height, but he succeeded in nerving himself to look about him, and after doing so for some time discovered near by a small cleft or cavity in the rock which would afford him at least a better foothold, if not actual protection.

The members of his hunting party who had followed him to the edge of the precipitous Martinswand now looked down, but were unable to determine what had become of Maximilian. And none from below in the valley could, of course, see him, even if he had not been partly hidden, first, by the ledge of rock and then by the cave, from the fact that he was more than a thousand feet above them. At last, however, when his probable situation became known to his followers and to the inhabitants of Zirl, prayers for his safety and ultimate escape were offered up in the church; and the priests also brought the Holy Sacrament out to the top of the Martinswand, and there again offered prayers for the Emperor's deliverance.

His retainers, huntsmen, and companions in the chase gazed up or down, as the case might be, helplessly and hopelessly at him, and to them no human aid seemed to be possible. Just as every one was about to abandon hope (one version of the occurrence tells us), a daring huntsman, named Oswald Zips, appeared, having himself climbed down the precipice in pursuit of his quarry.

Surprised to find the Emperor, he called out, "Hullo! What brings you here?"



And the former, no doubt, relieved in mind and not disposed to stand upon ceremony or resent so unconventional a greeting, replied, "I am on the look out." 315

To which the newcomer replied, "And so am I. Shall we venture down together?"

And upon the Emperor agreeing to make the attempt—after, according to various accounts, having spent from twenty-four to seventy-two hours in his perilous position—they set out to descend the remainder of the cliff face, and ultimately succeeded in doing so in safety. The daring hunter (who various accounts say was a brigand, and others an outlaw), to whom a secret path was known, was naturally well rewarded by the grateful monarch, and ultimately was ennobled with the title of Hollaner von Hohenfelsen; the last word, "High Rock," commemorating the incident. As is perhaps natural, some accounts place a supernatural aspect upon the Emperor's deliverance, and state that it was an angel which guided him to safety, sent by Heaven in answer to the prayers of the priests and people and the Emperor's trust in Providence.

Amongst the treasures of Schloss Ambras is the monstrance in which the Host was carried by the priests of Zirl when they celebrated Mass for the comfort of the Emperor on Martinswand and offered up prayers for his deliverance.

Maximilian, finding afterwards that many of the people of Zirl and the district were determined to make the perilous descent to the little cave which had afforded him shelter and foothold, employed some of the Schwaz miners to cut a path down to it and to enlarge the cavity, which became known as the Max-Höhle. In the cave was placed a crucifix, with figures of the Virgin and St. John on either side, of sufficiently large size to be visible from the valley below. The cavern can be reached by this path (or one made since) in about an hour and a half; but the climb is distinctly one which should be attempted only by the clear-headed and sure-footed. A very excellent view of the "hole" used to be obtainable from the ruins of the little hunting-box and chapel to St. Martin which Maximilian afterwards erected upon the green knoll 316 opposite to it, known as the Martins-buhel, but now private property.

Those who stop at Zirl and visit the Martinswand should not fail to proceed a few miles further northward to the pretty little village of Seefeld. On the way along the six miles of winding and picturesque road one passes Fragenstein, once a strong fortress and afterwards converted by "Kaiser Max" into one of his numerous hunting seats, which lie scattered about the Inn Thal and the district round about.

There is quite a romantic story of buried treasure in connection with ruined Fragenstein, in which a huntsman clad in green is mixed up, who appears periodically and invites the peasants by his gestures to come and assist him in digging up the treasure. Several attempts have been made to discover the latter in past times, but all have been frustrated when success appeared to be certain. On one occasion the peasants of the valley say those who were digging, and had worked hard for many days turning up the soil in every direction, actually had the metal chest, in which the treasure is reputed to lie buried, in sight, when a terrific storm burst over the valley, and when it had subsided all traces of their work had been washed away or otherwise obliterated, and the clue was never again discovered. The road to Seefeld, though tempting for pedestrians, is steep, especially up to Leiten and Reit; but those who walk may take some short cuts on the curves, and will be well repaid by the pretty scenery and fresh, invigorating air.

