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Heiligenblut in Carinthia on the Grossglockner

Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria
Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria

Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria

The place Heiligenblut in Carinthia, Austria, is known as a ski resort. In summer it is the starting point for the journey to the Grossglockner from the southern end of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road. Those who stay in Heiligenblut for a long time will also find good opportunities for hiking there. Also worth seeing is the gold digging village of Heiligenblut, which is only a few kilometers outside the city in a valley on the northern edge of the Tauern.

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Sightseeing in Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria

Heiligenblut in Carinthia is a village at an altitude of 1288 meters in the Alps in Carinthia. The Großglockner High Alpine Road, one of the most beautiful panoramic roads in Austria, begins shortly after the village. This leads through the highest mountain peaks of the Hohe Tauern. A side street goes to the Pasterze, the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Höhe and Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner (3798 m). Heiligenblut is one of the typical mountain villages in the region. Many residents make their living from alpine farming. However, the place also looks back on a history that is unusual. Gold was mined here until the 20th century.

Tourism has also played a role since the end of the 19th century. At a Tour of the place shows you the sights of Heiligenblut.

Hikes in the vicinity of Heiligenblut

The place is the starting point for the Großglockner region. You can also go hiking in the area. You can find a selection of the hiking trails near Heiligenblut here

Summer hikes

Winter hikes

 

You need that for a hike in Heiligenblut

  • We recommend comfortable walking shoes for the hike. Some hiking trails are alpine and require equipment for mountain tours.
  • Practically for traveling is one backpack, in which you drink, your picknick, a jacket and odds and ends.
  • Do you have everything? With our Hiking checklist you can easily check that.

 

Heiligenblut ski area Carinthia Austria

In winter the place is the starting point for ski tourists who ski on the Schareck (2606 m) and on the Gjaidtroghöhe (2988 m).

Ski tours

 

Parish church Heiligenblut Carinthia
Parish church Heiligenblut Carinthia

 

Parish church Heiligenblut Carinthia

The parish church of Heiligenblut cannot be overlooked in the townscape. The Gothic style church dates back to the 15th century. The church was restored at the beginning of the 20th century. The high altar comes from the Bolzano school and shows the coronation of Mary.

Briccius Chapel

West of Winkl. The chapel was built in 1872 to commemorate the name of the place. A Danish prince named Briccius had a vial with the blood of Christ implanted in his calf. He was killed in an avalanche in 914 while on his way back from Constantinople to his homeland. It is said that three ears of wheat grew out of the snow. This is how his remains were discovered. When the peasants tried to bury him, a leg kept poking out of the earth. It was only when they investigated that they found the vial of blood in his leg. This is kept today in the parish church. The chapel commemorates the prince who gave the place its name.

 

Do you like to travel by motorhome?

  • A campsite in Heiligenblut is National Park Camping Großglockner.
  • Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here and Booking options *.
  • Check with our Packing list camperwhether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
  • Austria has a comprehensive network of campsites, there are parking spaces in all parts of the country, you can stay overnight for a maximum of one night outside of campsites and parking spaces. But be careful: there are regional bans (Tyrol, Vienna). Camping Guide for Austria * you can buy it here.
  • Here you can find tips for Cooking in the camper

 

Gold mining village Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria
Gold mining village Heiligenblut in Carinthia Austria

The gold of the Tauern from Heiligenblut in Carinthia

We had heard of it: the legendary Gold of the Tauern. However, I thought until we visited Heiligenblut and the Grossglockner in Carinthiathat it's really just a legend. We learned that this was not the case on our trip to the gold mining village near Heiligenblut. It was not a day on which a trip to the high Alps was worthwhile, because it was pouring freely. After the wonderful weather at ours Drive over the Grossglockner High Alpine Road the day before the weather god was not so kind to us this time. Or maybe yes?

Because after we branched off shortly after Heiligenblut in a sharp hairpin bend on the high alpine road to the gold mining village, more and more clouds of fog built up on the mountain slopes and gave the scenery an almost unreal character. Drizzle covered the front windshield of our car, and the windshield wipers barely managed to control the moisture. They just kept giving us a quick, clear look at what lay ahead. As if the gold diggers of the past only reluctantly wanted to give us a look at what is hidden in the hidden tunnels of the gold mines in the Hohe Tauern. It was almost like taking a trip back in time - mysterious and full of puzzles.

 

Waterfall
Waterfall

 

The gold of the Tauern on the trail in the gold digger village Heiligenblut

The feeling of a journey through time intensified when the narrow tar road at the bridge over the Fleiß turned into a gravel road and finally a forest path. We didn't park our car at the main entrance to the gold digger village, but drove to its upper end, where we parked our vehicle on the edge of the stream bed. In the spring when the snow melts, a wild mountain stream may rustle through the bed of hard work. At the time of ours Austria Visiting in the fall, the stream bed was dry despite the pouring rain that was still falling. Maybe the waterfalls that fell down the steep mountain wall behind us on the mountainside needed a little more time to reach the stream bed? Or did it seep into the tunnels that the gold miners had once dug into the mountains? We didn’t know.

 

The dry stream bed of Fleiss
The dry stream bed of Fleiss

 

Nice even when it rains

After a few minutes the weather god had pity on us and the downpour subsided. The clouds that had built up on the mountains at the end of the valley by then broke up, and there was even a piece of blue sky. Wooden huts, in which the miners and miners once lived, line our path along the dilemma. A wooden water gutter accompanies us on our way. This was where the gold was once transported from the higher elevations of the Hohe Tauern to the "Alten Pocher", the grinder for the gold-bearing rock that we can see in the gold digger village.

