miner families, genealogy, life, regional and international
interconnections, sumpter museum
Museum Schloss Großkirchheim:
Gabriela Lindsberger guided tours on request: Tel. 04825-226
In the highest regions of the big Zirknitz Valley there
was a number of important areas: Parzissel, Brettsee, Grasleiten, Trömmern,
Christi Leiden, Freudental and Modereck.
In the prime period of the mining industry, especially
in the early 16th century, the big area of the Modereck was undoubtedly
by far the most important one. (The name is out
of use today and replaced by 'Eckkopf' 'corner head'.)
The Modereck mining industry had to fight against big
problems from the very beginning, that is to say with the flat lying tunnels,
which were most easily reached and accessible by shafts.
Animal packing across the mountain passes of the Tauern
is certainly very old, even though the earliest concrete and really conclusive
note in literature dates only from the year 1350.
Generally speaking, one has to point out that animal packing was not only
usual for the crossing of mountain ranges, but also on normal secondary
roads until early modern times.
For the Via Aurea, of course, there are two mountain passes of particular
importance: the Bluter Tauern = (Heiligenbluter Tauern=Hochtor) and the
Nassfelder Tauern (Hagener Hütte).
Across these passes mainly wine but also tropical fruit were imported
from Görz, Friaul and Krain and salt exported to the south.
Animal packing was generally a rural extra business, however, there were
also same 'transport businesses', which, like that of the Straubingers
in Bad Gastein, employed a large number of ''sumpter farm-labourers'.
The mill technique has a
long tradition in the Tauern.
The "stick mill" is regarded as the oldest type, as it is maintained
for the purpose of grinding grains until today. This is a Floder-mill, whose production
needed approximately only a sixth of the time needed for a wheel mill.
These mills were also in
use as ore mills in the mining industry. They are typical of the gold
mining in the 14th century.
At that time the thing was to solve the free gold with the help
of the mills from the mother stone (often quartz), so that it could be
separated by washing from the not noble parts.