Lakes of Austria and Slovenia (part 2)

Maria Saal and Lake Ossiach

East from Maria Saal, Roman city of Virunum stood on the hill Magdalensberg. After the arrival of Slovenes, they settled close to the Roman town and used their legacy to build new settlement. Many stones from Virunum can be seen in the church Assumption of Maria in Maria Saal, Duke’s chair, coronation stone etc. Maria Saal (Slovene: Gospa sveta) and Karnburg (Slovene: Krnski grad) were two important towns in early Slovenian history from second half of 7. century. Maria Saal with the church was religious and Karnburg with the castle and Prince’s Stone (which in fact was a base of an ancient Roman Ionic column) administrative centre of Slavic principality of Carantania, which about 740 was vassalized by Duke Odilo of Bavaria. With Bavaria a part of the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne from 788 onwards, a Kaiserpfalz at Karnburg was erected about 830. It remained the administrative center after the Duchy of Carinthia had been split of Bavaria in 976.. The density of Slovenian settlement was the most densely populated on Zollfeld (Slovene: Gosposvetsko polje). Zollfeld kept the character and role of political and later also spiritual centre of the state.

Maria Saal

Maria Saal

Duke’s Chair

Duke’s Chair

Freilichtmuseum or Open-Air Museum is the oldest museum of its kind in Austria. The museum comprises of traditional farmhouses and yards of varying architectural design. The houses have been relocated to the museum from different parts of the country. There you can see flourmill, sawmill, a traditional method of making charcoal and lime kiln.

Open Air Museum

Open Air Museum

Between Gerlitzen in the north and foothills of the Ossciacher Tauern in the south almost 11km2 large Lake Ossiach is nestled. During the summer months the surface water warms up to 24°C. Today many facilities in the villages around the lake offer numerous possibilities for recreation and with nature connected activities. The highlight of the lake is the Benedictine monastery on the south shore built in 1024. A total of 65 abbots presided over the monastery from the beginning of the 11. century until it was closed by the Emperor Joseph II in the year 1783. Since 1969, the Collegiate Church has provided a solemn yet festive setting for the “Carinthian Summer” concert series. The monastery is closely connected with Polish king Boleslav II. Historians say, after he murdered Krakow bishop St. Stanislaus, which criticized his life style, he escaped to Hungary and in 1081 died. According to the legend, he didn’t die in Hungary but later in monastery by Lake Ossiach. Legend says that on the way from Hungary to Rome, where he wanted to get the murder and outlawry off his chest, he stopped at Lake Ossiach monastery to do the same. He entered the monastery as silent penitent. Only just before dying, he told abbot who he was and gave the seal with Polish king’s coat-of-arms as an evidence. After his death, monks started to care for mute persons and make them to communicate with dumb show.

In 1970′s Günther Domenig began to build a house for himself on a narrow sliver of lakeside property. He conceived it as a work of architecture limited only by his imagination and skill. The structure grew year by year, following ever-evolving set of sketches and technical drawings and was financed from his own architectural practice in Graz. When he had some extra money, he put it into the construction. On October 5, 2008 the Stonehouse was officially declared complete.

Stone House

Stone House

How coffee came to Vienna? By the legend, when Vienna was besieged by the Turks in 1683, Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki (Franz George Kolschitzky), born in present Ukraine, formerly an interpreter in the Turkish army, saved the city and gained for himself undying fame. It’s not known whether Turks brought beans of coffee in the first siege of Vienna in 1529 with, but it’s certain they did 154 years later in the second. Turkish vizier Kara Mustafa with an army of 300.000 men cut the city from the world, emperor Leopold escaped not far from Vienna, nearby was prince of Lorraine with an army of 33.000 Austrians and waiting for help ppromised by Jan Sobieski, king of Poland. Count Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, in command of the forces in Vienna, called for volunteer to carry a message through the Turkish line to the Emperor’s army. He found Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, who lived for many years among Turks and knew their language and customs. He had to swim four intervening arms of Danube several times. With his last crossing he brought back massage concerning the signals that the prince of Lorraine and King John would give from Mount Kahlenberg to indicate the beginning of the attack. Count Starhemberg was to make a sortie at the same time. The Turks were defeated. They left 25.000 tents, 10.000 oxen, 5.000 camels, 100.000 bushels of grain, a great quantity of gold and many sacks filled with coffee. At the time coffee was unknown to Vienna. The booty was distributed, but no one took the coffee. They didn’t know what to do with it. But Kulczycki knew what to do with it and every one was happy to get rid of it. Soon after he taught the Viennese the art of preparing coffee and established first public coffee shop, where Turkish coffee was served and helped popularize the custom of adding sugar and milk to the coffee. Melange is the typical Viennese coffee, which comes mixed with hot foamed milk and a glass of water. The Viennese have their “jause” every afternoon when they drink coffee at a Vienna café and have a “kipfel” with it. It was baked for the first time in 1683, when the Turks besieged the city. A baker made these crescent rolls in a spirit of defiance of the Turk. Holding sword in one hand and “kipfel” in the other, the Viennese showed they challenge the army of Mohammed IV. Vienna liked the coffee house so well that by 1839 there were eighty of them in the city and fifty more in the suburbs. Still today Vienna is filled with coffee houses where “zeitung doctors” (newspaper doctors) read their favourite newspaper and discuss their content and judgement. They use special racks for reading newspapers, so they hold and read it with one hand only and have a hand free to drink coffee.

Leave a Reply

*

Follow us
RSS
Follow by Email
Pinterest
Instagram