MUSIC, CULTURE AND CUSTOMS IN SAALFELDEN LEOGANG IN SUMMER
The region Saalfelden Leogang is known for its beautiful landscape. However, it is also a special place for the ones who are interested in culture. In summer, the region full of contrasts in the middle of the Alps, offers a various cultural and music program. Not only the well-known jazz festival takes place in Saalfelden, but also the theatre summer Saalfelden Leogang takes place with a diverse program. The house of arts “Kunsthaus Nexus” presents plenty of concert and theatre series. Whether you visit the show mine in Leogang on site or virtually and without any barriers, surely you can discover some treasures. If you prefer to enjoy pure music in nature, you should definitely visit the Cinema of Nature and the TONspur Islands. Moreover, annually different customs and traditions take place in the region, for example the summer solstice and the farmer’s autumn, the golden time of the year, called “Bauernherbst.” Guests in Saalfelden Leogang can look forward to a diverse mix of tradition and farmer’s life.
Jazzfestival Saalfelden from the 18th until the 21st of August 2022
Already for the 42nd time, the jazz festival Saalfelden takes place from the 18th until the 21st of August and excites guests as well as locals. Artists and jazz musicians, who are known worldwide, such as Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few, Alba Careta Group, Christoph Cech's Jazz Orchestra Project come to the city of Saalfelden. The concerts take place all over the region, does not matter whether in the city or in the mountains. Furthermore, also music hikes are offered. The two main stages are at the Congress center in Saalfelden and at the house of arts “Kunsthaus Nexus”. Since last year, also the Otto-Gruberhalle, an old industrial hall from the 1950s, is an integral part of the festival. Visitors can listen to over 70 concerts, the majority of them even is for free.
As it has been the last few years, the creative atmosphere of the bookbindery Fuchs is a special place of musical encounter, where musicians meet for spontaneous impro-sessions at the original craft machines. Moreover, the bookbindery Fuchs offers a place for special projects. Last year, at the 41st jazz festival, Artist in Residence Christian Reiner, bassist Christian Weber und bookbinder Christian Fuchs united improved jazz music with the art of handicrafts and printing techniques in one joint formation.
The forest Kollingwald was part of the festival the first time in 2021, where two concerts took place at the natural stage. This year, it will be an integral part again. In the midst of nature, a mystical atmosphere is created, from extraordinary jazz music and the magic of the woods.
Furthermore, there are also two concerts free of charge at mountain huts, where a cozy atmosphere is guaranteed, as the combination of mountains and the magic of typical Austrian mountain huts meet. Fittingly, the audience can expect a unique blend of different musical styles, with a dose of humor thrown in for good measure.
There is also an app for the jazz festival Saalfelden, the so-called "JFS" app. It is available for download free of charge from the Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) app stores and provides information about the line-up, venues, and possible concert postponements. Users can compile their own timetable and playlists and are always up to date.
Show mine: virtually and without barriers or real with a trip with the “Grubenbahn”
The ones, who would like to learn more about mining, should definitely visit the show mine in Leogang. Using hammers and iron, miners have been mining silver, mercury, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel, and magnesite here since the 15th century. Many unique tunnels were created as a result. Mining ceased in 1970, and the mine was opened to visitors in 1989. The show mine represents the history of mining, which dates to the 14th century. With well-trained guides, guests make their way on foot through the widely spread mine tunnels. Partly stooped, partly in single file, the adventurous journey through narrow tunnels leads directly into the past and gives you an insight into the challenging work of the miners.
Since last year, guests are now even able to discover the show mine virtually and without any barriers. You can make the virtual 3D tour at home, spontaneously and all day long at www.schaubergwerk-leogang.com. Visitors get a special insight into the 3.000-year-old history of mining in Leogang. The digital excursion is suitable for everyone because there are no barriers – you simply need a cell phone, a computer, or a tablet with internet access.
Through this, the history of the show mine in the Schwarzleotal valley in Leogang is being even more attractive. For this special commitment and personal dedication, the Knappschaft Leogang was recently honored with the Tourism Award. In addition to the interactive 3D model, there has been some reconstruction work around the show mine. Since 2021, a new mine train, which once transported miners and mined treasures, now takes the youngest visitors through a new, manufactured gallery.
The best way to round off an action-packed visit to the show mine is in the cozy miners' tavern, Knappenstube. There you can enjoy local food, discover interesting mine maps, and take home a mining souvenir or two. Guided tours are offered from May to October. Especially sturdy shoes and warm clothing should be brought along.
