Hallein lies quite close to Salzburg and is a large town by Austrian standards. It has an old town and an ever-expanding population. The mayor of this town was on the news the other night saying that they need to stop expanding into the green land around and that he old town is full of lovely but decaying buildings which are under ‘Denkmal Schutz’ i.e they’ve got listed status. Great, but it’s resulted in the buildings being fossilised and no one being able to live in them. The Protection officer came on and said if we listed them 20 years ago, then why should we change it because our needs and values have altered? Prat! So there will be a dead centre to the town with new residential and shops on the outskirts. Many older (not protected) houses have been successfully renovated in the centre and are lovely, the words ostrich, sand and head comes to mind. Or maybe the mayor does want to demolish these buildings, I can’t always rely on my German,in understanding this, but would that necessarily be bad thing if they’ve degenerated badly?
In contrast the Lungau has a vibrant movement for culture and has regular events which cover the modern and the slightly older, and we have a traditional movement too. However the Lungau Kultur and indeed the Lungau needs a new building for plays, concerts and exhibitions. Now in many local towns, where they have expanded from a small farming community, there are often farms and barns still surviving yards from the town centres. It provides a good cultural mix for old and new. Buildings are solidly built and colourfully painted. So why does modern culture have to propose a building that looks like a child’s building block? Surely the modern is always a mixture of the old within the new. Tamsweg will soon have its very own eyesore.
There’s a move to call the Lungau a Biophase park, in that we have good air, water and land (heard this every time we meet someone), do they really think it’ll bring more tourists? Won’t that be self-defeating as they come with their polluting cars, leave rubbish and use the local resources???????