B what? Bschlabertal or Bschlaber Valley in Austria
Recently, in the Austrian paper Der Standard, a small article drew my attention. A young (age 35) Mayor, Bernd Huber in function in his third term already, admits being unable to curb a complete economic slide down of this little valley in the Western part of Austria in the neighborhood of the Lechtal and various interesting towns in the Austrian Alps.
“I’m not someone who gives up something easily unless it’s really dead.” Also the place, of which he has held office since 2004, the municipality Pfafflar in Bschlabertal in Tirol, everything is extraordinary. 112 inhabitants include three hamlets, Bschlabs, Pafflar and Boden, scattered in the valley north of Imst. Still, because the migration is unstoppable. As Huber was elected at age 23 the youngest mayor in Austria, his drive was great. He wanted to stop the slow death of his hometown – with a broadband Internet offensive and the initiative “My Pfafflar”, designed the future vision for the remote spot.
“Small towns are at the mercy of cities”
But the euphoria is gone. “I have learned in my first two terms of office, what works and especially what doesn’t work.” The community supervision has made clear to him very quickly, “what my job is and what is not.” As head of a small community, he is facing conurbations clear disadvantage: “We are increasingly at the mercy of the cities because there are more people live, it is decided there..”
Nevertheless Huber ran for a third term. As – again – the only candidate. “It was hard even to create an election list.” Party lines lapsed at 87 electors. “I have green and blue in my team.” In the local elections in the spring of 2016 he was able to record 53 votes. “Would my people do not want, they also can vote an invalid vote. There were only eight invalid votes,” he feels confirmed in office. With over 70 per cent voter turnout was surprisingly high despite the lack of choice options. In comparison, the presidential election only half the Pfafflarer strode to the polls. More than 80 percent voted in the runoff for Alexander Van der Bellen.
In his third term Huber relies on tourism. “I have inherited a cottage, renovated and rent it.” he was ridiculed for it in the beginning, he now can save themselves from inquiries hardly: “I am 48 weekends booked up a year.” Many inhabitants have a hut, and they now want Huber to rent them out for them. Instead, he has established a specialized company.
Recreation seekers he wants to attract: “We do not have much here, but we have the rest.” Although currently are just 40 beds available, “but an acquaintance has built just two chalets for rent.” Investments are rare in Pfafflar. This potential would exist for beds, are but 60 of the 100 houses in the village empty. And the potential guests, the mayor already found: “In southern Germany live 25 million people.” This will attract the Bschlabertal Huber. For still alive Pfafflar. (Steffen Arora, 08/30/2016)
Earlier in 2011 in another Austrian paper: Der Zeit the Title is…
As a Valley Dies
Come on Mayor!
I believe there is a possibility to be a bit(?) no, much more optimistic about your valley as a Mayor and will try to get a bit of momentum for him and his fellow valley people here.
Ideally I will visit it in the not too distant future, having some idea’s I would like to share with the Mayor.
In addition I will add bits and pieces to this post if and when I find them.
With Maria in the Snow the church in Bschlabs, one of the communities of Pfafflar, is an eycatcher already in itzelf.
The church was built in 1639 as a chapel and consecrated in 1648 by the auxiliary bishop of Brixen.
Before the construction of the church, the dead had to be taken tor Dormitz (in Nassereith) and later were taken to Imst and buried there.
1670 was the first chaplain, Nicholas Kranebitter, in this valley, was for 40 years a priest in Bschlabs and was buried beneath the altar.
The records of the oldest Taufbuches in the parish, starting with the 31.10.1670.
The church has been enlarged in the early 18th century. The tower was built from 1770 to 1780, with an octagonal floor and onion dome. 1857 they built a sacristy to.
Two years later, the high altar was built. In the middle, instead of a painting, the figure of grace Madonna and Child; in addition to the double row of columns, the figures of the apostles, left Paul, right Peter, including James and John (from the workshop of Josef widower Imst in 1770). High Tabernakelvorbau with columns position and Rundtempelbau; in the round niches statuettes: the left of the Barbara and Ignatius, the right of John Nepomuk and Katharina (from Josef Anton racing).
The side altars: Building 1884 left side altar with guardian angel painting, on the right side altar painting St. Joseph with Jesus, both sides with putti (widower Werkstätte)..
The pulpit: mid 19th century, with monogram of Jesus and Mary and symbols of divine virtues, St. Eucharist, law panels with sword and palm branch.
The cross above the vestry entrance is from Balthasar Jais from Imst (1740).
In the glass display cases: left, Madonna clothed with Child, 18th century; right, Lady with blue star mantle (this statue was carried along in the processions).
The stained glass of the top and bottom semicircular closed church window, are from the Tyrolean Stained Glass Innsbruck (1919) and represent the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity represents.
The parapet organ by Josef Schreieck (1927) with parts from the 18/19. Century.
The people’s altar, with picture of the Last Supper, is by Gottlieb Praxmarer from Häselgehr.
There are two old frescoes (Crucifixion and St. Christopher), which were discovered during the renovation of the church on the outer facade of the church.
The renovated sanctuary was re-consecrated in 1985 by Bishop Dr. Paul Rusch.
Themade a nice documentary about the valley. The mayor should mention it and the municipality should refer to it on its site…
I’ve created an English Wiki about Bschlabs and am just waiting to see what the Wiki Nazies will do about this post…
Hotel Klug has a 9.5 on Booking. so the hotel is a diamond in itself. Not many hotels are able to maintain such a high guest rating. It is a pearl the Mayor should care a lot about…..
Stay tuned for more