“When it sings from afar, my heart starts to beat,” Andreas Gabalier sang in the seventh ORF edition of “9 Places – 9 Treasures.” And may have signified the winner or Austria’s crown jewel, but there were lyrics from his song “Auf der Alm,” which he carried in his luggage alongside the title “Home Sweet Home,” while Barbara Karlich had to drink a lot of Uhudler, flower wine, and schnapps in the fan zone.
The show’s nine-member celebrity jury – which included Amadeus winners Chris Steger (“Zefix”) and Melissa Naschenweng (“Lederhosenrock”), chocolatier Julia Zotter, bestselling author Bernhard Aichner, and top mime Erwin Steinhauer – rained down a lot of points, at least for Tyrol (Gschnitztal, 54 points), Vorarlberg (Wiegensee, 53 points), and Vienna (the Hirschstetten flower (Willersdorfer Schlucht, 51 points). Pichla, a southern Styrian craft community, received 46 points. With 44 points, Carinthia (Blumenberg Mussen). With the Krimml waterfalls, another point (45) was added to Salzburg.
The final result was reached solely through telephone voting: Vorarlberg will be the winner in 2021. Bronze for Tyrol, silver for Styria! The Wiegensee is located in the municipality of Gaschurn, at an elevation of 1925 metres, at the foot of the Versalspitze. It is only accessible by foot.
In third place, a museum jewel: the artisan village in Pichla near Mureck is the result of a man’s unwavering dedication to the old craft. Gerhard Seher has spent decades creating one old house after another on his property, resulting in a hamlet of 25 items, practically all of which are buildings within a 50-kilometer radius.
Seher rescued it from degradation, painstakingly dismantled it, and then reconstructed it in his “Dörfl.” “I worked for 45 years, everything I earned is in there,” the 65-year-old autodidact and devoted collector told the Kleine Zeitung of his handicraft hamlet, which he built without public subsidies or donations.
A grocery store, a blacksmith’s shop, a waggon shop, a shoemaker’s workshop, an apiary, a farmhouse with a smoke stove, a celibacy house, a school, or a chapel are among the items on display in his South Styrian open-air museum. The trained printer’s life’s work is this haven full of loving nuances. A lovingly crafted environment from the past, complete with antique tools and furniture.
In addition, Armin Assinger’s popular federal state evening will be “extended” on Wednesday: ORF 2 broadcasts the show “9 Places – 9 Treasures: Austria is so beautiful” at 9 p.m. All 27 locations and sites that the federal states entered into the contest this year will be shown again, allowing the TV audience to learn not only about the nine state champions in all their glory, but also about all the insider recommendations for 2021.
THE WINNERS IN RETROSPECT
In 2020 Styria won (Strutz-Mühle in Wielfresen near Wies).
2019: Vorarlberg (Lünersee).
2018: Upper Austria (Schiederweiher).
2017: Vorarlberg (Körbersee).
2016: Tyrol (Kaisertal).
2015: Vorarlberg (Formarinsee & Rote Wand).
2014: Styria (Grüner See / Tragöß).