intangible cultural heritage

Art & culture

area : Steirisches Vulkanland
category : performing arts
Faith, war, the plague and hunger have left their cultural marks across the Region throughout the centuries. Today, the region Vulkanland is rich in towns, castles, churches and other sights erected in bygone times.
Tools, vessels, objets d’art, graves and the foundations of buildings testify to the inhabitation of the region Vulkanland for over 4,000 years. The settlement of the region began in earnest around 1,000 years ago. From this time onward (until the 19th century), many towns, castles and churches were erected: Superlative historical architectural sites include the Riegersburg, Schloss Hainfeld and Schloss Bertholdstein. The castles at Halbenrain, Kornberg, Weinburg, Brunnsee, Bad Gleichenberg, Hohenbrugg, Johnsdorf, Kapfenstein and Kirchberg are well preserved and in use. Churches with a tabor can be found in Feldbach and Fehring. Further houses of worship containing treasures of art history can be found in Ilz, Markt Hartmannsdorf, Sinabelkirchen, Jagerberg, St. Stefan i. R., Kirchberg a. d. R., Kirchbach, St. Anna a. A., St. Veit am Vogau, Eichkögl, St. Peter am Ottersbach, Mureck, Straden, Trautmannsdorf, Kapfenstein, Hatzendorf, Klöch, Breitenfeld a.d.R. and Gnas. Their architecture, images, statues, vestments and craft items and ornaments have survived for centuries.
Vulkanland is also well endowed in myths and legends. These describe the ethereal quality of towns and other locations. Particular characters such as the Unifrauen and Moarfräulein, the Schratl, the Wilde Gjoad and weather witches are typical of the area and symbolise helpful and preserving forces of nature. Legend themes such as the Blumenwunder and Wunderbründl refer to specific local characteristics. The numerous legends relating to the Turks, Kurucs and Huns commemorate the painful days of war and plundering. The belief in “better days” in olden days gave inhabitants in the border regions the strength and fortitude to survive wars, the plague and hunger. Chapels and wayside shrines are lasting reminders of the faith-based culture of our forefathers and are an expression of our renewed relation with the Divine.
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