Neither at Leiten nor Reit is there much to detain the traveller—a few picturesque houses; nothing more. And so on to Seefeld. In connection with the village and its Heilige Blutskapelle there is one of those many legendary stories, of which there are so great a number known to Tyrolese Folk-lore.

Many centuries ago there appears to have lived at Seefeld a man named Oswald Milser, who was rich and 317 powerful and generous both to the Church and to his poorer neighbours. His one besetting sin, however, was pride, and so one day when he went to take the Easter Eucharist he insisted that to distinguish him from the other communicants and mark his importance the priest should give him one of the larger wafers reserved for the use of the priests alone. Afraid to offend Milser, who had been a generous supporter of the Church and a giver of large alms, the priest complied with his request. No sooner, however, was the host placed upon his tongue than the weight of it bore Milser to the earth. And although in his terror and predicament he clung to the altar, and then to the altar steps as he sunk further, the latter gave way, and he continued to sink lower and lower, till in his terror he called upon the priest to take the host back from him. This the priest did, and when Oswald Milser had recovered from his fright he recognized that the circumstance was a lesson to his pride, and ultimately he gave his goods to the poor and the Church, and entered a monastery to lead a life of penance and contemplation.


When his wife was told the miracle, she refused to credit it, saying that sooner than do so she would believe that a dead rose-tree could blossom. The story goes on to tell how immediately "a rose-tree which was near by and had been dead for a long time, put forth the most beautiful blooms, and so confounded the wicked woman that she went out of her mind, rushed from her house, and was never more seen in the flesh." But her spirit was often heard at night, wailing and moaning on the mountain-side.

It was to contain this miraculous host which had confounded Oswald Milser's pride that the Archduke Ferdinand, in 1575, built a special little chapel on the left side of the fine fourteenth-century Gothic church of Seefeld. This is even nowadays an object of veneration, to which a considerable number of pilgrims come. The altar-piece is a fine one, and was well restored about five-and-thirty 318 years ago. The statues which adorn it are those of the favourite legendary heroes of Tyrol, St. Oswald and St. Sigismund, whilst the subjects of the bas-reliefs are the incidents of Biblical history, known as "The Mysteries of the Rosary." Amongst the "treasures" of the church are a remarkably fine and interesting crystal reliquary and crown, given by the Archduchess Eleonora.

From Seefeld there are many interesting excursions to be made into the picturesque Mittenwald district, which lies to the north, upon the Bavarian frontier.

Scharnitz lies at the point where the Hinderan and Karwendel valleys unite. It has memories of many a struggle against the Bavarian invaders, and more particularly of the defence of the fortress Porta Claudia, built during the Thirty Years' War by Claudia de Medici, by an Englishman named Swinburne, an ancestor of the late Algernon Charles Swinburne the poet. He was an officer in the Austrian service, and had a force of only 600 against Marshal Ney, with nearly 20,000, and made so gallant and stubborn a defence that when the garrison at length surrendered to such vastly superior numbers they made their own terms and were allowed to march out as prisoners of war whilst retaining their side-arms. They were sent as prisoners to Aix-la-Chapelle, but the "colours" were saved by one of the garrison, a Tyrolese, who made his escape with them wound round his body. He was sought for amid the mountains for many weeks, but was not recaptured, and lived to, later on, reach Vienna and hand the precious colours to his gallant chief, who had so well defended the fortress.

We reached Telfs from Seefeld by road. The village, which boasts a large cotton factory, is prettily situated and pleasant, but there is nothing in the place itself to detain the traveller. The same remark applies to Imst, once given over to the breeding of canaries, which were so celebrated for their singing qualities that they were exported to all parts of Europe. The old Inn, however, 319 is worth inspection should a stop be made at the little town, and there are many excursions of a charming character to be made in the district round about.


