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Thread: An amazing history

  1. #1
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    Jan 2007

    Default An amazing history .
    A friend has been translating it for me , but what a feat !.
    Rob J.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    A first translation , if anyone is interested.
    A heartily welcome!
    Shipping the Inn for centuries meant an economic and cultural flush for the towns along the river - such as Nußdorf, Neubeuern, Rosenheim and Wasserburg. Even today many traces can be found in these cities, remnants of shipping the Inn. The Schiffleut-Bruderschaft-Verein Neubeuern e.V., a registered society, cultivates the tradition of the skippers down to the present day.
    As its president I invite you to become acquainted with the history of shipping the Inn as well as the everyday life of the skippers from Neubeuren on our skippers' trail. This loop road will take you through the historic city center, to the banks of the Inn, through the early quarries and charming, diversified nature. Look forwards to very much alive history and discover the traces of a gone-by era.
    Michael Konrad (grandson of the last shipbuilder of the Inn)

    Neubeuern is situated on the aperture of the Inn valley and had its heyday during the epoch of the shipping of the Inn. The convenient position at the banks of the then wild and torrential Inn enabled the inhabitants of Neubeuren to take part in international trades. The nowadays straightened river is with his 517km one of the longest and strongest alpine streams. Its source is at the Maloja Pass in the Swiss Engadin and flows into the Danube in Passau. Up to the 19th century the river was the most important transport connection between South and North, between the areas of the Mediterranean and of the Danube. Everything was transported as long as it promised profit: goods from the Middle East, from Africa, from Italy and the Eastern Part of the Mediterranean Sea, from Tyrol and the local surroundings downstream. Back upriver goods from the Balkans, Austria, Hungaria, Bohemia and Lower Bavaria. With the goods various cultural influences came along.
    Along the traces of the skippers
    Skipper in this case is the word we use for everybody active in shipping the river:
    the ship master, boss over the means of transport and merchandises, organizer and financer, who not only had to possess considerable financial resources but also a wealth of contacts.
    the "Sößstaller", who represented the ship master during the trip;
    the ship hands and the ship riders, who hauled the vessels back upriver and the pole rider, who checked the path with a long pole.
    The skippers were a commited association. As time went by, brotherhoods were formed on a religious basis. They count as first social nets, because they cared for invalids and bereaved. The Neubeurer Schiffleutbruderschaft was founded in 1622 and in 1719 was indulged by the pope. Today the society has 400 members and keeps the history of shipping the Inn alive

  3. #3
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    Jan 2002
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Thank you Rob.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    This was translated and sent to me , because of my interest in horses , and wooden boats.
    But I find it just incredible , looking at it from either angle.
    So , I'll put the translations up , for your interest.
    I find it incredible , what was done.


    Neubeuern and shipping the Inn
    Celts and Romans already used the Inn for shipping. The later economic
    developement of Central Tyrol was significant for Neubeuern and the
    shipping. With the beginning of the ore mining in Tyrol around 1400 the
    area prospered. Copper, silver, lead and iron had to be transported
    downriver. Groceries for the strongly increasing population - in Schwaz
    thousands of miners were living - were transported on the way back up.
    All places of trade along the river profited from these brisk dealings,
    especially Neubeuern.
    Ideal Location
    The development of Neubeuern was promoted by the ideal geographical
    situation. Just like a natural barrier the town is situated at the
    northern end of the Inn valley. A sidearm of the Inn, at all times
    shipable, ran right below the market place and offered safe landing. An
    older mooring area was in Altenmarkt, a former village of fishermen and
    Shipping, the right to hold markets (awarded in 1393) with 2 fairs and
    farmers' markets and the trade with the surrounding hinterland provided
    for prosperity and growth. The market town of Neubeuern turned into the
    most important trading center between Kufstein and Rosenheim. The export
    of mill- and grindstones from Beuern sometimes reached respectable
    dimensions. Only during the 19th century with the construction of the
    railroad the shipping of the Inn came to an end.
    Transport of Goods
    The ships carried salt, mill- ,oil- and grindstones, flax, honey, cloth,
    nets, furs, corn, Italian wine, sweet wine (in 1702 about 100.000liters
    of wine from Southern Tyrol were transported downriver), slaughter
    cattle, leather, groceries, tropical fruit, spices, oils, precious
    fabrics, jewelry, glass, ...
    The ships, flat "platters", carried at an average 100t and went on their
    own downriver. Back up horses pulled umpteen "platters" connected by ropes.
    by the way:
    Important for the places of trade were the various rights awarded:
    market rights - the general right to trade in close proximity and
    further distance
    deposit rights for salt - here salt from Hall
    stacking rights for corn
    dumping rights for corn - the corn not yet sold had to be unloaded and
    offered, which took a couple of days and brought high sales volumes for
    innkeepers, traders and craftspeople .
    Rob J.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2008
    Walney, near Cumbria UK

