Christmas Eve in Fieberbrunn

LINKS to other pages in the 'Christmas in Austria' site and to the Travelling Days series:

1 : Welcome to Austria
2 : Schloss Hotel Rosenegg
3 : Fieberbrunn
4 : Salzburg
5 : Innsbruck
6 : Kitzbühel
7 : Rattenburg
8 : Austrian Countryside etc.



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FIEBERBRUNN is a market town in Tirol, Austria, in the Kitzbühel district and has a population of 4,180 (2001). It is the most populous municipality in the Pillersee valley.

Fieberbrunn is a winter sports resort and venue of international snowboarding events (such as the Lords of the Boards), as well as a hiking and mountaineering resort in summer.

The Pillerseetal today comprises the five rural municipalities of Waidring, St. Ulrich am Pillersee, St. Jakob in Haus, Fieberbrunn and Hochfilzen. At a very early stage in history, St. Ulrich, St. Jakob, Fieberbrunn and Hochfilzen were known as the ‘Hofmark Pillersee’, which be-longed to the Benedictine Order of Rott am Inn (Bavaria), while Waidring was the ‘Urbar Waithering’ (or ‘cultivated land of Waithering’) owned by the monastery of St. Peter in Salzburg.

The probable reason for this geographical division was the drawing up of the borders to Bavaria and Salzburg, for the old salt road from Bad Reichenhall and Hallein across the Strub mountain used to pass through Waidring on its way west.

The possessions which the Benedictine monastery at Rott am Inn needed to secure its economic livelihood were scattered around the area. The documentary evidence in Latin states: ‘TOTUM BILLERSEE CUM ECCLESIA EIUSDEM LOCI, DECIMIS ET APPEN-DICIS SUIS’ (‘All of Pillersee with a church in the same place, with tithes and appendices’). This refers to one cohesive area of property, the Hofmark Pillersee.

The area around Fieberbrunn was originally called ‘Pramau’, which meant blackberry bush in Old German. The name is a typical term for cleared woodland and expresses the infertile state of the area before it began to be farmed. The place name of Fie-berbrunn (literally: ‘fever well’) was only coined after 1354, when according to legend Margarethe Maultasch, princess of the province of Tyrol, was healed from a fever by taking the waters at the Kirchhügel spring.

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The parish church was built in 1689 but since 1855 the entire exterior has been changed three times.

In 1855 it was rebuilt in the Romanesque style; in 1954 the form was simplified. The last rebuild occurred in the 1980s. But the church retains its original baroque character even after all these 'modernisations'.

The patron saints of the church are the Roman martyrs Saint Primus and Saint Felizian.

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The parish church, decorated for Christmas services (left)

At the midnight mass on Christmas Eve the church was packed with local residents and Christmas visitors including some from our hotel. The music was provided by a choir and soloists, a small orchestra and the parish organist.

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During the day, following a morning visit to Kitzbühel, tour group was entertained in the late afternoon at a concert by the local brass band, a harpist, and a trio specialising in local folk songs and yodelling.....

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...... and this was followed in the evening by a sumptious Christmas Eve buffet dinner.

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A happy group comprising guests from England and Australia.

To continue our Austrian adventure please click the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page.

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