Landeck is a prettily situated and important little town in a wide bend of the Inn Thal, having a fine prospect of environing mountain summits occupying both sides of the river and dominated by Castle Landeck, whose grim, square, and battlemented tower forms a striking feature of the landscape. Another prominent building, which at once strikes one on approaching the place either by road or rail, is the fine fifteenth-century parish church standing on the slope of the hill, which is crowned by the castle.

The church was founded by two natives of the place, only the Christian names of whom appear to have survived, who, having lost their two children in the forest near by, vowed that if the latter were found they would show their gratitude by erecting a church to the Holy Virgin. Hardly had the vow been uttered, the legend states, when the distracted parents saw a bear and a wolf advancing towards them, each bearing a child unharmed in its mouth!

The spire of the church, which has a curious double bulb surmounting it, is of considerably later date than the building itself, which, although thoroughly restored some forty years ago, was done very carefully and sympathetically, and preserves many of its most interesting architectural features, including some very early sculpture. In the churchyard, from which such a delightful prospect of the valley of the Inn is obtained, there are two monuments, which should not be missed by any one interested in antiquities and history. One is to Oswald von Schrofenstein, dating from early in the fifteenth century; the other takes the form of a little Gothic chapel, dating from 1870, which was erected to the memory of the Landeckers who fell whilst assisting to defend the Italian frontier of Tyrol during the Austro-Italian campaign of 1866.


Landeck bore a brave part in the War of the Spanish 320 Succession in 1703, when Maximilian, Elector of Bavaria, joined forces with the French and Italians against Austria, and invaded Tyrol. The Tyrolese, always ready to speedily assemble in defence of their beloved country, soon made the main road over the Brenner impossible of passage by the enemy, and Maximilian thought to elude the sharpshooters who swarmed upon the hillsides commanding that way, by sending his forces round by the Finstermunz and Ober-Innthal. They reached the neighbourhood of Landeck without much opposition; but the Tyrolese had gathered to dispute their further advance on the first favourable opportunity.

The Judge of the district, one Martin Sterzinger, had speedily summoned all the available Landsturm forces of the neighbourhood, and worked out a plan of campaign. The latter were to permit the enemy to advance until they were well into the gorge, and then attack them so fiercely and from so commanding a position as to have some hope—in spite of their greater numbers—of severely and finally defeating them. They were in consequence allowed to advance into the narrow gorge, the road through which was spanned by the Pontlatzerbrucke. But before they entered the defile the bridge had been destroyed by the Tyrolese. The Bavarians, who were compelled to traverse a steep and narrow mountain path, when they came in sight of the destroyed bridge at once realized that they were entrapped. The precipitous sides of the hills above them were practically unscalable, and there was no way now the bridge was destroyed by which they could cross the roaring, rushing Inn to safety on the other side. In the panic which ensued numbers fell or were pushed from the road into the river, to be swept swiftly away.



Then suddenly the heights above literally swarmed with Tyrolese, who had remained hidden until the right moment to attack, who poured into the huddled and panic-stricken mass of the enemy a hail of bullets, supplemented by stones and pieces of rock hurled down 321 by those who were not possessed of guns. Only a mere handful of the force was able to turn back and escape along the path by which they had come, and these were speedily overtaken by the active mountaineers and made prisoners. Not one, we are told, made good his escape to bear news of the disaster to headquarters, and thus the French and Bavarian commanders were for some considerable time in doubt as to what had occurred. In the end they learned how their immensely superior force had been literally cut to pieces and wiped out, and perhaps also to hold the "rough jackets" of Landeck and the Inn Thal in greater respect than they had done before. The victory of July 1st, as it is known amongst the many other successes of the peasants' campaign against the invaders of their land, is celebrated every year by a procession and fête.

