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Walburga Schindl (1826-1872)

(poet from the "Biedermeier" era)

On the north side the "Zum Bogner" tavern there is a plaque with a marble image of Walpurga Schindl. Born in 1826, she was the daughter of the Bogner's landlord. She was commonly known as the "Bogner Burgele".

Her father died at the age of seven. Her uncle, the priest Sebastian Ruef, took care of her and had a great influence on her education. Sebastian Ruef was her mother's brother. Adolf Pichler described him as the cleverest man ever to have been born in the Tyrol during the 19th century. Walpurga spent some years with her uncle in Tobadill in the Stanz valley, where he worked as a trustee. He later became a chaplain in Hall mental asylum. His writings on the causes and consequences of mental illnesses were way ahead of his time and they are, to some extent, still applicable today. He was the person who awakened Walpurga's interest in literature. He introduced her to the works of Goethe, Platen, Rückert, and then she herself began to write.

Because of major domestic political turmoil, in 1848, the Imperial court in Vienna had to move to Innsbruck. Archduchess Sophie, the mother of Franz Josef, who ascended to the throne in the same year, often came to Absam for walks. There she got to know and admire the landlady at the Bogner and her 22-year-old daughter. The archduchess and her court retinue were enraptured by Walpurga's grace, humour and spiritual commonsense. A correspondence developed from this acquaintance between the Emperor's mother and the "Bogner Burgele" and it lasted eight years. In all of her letters to Walpurga, the archduchess expressed her love of the Tyrol and its "pious and devoted" inhabitants and also her desire to revisit this much-loved region again.

Walpurga married a surveyor and later moved with her husband to Kremnitz (at that time in Hungary, now Kremnica in the Czech Republic), where she died and was buried aged 46. She injured her foot and for the last seven years of her life was bed-ridden.


A selection of her literary works
(the influence of Rückert is unmistakeable in the following three-line stanzas):

Snowflakes
you've woken too early from your winter slumber
and then lain all frightened on the bare earth

Poisonous foxglove, warn
the bird that will drink thy dew
so death does not befall the tiny creature.

Poor mimosa,
a gentle touch makes you quiver so;
do you really know this pitiless world that well?

Source: Dr. Maria Riha

And this is how the story goes …