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Powerful Place. The imperial clumn in Thaur

For more than 200 years, this landmark has been enthroned on the striking vantage point high above the village of Thaur. In June 1815, the Congress of Vienna had just concluded the reorganization of Europe and on 21 October of that year, Emperor Franz I of Austria found some time to visit the town of Hall and the salt works there. On that occasion, he also climbed over the Thaurer Törl to this magnificent vantage point. From here he had an excellent view of the places where his Tyroleans - he had already ceded them to Bavaria at the green table in Pressburg in 1805 - had fought heroically for their freedom against Napoleon's troops.

Directions to the Kaisersäule

How do you get to the Kaisersäule in Thaur?
Several paths lead to this wonderful vantage point and place of power. One option is via the Halltal to the Törl and then out to the Kaisersäule. From Thaur, it is best to take the path from the "Thaurer Alm" parking lot.

From the hiking parking lot, just above Thaur, you can decide after just a few minutes whether to follow the forest path or take the steep Haslbergsteig trail at the Adolf-Pichler-Weg junction.
After a good hour on the forest path, you will reach a beautiful viewing bench, where the Gasperlsteig (another ascent option) comes up from Rum. Once you reach the Thaurer Alm, hikers can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view over the Inn Valley. And... the Kaisersäule is already within reach! It's another 40 minutes and a good 200 meters in altitude to our destination.

Along the way, we get wonderful views down into the Thaurer Klamm gorge. There are no signs here, so we follow the "KS" markings on the trees. At the lower part of the Törl meadows, take the first path to the right and hike over beautiful ground up to the Kaisersäule. On this hike, it is very likely that you will encounter chamois again and again. Once at the top, all the effort of the ascent is forgotten. The view from here is fantastic.

The Kaisersäule power spot in Thaur at a glance

  • Fantastic hike high above the Inn Valley
  • idyllic Vintlalm
  • Culinary delights at the Thaurer Alm
  • the Kaisersäule in the middle of the Karwendel Nature Park
  • A place steeped in history: Visit by Emperor Franz I of Austria
inauguration-kaisersaeule
The history of the imperial column in Thaur

For more than 200 years, this landmark has been enthroned on the striking vantage point high above the village of Thaur. In June 1815, the Congress of Vienna had just concluded the reorganization of Europe and on 21 October of that year, Emperor Franz I of Austria found some time to visit the town of Hall and the salt works there. On that occasion, he also climbed over the Thaurer Törl to this magnificent vantage point. From here he had an excellent view of the places where his Tyroleans - he had already ceded them to Bavaria at the green table in Pressburg in 1805 - had fought heroically for their freedom against Napoleon's troops.

It is testament to the loyalty of his subjects to the emperor that they erected a wooden pyramid here the following year to commemorate this visit. In 1839, it was replaced by an 11.4 meter high stone pyramid. The inauguration of the new imperial monument took place on September 20, 1839 in the presence of Prince Lobkowitz. This special event was captured in pictures. A Berlin painter had captured this romantic scene in a painting. The painting used to hang in the Saltworks Directorate in Hall, then came to the General Directorate of the Saltworks in Bad Ischl and is now owned by the town of Hall. It hangs in the Prince's Room in Hasegg Castle, but can only be viewed in exceptional circumstances.

In the early days, this masonry landmark was correctly called the Franzens Pyramid. It was only much later that the name Kaisersäule (Emperor's Column) crept in. The dignified inscription that Emperor Franz I greeted his people from this spot existed from the very beginning.