Besides being a most interesting little town, Landeck is yearly growing more popular with holiday makers and rest seekers as a fine centre from which to make some of the most delightful excursions and short tours in the whole of the Inn Thal. The chief of these are either in the immediate neighbourhood into the Lotzer Thal, and Medriol Thal, or along and by way of the splendid Finstermunz high road to Sulden, Trafoi, and other smaller places. There is also, of course, the famous Stilfserjoch, the highest carriage-road in Europe, and the pretty villages and valleys of the Kaunser Thal to invite a long stay amid surroundings which are scarcely excelled in any other district of North Tyrol.

But not merely days and weeks, but even months could be pleasantly spent with Landeck as a base from which to explore the numberless beautiful and almost unknown smaller valleys and gorges which run out of the Inn Valley north and south, and in the former case lead one to that wonderland of the Bavarian highlands, with its many ancient and Royal castles, lovely little lakes, and fertile, flower-decked pastures. 322

Soon after leaving Landeck, either by rail or road, one crosses the boundary which separates the Ober-Innthal from the Vorarlberg. If by the latter, as one approaches the summit of the Arlberg, which is 5910 feet above sea-level, one catches sight of an immense crucifix overshadowing the road, near which are the two posts marking the boundary line. The old road was opened for traffic nearly a century and a quarter ago, but a considerable portion of that now generally used, which is more sheltered and protected, was not made until 1825. By the magnificent Arlberg Pass route one can reach Bregenz, and to make the journey in this way by carriage or afoot is most delightful, though the railway, after the long tunnel is passed, is very interesting and picturesque.

However, comparatively few tourists and travellers nowadays devote the time necessary to traverse the Arlberg to Bregenz by road, and so Bludenz must be included in the itinerary we are describing. The little town, which has a bustling and prosperous air, though it is decidedly hot in summer, still possesses a considerable number of its older buildings and houses. The ancient château or castle of Gayenhofen is now used for Government purposes; it forms a picturesque landmark in the town.

Bludenz will always have a place in the romantic history of Tyrol from the fact that it was here that the well-beloved "Frederick with the Empty Purse" came while an outlaw and in fear for his life. He made himself known to the innkeeper where he sought refuge, who, though embarrassed, was delighted to shelter the popular hero. His view was shared by the rest of the inhabitants of the town, who when summoned by the Emperor Sigismund to deliver up their prince declined to do so, saying, "they had sworn fealty to Duke Frederick and the house of Austria, and they would not betray him." 323

Frederick, though doubtless touched by the loyalty of the Bludenz folk, knew that if he remained amongst them the result would probably be the dispatch of a force by the Emperor to capture him, and the possible destruction of the town by way of reprisal. So he stole quietly away, and Bludenz was saved.

The old town is well worth a few hours' stay, and there are many picturesque "bits" to be discovered for sketch book and camera in the older houses and side alleys, even if time will not permit of a sufficiently long sojourn to allow one to visit the pretty Montfacon Thal, with its legend of a beautiful maiden who lived up in the mountain guarding a hidden treasure, which she is condemned to watch over until some one is bold enough to kiss three times a huge toad which lives hard by, and also guards the wealth that is to reward the bold rescuer of the maiden.


Feldkirch is the last important town on the route to Bregenz. Pleasantly situated near the grim gorges through which the river Ill rushes with ever-increasing rapidity and force to join the Rhine, there is much of interest in the quaint streets, and the arcades which run in front of many of the houses.

The town itself is shut in by the mountains and dominated by the old fortress of Shattenburg, now used as a retreat or home for the poor; and for this reason perhaps is less resorted to than it otherwise might be. There are, however, a large number of most interesting excursions to be made in the neighbourhood, and the fifteenth-century church is a fine one, with a good "Descent from the Cross" by a native artist, Wolfgang Huber, and a remarkable and handsome pulpit, both dating from the early years of the sixteenth century. Costume, too, is occasionally seen in Feldkirch, and on one Sunday, the occasion of a festival, there were quite a number of women wearing the old-time steeple-crowned, brimless beaver hats—in shape somewhat like that of a Russian 324 Moujick or the busby of a Grenadier—wide white collars, embroidered bodices, and handsome brocaded aprons.

