Following our trip up to Turracher Hoehe, we stopped in the lower village of Turrach and explored its fascinating buildings. Obviously late 18th, early 19th century and industrial, but no information. We found ovens at the back of the village, and one plaque which said very little. Also, compare the buildings here to those up the hill!
Obviously a town built on mining. The village pub was shut (this was the Whitsun holiday) but loads of traffic was hurtling through the village – mostly bikes. Yet we did see a Dutch guy taking the same photos as us. There is a mining museum in the village which no doubt has the info – was it open? Of course not. It only opens once a week on a Thursday afternoon ,and it had what appeared a Guest house behind it. What a missed opportunity! Now I must state I’m an ex National Trust and English heritage member, so I’m probably a victim of information overkill but……
We did look at the Website of the Museum but a lot of the information was two years out of date and the photos there had no information with them. How completely stupid. At the minimum they could have a leaflet about the village and buildings on the council offices with an honesty box. There’s so much passing trade they miss out on. Don’t these guys want visitors? Bring trade into an almost ghost village, In England there’d be an information centre, trails, tours, and open hours. This is so typical of Styria and Karnten. Up in the hills are so many mining works, in Schonfeld they’ve even restored miners accommodation, any signs to tell you? Not on your life!
Ramingstein in contrast has a wonderfully marked way around the old mine workings in the valley and Tamsweg has just opened a way in the woods where witches and a werewolf were burnt -not exactly my choice for an afternoon out but at least they’re trying to inform and encourage people. Of course, the Lungau is an area of gimmicks,silliest of all was the ‘Family friendly council’ lots of signs on posts, but it means squat – the Mayor isn’t out welcoming people, ok, there s a playground but you see what I mean. The Lungau’s also a Biological park because of the good air and water, but apart from a few signs and stuff on advertising, no one is actually doing anything! Of course, it won’t remain so clean etc when all these visitors turn up in their cars and spread litter! There’s also the neglect, for example a footpath with sculptures of the planets along it needs restoring but no one is interested.
Come on Austria, get your act together, learn about advertising and marketing and maybe there’ll be more jobs and money in the region and people wont have to leave to work elsewhere.
Postscript: We visited the newly rennovated mining museum in Bundschuh (Salzburg of course), and were talking about Turrach to the Guide. He said the difference is that Bundschuh has a Verein or club, and they have organised the rennovation and preservation of the mining artifacts around Ramingstein. (Not quite up to UK standards but brilliant nevertheless). Turrach is owned by the Schwarzenburg family who have no interest in promoting anything which is why nothing is done. Funny, I thought most people liked a chance to make some money!