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Emperor's Column Cross in Thaur

The Thaur winter sports club created this memorial for the deceased mountain comrades in 1980. The stone base was erected by Otto Pflanzner. The wooden cross was made by Hans Plank and the cast corpus of Christ was formerly used as a grave decoration. In the past, the annual mountain mass of the WSV Thaur was celebrated on the square in front of this cross, alternating with the summit cross. For some years now, the mountain mass has no longer been celebrated here at the Kaisersäule, but on the Thaurer Zunterkopf.

stanglalm-today-thaurer-alm-anno-1920
The Thaurer Alm

The fact that the alpine pastures in the Karwendel and around the Thaurer Alm were already used in pre-Christian times can be deduced from the respective names that can be found in this area. The use of the alpine pastures for cattle meant that the fodder supply in the valley was spared and the farmers had more land for growing grain.

In the Middle Ages, the alpine pastures were owned by the Tyrolean sovereign. He lent them to the farmers for shared use in return for a small annual rent. In contrast to other mountain pastures in the area, the Thaurer Alm is probably one of the youngest. Historical records show that in 1683, only the municipality of Thaur and none of the neighboring municipalities owned grass rights on this pasture. In the course of the 19th century, the Thaurer Alm gradually came into the private ownership of the Stanglwirt through the successive purchase of all grass rights. The Thaurer Alm is still sometimes referred to as the "Stanglalm" by locals. On January 10, 1913, the alp was purchased by the municipality and has remained in municipal ownership ever since. The alp burned down in 1934, but was rebuilt in the same year.

Originally, 73 grass rights and grazing rights for 300 sheep belonged to the alp. In addition, the Hall salt works used to have the right to herd eight draught oxen for eight days on a plot of land at the Thaurer Törl above the Kaisersäule. However, as the farming structure in the village changed, the use of the alp as summer pasture also declined. From 1970, no cattle were herded here at all, but this has since changed, as the ringing of cowbells is once again part of the idyllic alpine pasture scene with the new tenants.
The Alm has always been a popular excursion destination and has never been too busy. Mountain bikers in particular love the route up to the Thaurer Alm.

Literature: Thaur village book by Josef Bertsch
Photo: Alte Stanglalm/Thaurer Alm before the fire (1920)

Thaurer Alm

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The Vintlalm

The Vintlalm was first mentioned in the Almbüchl in 1683, at the same time as the Thaurer Alm. At that time it was privately owned by a "Vintl zu Rumb". Traces of the owner are then lost. Around 1750, Andrä Leitl sold it to Johann Lamparter, innkeeper in Thaur. In the following decades, owners from Rum, Thaur and Gnadenwald are mentioned and in 1833 it was finally owned by Michael Schindl, innkeeper in Absam. Since 1840, the Vintlalm has repeatedly changed hands, but has been owned by the Brunner family since 1866.

According to the current owner Anton Brunner, cows have not been herded onto the Vintlalm since 1986. At 30 hectares, it is by far the smallest of all the alpine pastures and is difficult to farm due to the steepness of the terrain. Since 2007, however, farmers have been able to bring goats and sheep to the alpine pasture, but they have to look after the animals themselves.

Literature: Village book Thaur by Josef Bertsch
Photo: View of the Vintlalm from the Thaurer Alm

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The meadows below the imperial column

If you hike up the Kaisersäule via the Vintlalm, you will pass beautiful grasslands, the so-called Mähder. Today, the Mähder are a fantastic recreational area above the village of Thaur. But in the past, these meadows were vital for the farmers from the village, as they lived from what they grew on their fields. The meadows were used to make hay and the cattle were therefore driven to the mountain pastures in summer. In order to bring in enough hay for the winter, every patch, no matter how steep, was mowed. The hay was transported down into the valley in huge bales on wire ropes or rolled down hollow paths. The work up there sometimes took up to 14 days, which is why you can still find small huts everywhere today where the farmers stayed and looked after themselves.

Below the Vintlalm is the Garzanmahd, one of the largest mowing fields in this area. Today we no longer find farmers with scythes on the mowing fields. Hikers can enjoy the splendor of the flowers on these meadows. Many of these meadows are privately owned or leased by the municipality.

Literature: Village book Thaur by Josef Bertsch
Photo: pmedicus

Hikes around the imperial column in Thaur

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