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Those flat bottomed barges illustrates on p2 and later are similar in form to the Roman era barges being dug out of riverbanks in Northern Europe.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    The first question I asked was "how did they get the barges back upstream?".
    With difficulty , but they did it , with lots of horses , and lots of men.

    The Train of Ships
    Going back upriver, horses hauled the ships. Ships and horses were
    connected with ropes. All together a train of ships was 400-500m long.
    The Transporting Ships:
    The first and largest ship in a train was called "Hohenau". It was about
    30m long, 6-7m wide and its hull planking was 1,20m high. It could carry
    80-120t of merchandise. On the "Hohenau" the Sößtaler (description in
    Inn3) presided the whole train of ships as the representative of the
    ship master.
    "Seilmutzen" were tied to the "Hohenau" plus two additional transporting
    ships, the "Nebenbeier" (close by) and the "Schwemmer". The "Nebenbeier"
    was a little smaller than the "Hohenau" and tied offset towards the
    center of the stream to the main ship in a way that its bow was swimming
    at the "Hohenau's" helm. This ship could carry 50-70t of goods. The
    shipwriter resided on the "Nebenbeier" and it was his duty to take care
    of the cash register.
    Up to 2 rope length behind the "Hohenau" the "Schwemmer" trailed. It was
    the second largest ship in the train, carrying 60-80t. Sometimes the
    "Schwemmer" was followed by a 4th ship, similar as with the "Hohenau".
    This 4th ship, the "Schwemer-Nebenbeier" could transport a load of about
    There was a helping boat at the "Hohenau", called "Seilmutzen",
    responsible for the handling of the ropes. The other transporting ships
    had small boats at their side, called "Waidzille", which were emergency
    boats, but also used to enter and leave the ship.

    The Train of Horses
    The train of horses walked in front of the ships, being the motor of the
    The "Hohenau" was the only ship hooked up directly to the 300m long
    main-rope (the so-called "Buesen"), that rope was thick like an arm. It
    ran over "Furkelzillen", boats with a mighty fork (=Furkel), made of
    iron studded oak wood. These boats were also used as "Rossplätten"
    ("Horses-Platters"): when the horses had to be moved to the other side
    of the river or a side arm had to be traversed, too deep for the horses
    to wade through, it was with these boats, that the horses were transported.
    Two ropes came off the "Buesen" towards the horses: the "Aufstricker"
    and the "Zwiesel". The job of the horses on the "Aufstricker" was to
    keep the "Buesen"(main rope) at all times out of the water, at least
    until the first "Furkelzille", and if necessary they could help with
    hauling the ships. The "Zwiesel" was the strongest rope, entwined with
    further ropes or chains or a strong chain all together. There were
    smaller ropes attached to "Zwiesel" and "Aufstricker" with eveners,
    which is eventually what the horses were put to.

