The Albrecht-Dürer-View, in Mösern

Do you remember the local theory that Pieter Breugel sketched out his “Hunters In The Snow” while sitting on the shady banks below Schloss Ambras, at Innsbruck? This is Albrecht Dürer’s Self-portrait at 26, which is hanging in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Dürer traveled from Nuremberg to Italy in 1494, and like Breugel he was impressed by the alpine landscape and made sketches which he would use in later works. The village of Mösern, near Seefeld in Tirol, claims that the landscape visible from the window is clearly of the Inn Valley as viewed from Mösern, and has named this particular vista the “Albrecht-Dürer-View”.

I’d say this is a pretty good match, especially for a painting made from a sketch, itself made years before on a journey.

Above photo by Veronika Freh found here. Image of Dürer’s self-portrait from Wikipedia.

Weekend Mountain Blogging: Stubaital

Pagans In Tirol: This cave, when rediscovered in 1976, held pottery from the La Tene era, the pottery being more specifically from 500-300 BC. This cave is presumed to have been a holy spring (Quellheiligtum) for the local residents. Whether they also kept their local brew at a desirable temperature here, no one can say…

The Stephansbrücke was a very big deal when it was erected in 1843, and Archduke Stefan Franz Viktor himself came to the ceremony to lay the foundation stone, at the tender age of 26. The bridge was part of continuous improvements on the Brenner Road, which stretches from Innsbruck over the Brenner Pass into Italy. The history of this highway is long — the Romans made the Via Raetia, and that road (and its later incarnations) remained the most direct way to all points south for a long time. Occasionally one might see an old Austrian or Bavarian film from the 50s or early 60s, where a journey to Italy by car leads over these very roads, some not yet even paved. Then the Brenner Autobahn came and changed everything.

I did not cross the Stephansbrücke, but I did cross this. The woods and valleys looks just as they should in early spring — crocuses are blooming, and other wildflowers along the forest trails. The songbirds are back, and I saw plenty of butterflies and bumble bees — which brought relief, since one hears so much lately of these critters becoming scarce.

This long hike began in the Stubai Valley (via tram) and continued north, toward the Northern Range and the Patscherkofel, following the Ruetz and then the Sill River (mostly a creek, especially this far upstream) The Bergisel ski jump tower, like a beacon, signals that home is finally near.

>The Face Of Ötzi


Anybody need a new avatar?*
A new special exhibit opens today at the South Tirol Museum of Archaeology, in Bolzano (Italy), in honor of Ötzi’s reemergence out of the ice, 20 years ago. One of the highlights is supposed to be a new facial reconstruction of the ice man, using the very latest forensic techniques.

Information here

*He’s already got a Facebook page, natürlich.

>Reschensee (Lago di Resia): II

I was looking — unsuccessfully — for an image of the actual village on the internet for the post below. Today I found (buried among other papers, of course) a postcard that we picked up when we had visited the area, which shows photographs of Graun before the dam was built. The 14th-century bell tower is easily recognizable in the top right and bottom left photos (also in the top left photo but I was unable to get a clear image from photographing a postcard.)

Things like this — ghost towns, abandoned railroads, sunken villages — fascinate us, don’t they? I find myself particularly fascinated by what one finds under the water’s surface. The rivers and lakes of Europe have claimed millennia of artifacts, from pre-historic jewelry to medieval swords, and on through to Third Reich memorabilia. This online article (update: sorry, link now dead)  about diving for artifacts in the Salzkammergut region gives one a good idea of what’s down there.

Update: Divers have left reports online that one may dive (with permission from the municipality) but that there is nothing to see below the surface — the tower stands in about 2 meters of mud, and so the old streets, etc., are completely covered.

>Reschensee (Lago di Resia)

>The Reschensee is an artificial lake on the Italian side of Tirol, or South Tirol. When the dam was finished in 1950, the waters rose over several evacuated villages, including Graun (in Italian, Curon), where 163 houses were destroyed. The 14th-century bell tower was left standing , having been designated an historical monument, and if you drive along the coast, that is all that you will see of the village that was once there.
I first learned of this bell tower from a photograph in a cycling guidebook, and so, several years later, when the beau and I were looking for some day-trip destinations, I said that I had always wanted to see it myself.

Update: Divers have left reports online that one may dive (with permission from the municipality) but that there is nothing to see below the surface — the tower stands in about 2 meters of mud, and so the old streets, etc., are completely covered.