The methods of how to win the gold have changed throughout history. In addition, the tunnels in the high mountains have been closed by glacier ice over the centuries. Nevertheless, the gold of the Tauern was won until the Second World War. Not a ton a year as in the late Middle Ages, but until 1944 it was still enough as extra income for the farmers in the region.

 

Grinder in the gold digging village of Heiligenblut Carinthia Austria
Grinder in the gold digging village of Heiligenblut, Carinthia

 

Do you fancy panning for gold?

Today, visitors can try gold panning in the gold digger village. For us, this is too wet and uncomfortable on this rainy day. However, I can well imagine that on a hot summer day is a welcome refreshment. We look at the tools used to win the gold. One of the old tunnels opens in the middle of the gold mining village, and I wonder how exhausting the work must have been because neither Petar nor I could stand upright in this low tunnel. What must it have been like a drudgery to get the precious metal out of the mountain?

 

Gold of the Tauern - Erzstollen
Gold of the Tauern - Erzstollen
Gold miners cottage
Gold miners cottage

 

Meager life as a gold digger

On one of the boards along the way that tell how the prospectors lived in these gold deposits, describes how meager their life was: in the 16th century, a married squire received five loaves of bread a week, one and a half kilos of flour and half a kilo of lard each , Cheese, sheep or goat meat and pork. Unmarried people received a quarter less. Not exactly exuberant considering they did 44 hours a week of hard physical labor. These rations were only available at the best of times. In times of need they only fed on stinging soup, sauerkraut, bread and bacon.

The gold diggers could not speak of quick wealth. In any case, the work was not safe. While in the beginning the gold was extracted from the ore at the place of discovery, it was later brought down the mountain to the "Alten Pocher" in iron carts. A brave squire sat on the cart and steered it down the steep and dangerous descent into the valley with a pole hook.

 

Gold-bearing stone chunks
Gold-bearing stone chunks

 

An afternoon in the gold digger village

We can well imagine how difficult these people's lives must have been when we look at the mountain walls at the end of the valley. In the meantime, clouds of fog are gathering again and it is slowly starting to drizzle again, so that we find our way back to the car after this glimpse into the life of the miners who once fetched the gold of the Tauern from the mountains. This gold can be admired today in the castles, churches and monasteries of the prince-bishops of Salzburg, who used it to furnish their stately buildings. Here in the valley we can barely see the tiny gold particles in the quartz rock with the naked eye. What a drudgery to honor the princes of the country!

After an afternoon with the gold of the Tauern in the gold digger village, we finally make our way back to Heiligenblut at the foot of the Hohe Tauern.

Follow us on our tour through the gold digging village of Carinthia Austria in Heiligenblut in Petar's video:

 


Videos are subject to copyright

Travel Arrangements

Webcam and weather

For a spontaneous excursion you can find one here Webcam and weather forecast for Heiligenblut.

Gold digger village

Exit from the Großglockner High Alpine Road to Kerne 17
Follow the signs.

You can also Hike to the gold digger village

Accommodation Heiligenblut Carinthia

You can stay overnight in Heiligenblut *which is only a few kilometers away.


 

More Slow Travel Destinations and Experiences in Carinthia:

 

 

Heiligenblut Austria
Click on the photo and make a note of “Heiligenblut Austria” on Pinterest

 

Find more Slow Travel Experiences here.

Source: own research on site. We thank 50 Plus Hotels for the kind invitation. Our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

Comments

  1. Dear Ones,
    Carinthia is a beautiful region that I can only recommend at any time of the year.
    There is really something romantic about such a little time travel.
    I think of an old bathroom in the middle of the Nock Mountains. Time has stood still there, as evidently in Heiligenblut.

    Best regards,
    Katja

    • Monika & Petar Fuchs
      | Reply

      Dear Katja,

      I have to look around your blog for the bath in the Nock Mountains. We like such historical places very much.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  2. Gina | 2 on the go
    | Reply

    I knew Heiligenblut by name. I didn't know that there was a gold mining village there. I like such historical places very much, especially when you can trace the life of the former inhabitants.
    But the legend about the guy with the blood in his leg is scary!

    Best regards,
    Gina

    • Monika & Petar Fuchs
      | Reply

      Dear Gina,

      we are also very fond of places where you can relive life in the past. Something like that is much more alive than some exhibitions in a museum.
      The guy with the blood in his leg probably had to protect the valuable blood from thieves. : D.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  3. Dear Monika, dear Petar,

    that looks like a very special trip! Time travel like this is always fun. Thanks for taking us with you :)

    Best regards,
    Barbara

    • Monika & Petar Fuchs
      | Reply

      Dear Barbara,

      Yes that was it. One can imagine the life of the gold diggers in this village quite well. It was definitely not easy.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  4. Susanne
    | Reply

    A visit to a gold rush town is certainly something very special. I like to look back at the past. The subject of ore extraction is always exciting, especially when you consider the circumstances under which mining was carried out at the time. Thanks for the insight!
    LG, Susanne

    • Monika & Petar Fuchs
      | Reply

      Dear Susanne,

      yes, that was very interesting. The gold diggers themselves did not have much of the ore they dug. They won that for the archbishops in Salzburg, who used it to furnish their churches and palaces. There are exciting insights that you get in this village.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  5. Andreas
    | Reply

    The Alps in the center of Europe are places of retreat. The true gold of the Tauern region today is the unique beautiful nature. The originality of the landscape and the diversity of flora and fauna. Greetings Andreas

  6. Outdoor pleasure
    | Reply

    When I visit such “historical” sites, I always shiver down my spine. These time travel are very fascinating. Thanks for the insight into times past.

    • Monika & Petar Fuchs
      | Reply

      Here we were the same, Silke. The gold-digger huts are off in a small side valley, which can only be reached on narrow roads that end on gravel roads in the forest. This feeling of a journey through time is very special.

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