Countess Wurmbrand & her way in St. Jakob am Thurn

The history and unveiling of a street sign!

by Barbara / 25. August 2022 / Event / People

Gräfin Wurmbrand-Weg in St. Jakob am Thurn © TVB Puch - Gerber

Way inauguration, high honors and historical backgrounds to the celebration

On Saturday, 30.7.2022 - one day before the traditional Jakobikirtag, we from the Tourist Association Puch near Salzburg, together with the municipality of Puch and the JakobischĂĽtzen invited to the "Solemn Inauguration of the Countess-Wurmbrand-Way" in St. Jakob am Thurn. Read on and find out why, who and what exactly was celebrated and get more information about the unique history of the castle tower in St. Jakob am Thurn!

Ceremonial inauguration - the act of celebration!

At the request of the former Pucher Deputy Mayor and bearer of the Danish Dannebrog Order Franz Zehetner and with the support of the Puch Tourist Board, the path to the castle tower was reassigned as "Countess Wurmbrand Path" during the last address change in Puch.

After a 2-year delay, the path could be inaugurated in honor of the Danish countess, with a small ceremony with the delegations of the local associations and a Danish delegation. The ceremony was accompanied at sunset with salvos of honor from the JakobischĂĽtzen and musical sounds of a quintet of the Musikkapelle Puch.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch - Gerber

We are pleased that numerous guests of honor accepted the invitation. In the picture you see from left to right Franz Zehetner with August Rettenbacher (honorary chairman TVB Puch), Bgm. Helmut Klose (municipality Puch), Christian Rettenbacher (chairman TVB Puch), Lisbeth Julhom-Unterberger (head of the Danish colony of Salzburg), Dr. Michael Dyck (Danish honorary consul of Salzburg) and Franz Haberhauer (president of the Austrian-Danish Society of Vienna) under the new street sign.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch – Gerber

Inauguration & blessing

After the words of welcome by the mayor Helmut Klose, the sign in front of the Schossturm was unveiled by Mr. Franz Zehetner and Mr. Michael Dyck and Mr. Arno Stockinger, parish assistant, performed the blessing in the presence of the local associations and a Danish delegation.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch - Gerber

After the very interesting historical review of Mr. Univ.-Prof. DDr. Gerhard Ammerer (more about this later) and a salvo of honor of the Jakobischützen, there was a cozy get-together in the marquee with beer & wine, as well as delicacies from the inn Der Schützenwirt!

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch – Gerber

Presentation of the "Dannebrog 800 years" jubilee medal

Particularly pleasing was the surprising presentation of the Danish jubilee medal "Danneborg 800 years" during the ceremony for the inauguration of the Countess Wurmbrand Trail.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch – Gerber

The Danish Honorary Consul of Salzburg, Dr. Michael Dyck presented the valuable anniversary medal "DANNEBORG 800 YEARS" to the Mayor of Puch bei Hallein, Mr. Helmut Klose and the chairman of the Puch Tourist Association, Mr. Christian Rettenbacher. In his ceremonial speech he mentioned the many good connections between Denmark and Puch and thanked for the honorable inauguration of the "Gräfin-Wurmbrand-Weg" to the historical castle tower.

Dannebrog 800 years

The Danish national flag "Dannebrog" is the oldest flag in the world and is already 800 years old since 2019. For this occasion, the anniversary medal "Dannebrog 800 years" was produced, which is made of cupronickel, gilded with 24 carat gold and the flag on it is covered with diamond and ruby dust. Congratulations on this unique award!

Who was Countess Charlotte Wurmbrand-Stuppach?

The Dane Charlotte von Bornemann, later Countess Wurmbrand-Stuppach, played an important role in the development of St. Jakob am Thurn as a tourist resort in the 1920s and was also very socially committed.

Pucher University professor and historian Gerhard Ammerer, who also wrote our Pucher local chronicle, explained the historical background at the ceremony.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch – Gerber

Under the newly erected signpost one finds a statement about Countess Charlotte Wurmbrand-Stuppach by Gerhard Ammerer:

In 1924, the Danish citizen Charlotte von Bornemann, who married the Austrian Count Karl Wurmbrand-Stuppach a little later, bought the large property with the residential tower in St. Jakob am Thurn. The new lady of the castle had the building renovated and soon adapted it as an inn and guesthouse, which soon attracted many guests. The opening of the artificially dammed lake in August 1929 was hoped to increase the attraction of the village.