The last place in Tyrol when leaving it by the Arlberg route is the most delightful and ancient town of Bregenz, standing upon the north-eastern shore of Lake Constance. It is the capital of the Vorarlberg, and in this delightful corner of Tyrol there is no town of greater charm or historic interest. Above it rises the picturesque Gebhardsberg, from the summit of which there is one of the most celebrated panoramic views in Tyrol, embracing as it does the beautiful lake, the Appenzell Mountains, and the rapidly flowing Rhine.

There are really two towns in Bregenz. The old town, shaped like a quadrilateral, standing on the hill which ages ago was the site of the Roman settlement and castle, with two ancient gates, one of which has been pulled down; and the newer town, with its shady promenades, quay, modern buildings, and air of bustle during the tourist season.


Irrespective of its unusually beautiful situation, one finds in Bregenz much to interest and detain. It is a truly ancient place, with much history—some of it of a romantic kind—attached to it. In the Middle Ages, indeed, the overlords of the town and district were so powerful that their house supplied the Emperor Charlemagne with a bride, concerning whom there is a legendary and highly romantic tale.



It would appear from this story that Charlemagne was of a more than usually suspicious nature, and by no means one of those complaisant husbands with which the Mediæval tales have familiarized us. An old lover of Hildegarde, having seen her married to the Emperor with great distress of mind, in his wrath against her for preferring even an Emperor to himself, got ear of Charlemagne, and so succeeded in poisoning the latter's mind against his bride, that he either divorced or repudiated her, and married a Lombardian princess called Desiderata. 325

Accepting her fate resignedly, Hildegarde eventually found her way to Rome, where she devoted herself to the care of the sick, and especially of the sick pilgrims who came to the "Eternal City." In course of time, so the story goes, her revengeful lover, whose name, Taland, is almost as common a one in Tyrol as Smith in England, having lost his sight, came on a pilgrimage, and whilst in Rome was cared for by Hildegarde, "whose tender and saintly hands," we are told, "not only restored his physical sight, but also his moral perception of right and wrong."

He was so overcome with remorse when he learned to whom, under Providence, he owed his restoration to sight, that he confessed his fault to Hildegarde, and insisted upon accompanying her to Charlemagne, to whom he also confessed, and proved Hildegarde to have been blameless. The Emperor at once restored her to favour and honour.

In another story connected with Bregenz, which was made the subject of a poem by the late Adelaide Ann Proctor, one has preserved an incident connected with the heroic conduct of a Bregenz woman in saving the town from surprise and destruction by the Swiss. There are several versions of the story, which dates from 1408, but probably, as it is of a legendary character, the one given in the ballad is as correct as any other.

Unhappily, the Bregenz folk of to-day appear to know little of this heroine; and on one occasion on which we visited the town, and made a search for the effigy of the Maid and her steed on the gate of the old castle, or walls of the upper town, we were unable to find it. No one seemed to know the story of the "Maid of Bregenz," and an old lady, who had a temporary stall outside the gate for the sale of cakes and other refreshments, became quite irascible upon our persisting in the belief that there must have been a "Maid," and that she (the old lady) ought to know the legend.

"There is no 'Maid of Bregenz,'" she said angrily at last. Adding, after a pause, during which she looked us 326 up and down as though to decide upon our nationality, "But mad English people have asked me hundreds of times about her. I know nothing. There is no more to be said."

And with this she returned to her perusal of the paper she had been reading when we accosted her, and we had to be content.

We made our way down the somewhat rugged and steep road to the lower town a little crestfallen, although the view of the lake in the late afternoon sunshine of a July day was exquisite beyond description, the water deep blue and green in patches, with the incoming and outgoing boats and steamers leaving frothy-white or rippling wakes behind them almost as long as they themselves remained in sight. One determination we came to. It was in future not to inquire too closely into such pretty and poetical stories as that of the "Maid of Bregenz," and not to allow our desire for legendary or antiquarian knowledge to permit us to run the risk of further disillusionment.[28]

We did not find the effigy of "the maid and her milk-white steed," on which she had ridden over the Swiss frontier and swum across the Rhine to warn the inhabitants of her old home of a projected attack by the Swiss amongst whom she had gone to dwell in service. The genial proprietor of the Oesterreichischer Hof, we found, had heard of "the Maid." Alas! not from his fellow-townsfolk (who should have cherished her memory), but, like the old lady in the upper town, from English tourists, who had, doubtless, climbed the steep ascent on a similar errand of inquiry and research to our own.