    Such a train of ships required about 60 men, besides the "Sößstaller" -
    representing the ship master - pole riders, rope carriers, cook, ship
    writer, ship hands, ship riders and many others

    Scheme of a train of ships
    from left to right
    Stangenreiter: pole rider
    Zwiesel 19 horses
    Aufstricker 12 horses
    Zugseil "Buesen" = main rope
    ships and boats as above described
    Hufschlag: passable river's bank were the horses walk

    Rob J.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2007

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    Marketplace and Museum of Shipping the Inn
    The historic marketplace in Neubeuern is the ideal start for an
    excursion into our past. You're welcome by the charming backdrop with
    its colourful houses, frescoes and ornate signs. The traces of shipping
    the Inn can be found everywhere.

    Art of Shipping
    The mural on the tavern "Pole Rider" demonstrates the laborious and
    troublesome work of shipping upriver. Up to 35 horses pulled the train,
    consisting of several ships connected through ropes, upriver against the
    current. At the head the pole rider; he had to probe the way for the
    horses with his long pole. Ship hands, ship riders and the pole rider
    were extremely burdened. Obstacles, ever changing gravel banks,
    dangerous currents and steep river banks with boulders and bushes
    represented a constant threat. Accordingly the trip took a long time,
    from Vienna to Neubeuern it lasted 10 weeks.

    The Houses and their Inhabitants
    The larger houses of the market place belonged either to the castle's
    lordship, corn merchants, innkeepers or ship masters. The smaller
    properties belonged to craftsmen, usually working for the shipping
    enterprises: black smiths, ropemakers, tanners, saddlers, wainwrights,
    etc. Even some small farms existed on the marketplace. The shipbuilders
    however remained on the banks of the Inn (no.5).

    Protected Location
    The marketplace of Neubeuern is situated on a level rock-terrace about
    30m above the Inn's water level. After the construction of the castle in
    the middle of the 12th century it offered protection against raids. The
    then built market wall included the "Red Wall", opposite to the Museum,
    a wall which limited the market place at its western boundary. Some
    remaining leftovers from this wall can still be seen behind the church.
    The location on the rock-terrace was a safeguard against flooding.
    Therefore more and more inhabitants of the old market, directly on the
    banks of the river, moved up here.

  8. #8
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    The Parish Church "Mary, The Immaculate"
    At the lower marketplace, behind the fountain of "St. Florian" and the
    linden, the catholic parish church "Mary, The Immaculate" is situated.
    Here, too, the importance for Neubeuern of the shipping of the Inn can
    be observed. Wealthy shipmasters have donated for the church's interior.

    Patron Saints
    The left sidealtar has been consecrated to John, the baptist, a patron
    saint of the skippers. It shows the baptism of Jesus relocated in the
    Inn with a train of ships and Neubeuern in the background. Two further
    patron saints, St.Nicholas and Saint John of Nepomuk, are depicted
    The right sidealtar shows Saint George, the dragon slayer. He is the
    patron saint of the ship riders. Saint Christophorus, an important saint
    of all travellers, appears on the right side in the background. The
    picture above depicts the patron saint of the Italian skippers, Frank
    from Paola, a sign of the cosmopolitanism of the people of Neubeuern.
    Besides the two sidealtars the processional poles of the brotherhood of
    skippers have been positioned, with the patron saints as crew. The
    picture of the ceiling by the name "Our life compares to a ship journey"
    was painted 1924 after a copper engraving from the brotherhood's
    certificate from 1720. This paper was handed out as proof that a person
    had become a member of the brotherhood. In the church there are still
    some signs on the benches, as to whom the place belongs, remembering
    housenames connected to shipbuilding or shipping.

  9. #9
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    Look-out Haschlberg
    From the Haschlberg you can experience a marvelous view over the
    Bavarian part of the Inn valley, all the way to Tyrol. It is framed by a
    gorgeous mountain back-drop, to the left Dandlberg, Heuberg and
    Kranzhorn, to the right Riesenkopf and Rehleiternkopf, Petersberg with
    church and Wildbarren, in the background the well known mountains of
    Tyrol Zahmer and Wilder Kaiser.