Cinema of Nature and TONspur Islands: pure music enjoyment 365 days a year
Discover nature, sharpen your senses, and enjoy culture – all this is possible at the Asitz mountain, the “Mountain of Senses” in Leogang. The region Saalfelden Leogang offers a diverse cultural program outdoors since several years now. “Sit down, enjoy and get away from the everyday stress”, this is the motto at the Cinema of Nature with numerous different panoramic plateaus. On these plateaus, there are relaxing wooden lounges and hammocks. You can reach the Cinema of Nature with the cable cars Asitzbahn or Steinbergbahn, then along Leos Game Trail or over the summit Großer Asitz.
While you are on your way to the Cinema of Nature, you pass the TONspur Islands. They are located between the mountain station of the cable cars and the summit Asitz, and are worth seeing for everyone who loves music, because there you can listen to the concerts from last year. On the TONspur Islands, there are also wooden lounges, which intensify your experience of nature. Depending on the current weather conditions, you can either pull the lounges out in the sun from their roofed islands, or you simply stay inside when it is raining. The most important aspects, while setting the islands up, where a good sound system, optical details as well as an extremely good feeling for nature.
The well-known TONspur concerts, which take place at the Asitz mountain, will be held this year from the 30th of June until the 18th of August. At five Thursdays in summer bands and musicians from different genres play at the mountain. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy the concert at sunset in front of a reservoir lake at the foot of the summit Großer Asitz with an incredible view on an outdoor stage. However, if the weather is bad, the concert takes place at the mountain restaurant AsitzBräu.
ALM:KULTUR: traditions meets contemporary art
A very special event series is the so-called ALM:KULTUR, which takes place from the middle of July until the beginning of September. Every Friday, hikers have the opportunity to meet different artists and creators of culture on various mountain huts in the region. There are concerts and workshops of all kinds to join in. And everything always happens under the motto “traditions meet contemporary art”. The dates are 15th, 22nd, 29th of July 5th,12th,19th, 26th of August as well as the 2nd and the 9th of September. And finally, the best of it: if you want to participate in the events, you do not have to register yourself in advance or even pay something. You just must hike to the mountain hut. That is the reason why so many guests enjoy the cultural offers - sometimes even just by chance.
Theatre summer Saalfelden Leogang
The theatre summer takes place from the 8th until the 14th of June in Saalfelden Leogang and is organized by the cultural association “FREIRAUM Leogang” and the organization “Theater ecce”. This year, the wide range of offers ranges from workshops, theatre performances for kids, teens and adults, circus, and dance performances to talks with the audience and concerts. For example, in the theatre tent in Leogang family theater performances take place, such as “Der Drachenberg” and “Das Lächeln am Fuße der Leiter” produced by Henry Miller.
House of arts „Kunsthaus Nexus“: plenty of concert series, cinema and theatre
Also, this year, the house of arts “Kunsthaus Nexus” offers a diverse cultural program. The Kunsthaus Nexus exists since 2002 and since then it has been an important part of the cultural and artistic scene in the Pinzgau region. There are plenty of concerts, children’s theatres, a cinema program, and numerous literary lectures as well as cabarets, from which you can choose. For example, at 8th, 9th and 10th of June the youth theatre play “Thinderella” from Benjamin Blaikner takes place at the Kunsthaus Nexus. It is suitable for kids from 12 years on. From the 2nd until the 11th of June guests can visit the vernissage “Verwirklichkeit” from the German artist Till Nowak. The graphic designer shows visual and video works.
Mining and Gothic Museum and Museum Schloss Ritzen: mineral treasures and exhibitions of cribs
A special destination is the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang. At the exhibition, you get insights into the golden times of mining in Leogang. To produce the well-known Salzburger Silbertaler, silver ore was mined. Copper, cobalt, nickel, mercury and lead were also mined. Rare mineral species can be admired in the mineral cabinet. The museum also houses sacred art, such as the "Beautiful Madonna", a Gothic figure of a saint from the Alpine region, which was made as early as 1410.
Furthermore, visitors can look forward to three special exhibitions in the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang. On the occasion of the 290th anniversary of the emigration of the protestants of Salzburg, visitors can view the commemorative exhibition with the world's largest collection of screw medals. The special exhibition "Perlen der Gotik – Die Stiftung Vogl-Reitter" provides an insight into 60 exhibited Gothic sculptures and panel paintings in combination with top-class loans from the Austrian Gallery Belvedere Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest, the Museum in Salzburg and the Diocesan Museum Bamberg.
The region Saalfelden Leogang is surrounded by four beautiful castles, for example the castle Schloss Ritzen. In the castle, there is a museum, where the most important and largest exhibition of cribs as well as sacred treasures can be found. In addition to the baroque church crib, there is also a large oriental crib and the and the local crib of Saalfelden, from the famous crib maker Alexander "Xandi" Schläffer from Saalfelden. The crib exhibitions, the Roman frescoes, which present a discovery of Roman wall painting, and the history of the city of Saalfelden are permanent exhibitions that can be visited all year round in the Museum Schloss Ritzen.
