The "Müllerfuchs" from the Gerstboden

Ever encountered a fox while hiking? In Leogang this can happen to you. But don't worry, this one is neither dangerous nor does he run away.

Culture meets art

Anyone who has ever spotted the illuminated face of a fox in the Leogang landscape at night or has come across the fox head during a hike is bound to wonder what this "earth sign" is all about. The 25 by 30 meter large fox head, formed with an original Pinzgau fence, is supposed to remind of a legend, according to which a fox caused mischief in the region. Architect Ulrich Stöckl has staged this landscape-culture project and wants to show unadulterated aspects of our homeland.

The legend

Not so long ago, a fox in the area of Gerstboden frightened the citizens. The legend says that this devious animal was the unhappy soul of a blasphemous miller, who found no peace in the form of the fox. "If I'm going to be anything after death, I'd rather be a fox, I've often thought so," the old man is said to have emphasized during his lifetime. For several weeks, the unbearable and deafening howling of the animal caused great fear among the population. In order to put a final end to all the horror, motivated area hunters decided to take on the problem and ambush the cunning fox, or rather the distressed soul. When the hunters almost caught the miller's fox, however, it managed to escape thanks to its cunning. Only when the miller's widow decided to go on a devout pilgrimage to Maria Kirchental did the haunting come to an end. The miller's soul was freed and the fox was never seen again.

The Landscape Culture Project

Ulrich Stöckl's "Müllerfuchs vom Gerstboden" is a so-called earth sign, which was originally realized in the area of the Saalfelden basin with the help of an original Pinzgauer fence. After complete renovation, it can now be reached via a hike from Leogang. The sight of the illuminated likeness is particularly impressive on clear nights above the Saalfelden Leogang region. Whether you let this image take hold of you from the valley or you go to the legendary original site of the legend yourself, you will be overwhelmed by the mystical effect of the miller's fox due to the traditional background of this project. To indulge in this mysterious atmosphere during romantic nights seems to be an absolute must of a stay in Saalfelden Leogang.

Pictures: Michael Geißler