    Unrestrained, Torrential River
    Today in the wide valley plain the nowadays embanked and impounded river
    hardly makes an appearance. Especially during summers when the river is
    hidden from lush green it is hard to imagine that once it dominateded,
    being more than 2km wide, the whole valley and reached all the way to
    the mountain of Neubeuren. Up to the end of the 19th century the Inn
    used the complete valley bottom to unfurl. Being an unrestrained, rapid
    mountain river it created a diversified riverbed with islands, sand- and
    gravelbanks, wetlands, churnholes, marshes and backwaters. Its slope
    from Kufstein to Rosenheim, a distance of 32km, was about 30m. Its flow
    velocity was 5-9km/h at an average. Being an alpine river was mirrored
    in its flow conditions. Huge volumes of water and therefore high water
    levels from May to September, small water volumes and accordingly low
    waterlevels during the other months. Reasons for this are the snowmelt,
    starting noticeably only in May in the median high alpine levels and at
    the same time piled up clouds along the Alps bring an increase in
    precipitation. The high alpine areas, mainly without vegetation and
    ground cover, retent little water - it runs off quickly. On the
    contrary, during winter precipitation comes in form of snow and remains
    - thus little water reaches the Inn.
    These flow conditions naturally affected the shipping. The time that
    could be used was only 160-170 days a year. There were 2 periods in
    spring and in fall, seperated by floodwaters in summer and low water in
    winter. Every floodwater changed the course of the Inn arbitrarily and
    with it the usable shipping channel.

    Model of the landscape around Rosenheim at the final stage of the last
    ice age. The Inn glacier (white area) has mostly melted off in the
    foreland, in the northern part of the basin of Rosenheim a lake has formed.
    Inn(heute) = Inn(today)

    By the way:
    The gorgeous Inn valley is a creation of the ice ages. The mountains
    Kranzhorn and Wildbarren demonstrate that clearly: both hillsides show
    rounded rock shoulders. These were planed by the ice age Inn glaciers.
    The ice here was about 1000m thick. The lower, V-like part of the valley
    was carved by the melting waters of the glacier.
    The Inn glacier, that covered nearly all of the valley, was fed through
    the valley's sidearms and established with its break through northwards
    at Kufstein a very convenient passage from Italy to Southern Germany for
    later times. At the end of the last ice age (about 10.000 years ago) the
    melting glacier filled its former bed with a lake the size of Lake
    Constance. The Lake of Rosenheim came into existence. Slowly it ate its
    way through the molasse bar at Wasserburg and leaked out. Left behind
    were numerous bogs and relict lakes as the Simssee and its valley. The
    river spread out wherever the valley was wide

  10. #10
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    Jan 2007

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    Plättenstadl (Barn of Platters), Old Market

    Here at the Plättenstadel site used to be a shipyard. The barn contains
    a Plätte, that was used to ferry people in Kiefersfelden and in the
    beams above the ferry a "Mutzen" (a very large Plätte) rests. This
    ferry's inauguration is depicted below, May 11, 1952.

    Plätte is a boat with a raised front
    > )

    Both were built by the last ship builder on the Inn, Michael Schmidl
    (no.10). Looking at the ships more closely, one can get an impression on
    how much craftsmanship is required for their construction. The 3 cement
    blocks at the barn originate from barrels full of gypsum and Roman
    cement from the upper Bavarian Inn valley. These barrels were
    transported on Plätten all the way to Vienna and Budapest. So the
    buildings of the Ringstraße in Vienna and of Budapest contain a whole
    lot of cement from the Inn valley. While on tour it happened, that
    barrels fell into the water and the cement hardened later.

    Urban District Altenmarkt (Old Market)
    When crossing the main road and following the Sailerbach Street to the
    right of the bakery, you can discover a row of 4 old houses to the left.
    These houses (Sailerbach Str. 56, 54, 52 and 50) used to be barns in
    which the ship masters stored their merchandise. Behind these house the
    old market was situated clear into the 17th century. That is to say
    Neubeuern had 2 markets until then. The lower, old market lost its
    importance when the upper market could be reached easier from the new
    landing at the Färbergasse. Before you cross the bridge of the
    Sailerbach you can see a ring in the wall of the building at
    Schoppergasse 3. Here the ships were tied to before the correction of
    the Inn.