Summer solstice: mystical Alpine spectacle with glowing fires on the mountains
Customs and traditions are an essential part of the region of Saalfelden Leogang. A good example is the summer solstice in June. The fires on the mountains of the Pinzgau region should represent the light of the sun on the 18th of June 2022 and it should drive the evil spirits away. It also brings sufficient growth and fertility for fields and meadows. In the evening, the contours of the mountain ranges Leoganger Steinberge as well as Steinernes Meer light up, and impressive symbols and shapes can be seen on the mountains.
Farmer’s autumn “Bauernherbst”, traditional outfit „Trachten“ and creative store „Kreativladen“
The so-called farmer’s autumn “Bauernherbst” begins at the end of August and is the fifth season in Saalfelden Leogang. During this time, the focus lies on tasty food, enjoyment, and the harvest, which is brought in at that time of the year. During the farmer’s autumn, you have the chance to get to know the traditional rural life at craft demonstrations, hikes, cooking classes, harvest festivals, at the events, when the cattle are brought down from the alpine pastures and at traditional events in general.
If you want to wear the right outfit for every traditional occasion, you should visit the small traditional costume factory in Saalfelden. There, dirndl are handmade by seamstress Regina Wienerroither, who has been working there for more than 30 years. She is also the inventor of the Stretch Dirndl, a unique dirndl made from fabrics with a stretch content, from loden, linen and from printed cotton.
A creative souvenir for the relatives at home can be obtained quickly and easily in the creative store “Kreativladen” in Leogang. There you can find handmade, wooden pieces of art. Moreover, a beautiful garden can be visited in the summer as part of a guided tour.
The band „Saalfeldner Holzmusi“: traditional and with wooden instruments in the form of mythical creatures and animals
A special music experience is the band “Saalfeldner Holzmusi”, who you can meet at traditional celebrations and marriages. The special aspect about it is that they only play with wooden instruments, which present mythical creatures or animals. For example, the musicians, who wear lederhosen with light blue stockings, a red vest, and a black hat with red and white feathers on it, perform with wooden instruments that look like snakes or dragons. They play traditional folk music and do not need any notes for it. They play according to what they hear and feel and music is created by beating, stocking and clattering.
Varied products from the farmer’s shops: the perfect stop on your way
In the region Saalfelden Leogang, there are numerous farms, where you can buy their products directly. Not only high-quality vacation experiences are important here, but also pure enjoyment. You can buy eggs, bread, cheese, and milk as well as schnapps and spirits as well as alpaca wool and sheep wool products. Guests can visit the local shops Saalachtaler Bauernladen in Saalfelden or Dorfladen in Leogang, where they can choose from a wide range of assorted products from the Pinzgau region, such as organic sausages from Leogang or meat products. The farmer’s shop of the farm Zieferhof, the so-called “Gerstbodner Troadladl” is especially well-known for its dairy and grain products. Furthermore, the farmer’s shop “HPH anno 1905”, which is inside a former horse stable, has already been awarded a few times for its homemade butter.
Another tip is the organic farm Stechaubauer: in the small hut, there is a self-service machine, where you can choose your fresh organic vegetables via touchscreen and then pull them from the appropriate tray – 24 hours a day.
Worth a visit, is also the schnapps distillery “Stockis Destillerie” in Leogang. The distillery is the only one in Austria with three certified sommeliers and an expert distiller. Another option would be a trip to the well-known expert distiller Siegfried Herzog Destillate, who has already been certified a few times for his schnapps and gin. All these stops can be planned wonderfully on an e-bike pleasure tour, which takes place from April to October. The route is just as suitable for e-bike professionals as for beginners.
A special insight into the production of sausage and meat products is provided by "Die Schattberger" - three family-run farms in Saalfelden. They have made a conscious decision to keep their animals in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner. The meat can be picked up directly from the farm. In addition to that you can also have the products sent to your home. During a visit to the alpine pasture or the barn, guests receive information about the production of regional products. If you want to learn more about the topic "regional products", you should visit the "Green Event", the regionality fair in the Congress Saalfelden. According to the motto "Regionale Produkte vor den Vorhang ", which means focus on regional products, local companies offer their seasonal and regional products for sale or to simply taste them.
Event highlights in summer 2022:
18.06.2022 Mountain fires and summer solstice at lake Ritzensee in Saalfelden
26.06.2022 Regionality fair, Congress Saalfelden
30.06. – 18.08.2022 TONspur at the Asitz mountain - five Thursdays
15.07. – 09.09.2022 ALM:KULTUR in Saalfelden Leogang – eight Fridays
18. – 21.08.2022 42nd Jazz festival Saalfelden