"Maid" or no maid, however, Bregenz is delightful, and well deserves the title of "pearl of the Vorarlberg" 327 which has been bestowed upon it. In its quaint old streets, its Capuchin Convent, which is so prominent a feature, standing as it does upon a wooded knoll of the Gebhardsberg, and its fine church, to the south on another eminence, with an ancient and weather-worn tower, there is plenty of interest. Picturesque the place most certainly is, and the effect is greatly heightened by the near presence of the lake, which stretches away in front of the town to fair Constance in the far distance.


In leaving Tyrol by way of beautiful Bregenz, washed as it is by the waters of one of the most delightful of Swiss lakes, one carries with one a last impression which is fragrant with the memories of a hospitable race, charming scenery, and innumerable things of historic, artistic, and antiquarian interest. There is, indeed, no other gate through which one would rather leave this "Land within the Mountains," which, as yet unspoiled by crowds of tourists and general sophistication and the deterioration which arises therefrom, lures one to return to it again and again. 329




[1] Several well-known authorities still refuse to accept this theory.

[2] Also called the Eisack.

[3] Mommsen in his "Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum."

[4] W. Von Rodlow.

[5] This view of the origin of the country's name is, we would add, disputed by some authorities.—C. H.

[6] This is disputed by some authorities, but would appear to have been the case.—C. H.

[7] In "Etrusker," Einl. 3, 10 et seq.

[8] "Über die Urbewohner Rätiens und ihren Zusammenhang mit den Etruskern."

[9] Or ornament.

[10] See Zoller's "Geschichte der Stadt Innsbruck."

[11] By some authorities the work is stated to have been carried out by Andrea Crivelli of Trent.

[12] See Klöppel's "Maximilian."

[13] This is as stated in Baedeker, and is the view of several authorities, though by no means certain.-C. H.

[14] By some authorities it is stated that the Emperor was never made aware of Ferdinand's marriage.—C. H.

[15] Bosnia and Herzegovina have been recently annexed.

[16] For further details of the castle's history, see Prokop's interesting account.—C. H.

[17] Some authorities state Pleier was from Salzburg or the Salzkammergut.

[18] A Some authorities assert that her name was Katherina Lanz, and that from about 1820 till her death in 1854 she lived as housekeeper to the priest at St. Virglius near Rost, high up in the Enneberg Valley.—C. H.

[19] Dante's "Inferno," Canto XII., lines 1-12.

[20] The heights given are those appearing in the latest edition of Baedeker's "Eastern Alps" and the publications of the Vienna and Austrian Alpine Clubs.

[21] W. A. Baillie Grohman, "Tyrol: the Land in the Mountains."

[22] The Emperor is stated to have trained and fired the first shot himself.

[23] Mr. W. A. Baillie-Grohman.

[24] One account states that the coach itself was drawn by the four thousand horses!

[25] Some authorities give the year as 1580.—C. H.

[26] By a strange coincidence, whilst the following description of this interesting and charming village was actually being written, the news of its almost total destruction by fire reached the author, necessitating the omission of some details. Many of the houses, however, have been rebuilt, in much the same style as formerly.—C. H.

[27] Some authorities give the date as being several years earlier.—C. H.

[28] It is possible that Miss Proctor's poem ("A Legend of Bregenz") is founded upon the legendary story of Ehre Guta, who is reputed to have delivered the country-folk of the Bregenz district from an attack of the Appenzellers some time during the early part of the fifteenth century.—C. H.

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