    Elaborate Craftsmanship
    In winter already preparations for the building of the ships began.
    Suitable spruce trees were felled and thick boards were cut from them
    for the ship's floor and hull. 20cm wide tree trunks including their
    roots were dug out to be used as connection wood. Peat moss was dried to
    be used in sealing the gaps. Iron was cut into stripes and given a V
    shape. Trapeziform strips of wood were carved and wooden nails produced.
    About 1000 nails were needed for a Plätte of 28m length. Often children
    earned a little money through these jobs. The Plätte (boat) itself was
    constructed out in the open in the shipyard. The thick boards were
    trimmed and their sides axed angular. Thus when assembling the boards it
    created a V-like interstice on the outside of the planking, which was
    not waterproof. So the Schopper (boat builder) put peat moss into the
    gap and compacted it with a mallet, thus closing the gap. Then the
    strips of wood were fastened above the moss with the wooden nails. In
    water the moss would be bulging, sealing the gap completely.
    The ship builders also were responsible for the oars of the boats. The
    rearward oars had to reach 2/3rd of the length of the boat, so in a
    28m-boat the oars had to be about 18m long.

    (in the picture the use of the trunks can be seen connecting the floor
    to the planking

  11. #11
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    Jan 2007

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    Shipyard, Memorial Stone
    Allow yourself a little break on one of the benches and get to know more
    about a very interesting theme of the shipping of the Inn: boatbuilding.

    Schopperstatt = Shipyard (= place where the moss is applied to the gaps
    in between the planking)
    The shipbuilders were called "Schopper" and it was their painstakingly
    manual labour that produced the various ships. The 12-30m long platters
    "Plätten", the smaller "Zillen"(6-10m), occasionally the even smaller
    "Mutzen" (4,5-5,5m). Their shop was outdoors, close to the river and was
    called "Schopperstatt" (shipyard). Close to the memorial stone for the
    casualties of the shipping of the Inn the Bruckner-shipyard existed
    until the end of the 40's of the 20th century: a level place besides a
    hut containing the tools and a huge poplar for shade. When a boat was
    completed, it was decorated, pulled onto the dam with a chain hoist and
    launched under the cheers of excited spectators.
    There were many shipyards along the Inn. In Neubeuern the first one was
    mentioned in 1487, at times there were 3 to 4. Platters from Neubeuren
    could be distinguished from afar by their elevated bows. Up- and
    downriver they were in great demand and even used in trips of the prince

    Stoneplatters (Steinplätten)
    From 1850 on socalled Steinplätten (27m long) were constructed to be
    used in transporting quarry stones and construction materials for bank

    Memorial Stone for the Casualties
    As lucrative as the shipping of the Inn was, it was dangerous as well.
    The ships could shatter at obstacles in the water (f.e. treetrunks and
    rocks) or at tight, arcaded bridges, ropes could break or the path along
    the river bank for the horses could break away underneath them, rudders
    and ropes could swipe people from deck, catapulting them into the water.
    Shipping the Inn claimed many victims. Since 1622 the brotherhood
    counted about 200 people, killed in accidents. The last big disaster
    struck on June, 1st, 1949. A platter carrying 11 persons smashed against
    the column of a bridge of the freeway in Pfraundorf, killing 6
    passengers (see votive painting).

    Thanks very much to my correspondent , Dr Elke Treitinger for the work she has done , translating this.
    Rob J.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    victoria, australia. (1 address now)

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Incredible amount of work getting them back upstream Rob. And then came the steam engine…….

  13. #13
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    Jan 2007

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    Elke sent me a similar series of the coach roads through the alps.
    Just so incredibly hard on man and beast , and not so pleasant for the passengers either in winter.
    But a bloke I have been corresponding with for 35 years or so still does coach tours around Germany , the Alps , and Tuscany in Italy. .
    Elke , as a very experienced veterinarian accompanies him sometimes , particularly on the Tuscany coach tours.
    If I were to do a tour through Tuscany , I know the way I would prefer to do it.
    I just appreciate being able to see how they managed in the "bad old days", with muscle power .
    Rob J.

