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The Magic of Untersberg

Reaching Kiefer Quarry in Fürstenbrunn is not easy. The location is outside of the city, not exceptionally far, but really secluded and without a car it would be difficult to get there. That is why I arranged to ride with Johannes when he was going to deliver water to the sculptors and today was the day. An ordinary, (albeit loosely) pre-arranged visit to the sculpture class ended with me learning about the biggest local mystery in a rather mysterious way.



After an amusing ride through residential and industrial areas of Salzburg, we were welcomed by the silence of an empty quarry under the Untersberg mountain. Large blocks of stone were lying in order. Sculptures inside them asleep, waiting to be liberated, glistening under the unusually hot sun. Canopied working stations of the Academy students stand neatly organized along the forest line. It was odd to see them abandoned, just like it was strange to witness all the small signs of life - shoes, fruit, tools, water - without meeting a soul.

Despite not seeing Andreas Lolis or his students, I did not regret the visit, because the nature around Kiefer is breathtaking. Deep forest stretches up along the mountain, while the position of the quarry and sub-positioned glades allow for a wonderful view over the valley. Sculptures are lying all around, organized or stranded, different attempts in shaping the stone. Centennial quarry houses echo with silence, while the greenery infused the place with utter serenity. I was smitten by the place and instantly jealous of the sculptors, all the craftsmen, all the stone-chiseling artists.

Johannes suggested we wait a bit to see if the class will return and told me a story about the mountain. “You know, this is a special mountain, weird things happen here.” A sucker for a good mystery, I was instantly hooked and wanted to know more. What I did not know, is that Untersberg is one of the most legendary and mysterious mountains in the massif. Legend says that it is the home of the mythical mountain king who sleeps inside, waiting for his beard to grow around his round table three times, which would mark the end of the world. Numerous rulers and noblemen believed there is something about this place and camped in and about trying to discover the mountain’s secret. Untersberg is the place from which hundreds of people disappeared or where they had tragic accidents, but also the place of many UFO and supernatural creature sightings! Even Dalai Lama visits Untersberg on occasion claiming it is the “heart chakra” of Europe. Scholar Christian F. Uhlir wrote a book about the legends and superstitions surrounding this magical place, but he did not explain the phenomena.

As a firm believer in science, I am intrigued and compelled to tell the story, hoping that one day some physicist will endeavor to reveal the true secret of this place. Until then, I am just hoping to see Andreas Lolis again, his co-teacher and his entire class.

Hope the dwarves or wild women didn’t kidnap you!

See you soon,






01/08/17 18:32 Summer Academy 2017

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