She helped to re-establish the JakobischĂĽtzen club, donated a flag as well as the long red coats and hats with feather plumes. Countess Charlotte Wurmbrand-Stuppach was therefore called "our flag mother" by the JakobischĂĽtzen. In 1938 she fled from the Nazis and died in 1975 at the age of 77 in Svendborg on the island of Funen.

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrand Weg © TVB Puch – König. dän. Bibliothek in Kopenhagen

Thus, we owe not only the romantic pond in St. Jakob am Thurn to the Danish countess, but also the preservation of the castle tower and the preservation of the JakobischĂĽtzen.

Do you know that the pond in St. Jakob also has a name?

When it was inaugurated as a lake in 1929, the pond was named "Carsten Lake" in honor of the brother of Countess Wurmbrand, who died at an early age. However, the name never really caught on and soon fell into oblivion. Here is a picture from the St. Jakob Chronicle (2012, 2nd edition, Susi Kermauner) of the poster and pictures of the bathing establishment at the "Schlossrestauration" near the tower in St. Jakob.

Eröffnung Badeanstalt Weiher St. Jakob © Chronik St. Jakob

Already at that time to the lake inauguration the Danish Gesannte from Vienna, a minister and also Landeshauptmann Rehrl came to the quite exclusive ceremony with final fireworks over the lake.

Curiously, the office issued a bathing ban and it took another 2 years until the pond could be officially used as a bathing lake. Before that, the operator of the castle restaurants was told to absolutely turn away the guests in bathing suits, who thus would not have been allowed to be served at all. In winter, the pond became a meeting place for ice skaters and curlers.

Weiher in St. Jakob am Thurn - Foto: TVB Puch - Gerber

The castle tower and its history

Known as a landmark far and wide, the castle tower next to the pond majestically watches over the village in St. Jakob. The tower is privately owned and is no longer run as a restaurant and guesthouse as it was in the days of Countess Wurmbrand.

The so-called "Tower of St. Jacob" probably dates back to the 12th century. The owners at that time - the knightly dynasty of the important Lords of Thurn can be traced back to the 12th century in St. Jakob, although the castle itself is first mentioned in 1274.

In 1538 a Jörg Khnoll is mentioned as keeper "zum Thurn". In 1572 an Andree Pleialter dies "zum Thurn in der Hofmark". After the death of Alexander Hieronymus Freiherr von Thurn zu Neubeuern († August 29, 1642), Johann Graf Plaz was enfeoffed with Thurn Castle in 1647. In 1869, the knight"s fief was transferred as a free property. In 1924, as already mentioned, the manor of St. Jakob was sold to the Dane Charlotte von Bornemann. In the picture you see the Jakobischützen at the Schützenentanz in front of the castle tower in 1937!

Jakobischützen St. Jakob vor den Schlossturm 1937 © Jakobischützen

In 1939, the estate was confiscated by the Gestapo and partially rented out to "air raid victims". After the war, the composer Gottfried von Einem lived in the castle with his wife and his son Caspar, who later became the Austrian Minister of the Interior. In 1947, in the course of restitution proceedings, the property was transferred back to Countess Wurmbrand, who at that time lived in Denmark in very modest financial circumstances. In 1953 the already badly neglected castle was finally sold and saved by the then owners Prunella and Willhelm Flatz. The tower is still privately owned today and is inhabited by the Flatz family.

St. Jakob am Thurn in autumn

Enjoy the unique video of St. Jakob am Thurn in autumn and see the unique view over the roofs of the castle tower to the fortress Hohensalzburg.

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A celebration in honor of the Danish Countess in Salzburg

Many thanks to all participants for the successful festivity in honor of Countess Charlotte Wurmbrand-Stuppach, who was once a great benefactress for our St. Jakob am Thurn!

You can find more information about the history of Puch under "Experience culture & history" or BEIJ the articles about the "Lived traditions here in the PUCH MAGAZINE".

Einweihung Gräfing Wurmbrandweg © TVB Puch - Gerber

Here`s the way to St. Jakob am Thurn

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