  14. #14
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    The Crossing, the Bridge

    Here you are welcome by the lithic boatman and his barge. The sculpture by Robert Spannagel, an artist from Brannenburg, was errected on the occasion of the construction of the bridge, that nowadays crosses the Inn.

    Ferry Service
    Here, close by, the Beuren ferry offered its service since at least 1393. It was an important crossing point in the Inn valley for pedestrians, messengers, riders and merchants or carriers of merchandise who transported their goods on horses. It procured a respectable amount of money for the town in the form of taxes and tolls. Between Tyrol and Neubeuern there existed 3 additional ferries; since 1270 at the tollhouse in Erl, since 1455 in Seilenau, Nußdorf and since 1475 in Windshausen. Ferries were important and indispensible means of transport, because the Inn not only connected north and south but also posed a significant barrier between east and west. This was also the reason why the river often was made a border. Until early modern times Kufstein and Rosenheim were the only towns that owned bridges. One more bridge was situated in Wasserburg, on the salt road from Salzburg and Reichenhall to Munich.

    Bridge Construction
    Since 1872 there were plans in Neubeuern to construct a bridge. In 1886 the decision to build one was passed, but beforehand access roads had to be edified. In 1890 the people of Neubeuern finally could inaugurate their first, 199m long bridge made of larch wood. For its maintenance toll was collected. This wooden construction was only replaced in 1951 by a bridge of reinforced concrete. Todays bridge exists since 2000 and was opened to the traffic in 2001.

    background: bridge in Neubeuern in 1928
    right lower corner: ropeguide of the ferry in Neubeuern

  15. #15
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    Guardian of the Landing
    The house in "Färbergasse 6" is known by the name "at the guardian of
    the landing" and refers to a then important profession: the guardian had
    the supervision of the landing in Neubeuern and the numerous ships
    arriving and leaving from there.

    Attractive Landing
    Below the Haschlberg, about where the Sailerbach, a creek, runs today, a
    sidearm of the Inn flowed by. This was an ideal place to go ashore. Here
    ships could easily be pulled onto the bank and through the not very
    steep Färbergasse the market place with its taverns and pubs could
    quickly be reached.

    Lay Days
    The ships on the landing remained over night or a couple of days. There
    were countless reasons for more lay days. Because Neubeuern was awarded
    the dumping right all merchandise not already destined for a particular
    owner had to be unloaded here and offered to potential buyers. This
    could take a while. Further on, downriver on the way to Rosenheim, the
    conditions on the river were often difficult in low waters. After the
    regulation of the river up to Nußdorf the Inn brought an increased
    rubble load and diposited it below Neubeuern. There was hardly a usable
    shipping channel left for the huge platters. Quite often parts of the
    load had to be shifted onto smaller vessels to reduce the gauge. In this
    manner Rosenheim could be reached and the merchandise was reloaded onto
    the larger platter to its capacity there. Afterwards it was the crew of
    the helping, smaller platter themselves, that transported it back
    upriver the 10-12km, often enough clear to their belly in the ice cold
    water, only to begin the next tour.
    The waiting times were fondly used by the crews to visit the pubs
    extensively. Further most welcome causes to prolong the stay were fog
    and low waters. 10-15 inns and taverns were open for locals and guests.
    You can pretty well imagine the ado ...

  16. #16
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    Jan 2007

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    Wolves' Ravine

    The wolves'ravine on the northern part of the castle hill of Neubeuern
    was formed through removing rocks ever since 1489, as presumably the
    first quarry in town. The impressive gorge is about 250m long, 10-20m
    wide and 25-30m deep. The material removed has been calculated to an
    amount of 12.000-15.000m³. On the northern wall the holes for the
    scaffolding can still be seen clearly.
    With an immense effort and basic and simple tools, with hammer and
    chisel, the stones were cut. In parts work was done below ground. The
    transport of the stones was done with special drawbar wagons down to the
    landing in Altenmarkt (Old Market). There the stones were loaded onto
    the platters and taken through Passau and Vienna all the way to Budapest
    or even further downriver on the Danube, an arduous and long trip.

    Immensly Wealthy
    The rock formation in the area of the ravine is vertical. The layers are
    about 40-50 Million years old. Besides the fine-grained glauconitic
    sandstone, used as grind- and oilstone, mainly ironoxyd carrying and
    feldspar containing sandstone was won, used in the early stone masonry
    buildings. They were called cornstone, when the surface of the cut
    showed fossilisations, resembling kernels

  17. #17
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    Quarry "Eckbichl, Geiger Hölzl"

    There also used to be a quarry in Eckbichl, a hill now overgrown with
    trees. It was worked in since 1847 and provided construction material
    for the correction of the Inn and houses. On the southern side of the
    Eckbichl one can still recognize traces of millstone mining.

    Boulder at Eckbichl
    The quarry is also interesting from a glaciology's view. There are
    remnants of the rock shoulder that the glacier grinded. A rounded gneiss
    boulder most likely was deposited by the Inn glacier here in the
    quarry's area.

    Quarries of Beuern
    All around Neubeuern you can find further quarries for mill-, oil-,
    grind- and building-stones, f.e. "Bürgl", nowadays a lovely natural
    setting for an open air theatre or "Haschlberg" (No.3) whose stones are
    in Munich at the Maria-Hilf-Church and in the foundation of todays
    public record office. Also the King-Otto-Chapel in Kiefersfelden is buit
    of sandstones from Neubeuern.

    At the Eckbichl there is a layer of rocks, where through the years many
    petrifications were found. This layer was originally a fossilized sea
    floor. The petrifications of sea urchins and teeth from sharks are most
    noteworthy witnesses of life in an ocean. Also found were parts of
    mussels, snails, sponges and numerous other animals. All these
    petrifications point at a warm water ocean in which these layers formed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Church Altenbeuern/Cemetary
    (Altenbeuern = Old Beuern; Neubeuern = New Beuern)

    Altenbeuern, the village affected by agriculture, was first mentioned
    and documented in 788 as "ad burones" (at the boors). The name "Beuern"
    is deduced from this. The stately, late gothic church, built at the end
    of the 15th century, can be seen from afar. In this church, right after
    the gallery on the left side, above the former only entrance, you can
    see the coloured epitaph of the shipmaster and innkeeper Leonhard Mair
    from Neubeuern. The heirs of Leonhard Mair had it errected in 1599. He
    is pictured with his 2 wives and 18 children. The elegant clothes
    testify to his wealth and his high social rank. In a quadrinomial
    picture in the center of the epitaph the construction of Noah's arch is
    shown. Do look at the depicted tools of the ship builders as well.

    The Power of the Shipmaster
    The wealth of the shipmasters was arduously acquired. They bore a high
    financial risk. In 1690 the ships and ropes of an average train of ships
    cost the shipmaster about 850 guilders. This money would have bought him
    166t of rye, a bricklayer would have had to work 6 years and 5 months
    for this amount. Plus on top of this the personnel costs have to be added.
    Catering also needed to be payed for. 40 men consumed at an average
    about 266 liters of small beer a day, 67kg meat and 60 pounds of bread.
    The 25 - 35 horses gorged 37 liters oats each a day. On top of this
    there were countless toll- and taxgates and occasionally bribe money was
    very helpful. The shipmaster usually bought and sold his freight
    himself, which promised the highest profit.
    Shipmasters often lent thousands of guilders to aristocrats, monasteries
    and innkeepers for an interest rate of 5%. No wonder they were reputable
    and influential citizens.

    Michael Schmidl
    In the cemetary, opposite to the church door, you can encounter some
    graves of shipmaster- and shipbuilder families. Amongst them the grave
    of the last ship builder from Neubeuern, Michael Schmidl. You will find
    it close to the stairs going down to the village's pub. Michael Schmidl
    was born in 1922 and learnt the craft of ship building from his foster
    father, the shipbuilder Florian Meyl. He had discovered his passion for
    platters as a small boy. After WWII he built a new shop at the Bruckner
    estate, in which he constructed all 3 varieties of boats (Mutzen,
    Zillen, Plätten) up to a length of 16m. Michael Schmidl was chief mayor
    of Neubeuern for many years , was proclaimed honorary citizen and has
    carried on the work of the brotherhood as director of the board from
    1973 until his death in 1989. When he died he left behind a
    substantiated description of the building of platters.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gold Coast Australia

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Thanks Rob for posting such a fascinating research project, and my compliments to Elke for the translation.
    With ancestors having lived in Tirol and much of my childhood spent hiking the foothills of the Alps I was totally unaware of this history .

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    I was astounded at the scale of the thing , it was quite a feat , especially hauling the boats upstream.
    Elke wanted me to "correct" her translations , but I left them as is , I really appreciate her effort.
    And I wanted to share it.
    Rob J.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gold Coast Australia

    Default Re: An amazing history

    Quote Originally Posted by Portland View Post
    I was astounded at the scale of the thing , it was quite a feat , especially hauling the boats upstream.

    Rob J.
    Your not wrong it was a different time when men where men.

    Another even tougher trade route that I am more familiar with is the Hudson Bay Co York factory to Fort Garry route .

    The boats used where shoal draft 30 foot on the keel about 40' overall with a 9' beam drawing about 2 foot. Their crews of 9 men sailed , rowed ,poled ,dragged and worse portaged them also having to run a number of rapids , the men covered the 700 miles in about seven weeks.
    They supplied the Red river settlement trading and returning loaded with valuable furs.
    The longest of about six portages measured two thirds of a mile, these vessel where fitted with a steering sweep and a seperate rudder for the sailing which most likely only involved downwind passage making.

    Part of their journey also included Lake Winnipeg a shallow lake with a length of 250 miles that may have added additional challenges if conditions became unfavourable.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: An amazing history

    The last
    Quarry for Millstones in Hinterhör
    The quarry for millstones in Hinterhör arches impressively with its
    fascinating landform configuration. Millstones were mined here from 1572
    to 1860. Traces of the mining can clearly be seen in the mighty rock
    face and adumbrate, how in painful manual labour the sought-after
    millstones from Neubeuern were carved out. They were transported on the
    Inn and served in mills as lower millstones in a large perimeter.
    Especially crofters and cottagers worked in this lucrative trade.

    Refined Technique
    A special technique made mining easier: First the stonehacker groved the
    circumference of the future millstone from the rock surface with prick
    and chisel - that took about 10-14 days. Then on one side he impelled
    wedges, made of dry beechwood, watered them constantly until the
    swelling wedges dislodged the cutout stone. After the availability of
    black powder, a small hole was drilled behind the future millstone,
    stuffed with black powder and the stone was blasted away. Before being
    transported to their buyer, the millstones were smoothed and a center
    hole was put into them. They went to the depot in Altenmarkt and from
    there on the Inn and the Danube clear to the Black Sea if demanded.

    Sandstone from Helveticum
    When the Alps were folded, the rocks, sedimented 50 million years ago,
    was thrust on top of each other. It belongs to a Helveticum zone, which
    in Upper Bavaria can be found only in a small stripe along the northern
    edge of the Alps. Millsandstone is a grey sandstone from well rounded
    quartz- and feldspar-grains, cemented with limy binder. Freshly cut the
    stone proved extremely tough and hard and thus was in high demand as

    The Quarry in Hinterhör was awarded a prize, as one of the 100 most
    beautiful geological sights in Bavaria by the Bavarian ministery for
    environment, health and consumer protection.

    Inn 18
    What to do and where to go in Neubeuern ;-)
    "The end .
    Thank you Elke.
    In regard to the work the oldtimers did , another was the bogged wagon
    The wagon would have to be unloaded , the heavy bales rolled down the track to firm ground , and the wagon reloaded.
    Often by a man , and his bullocks.
    A tough caper !.
    Regards Rob J.

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