The Gastein mining tradition is tangible at numerous corners of the valley. In addition to fascinating museums and exhibitions, many events in the Gastein Valley are also dedicated to this cornerstone of regional history. On September 1, 2019, the Böckstein Sword Dance will take place for the 41st time. The Knappenfest is reminiscent of an old tradition among miners that goes back to the 15th century.
The sword as a privilege
The miners’ class enjoyed a special privilege that was not granted to any other profession. In 1405 the gun law was introduced so that the workers could defend themselves on their long mountain marches against the associated dangers – including wild animals, robbers and thieves. In order to emphasize class awareness, the sword dance emerged in the 15th century. A representative of the miners was lifted up, and not a representative of the state power. For many years the dance disappeared from the chronicle – mainly mentioned in connection with brawls – until that exciting event was finally introduced in 1978.
What to expect at the Böcksteiner Schwerttanz 2019
The sword dance takes place year after year as part of the Knappenfest on the first Sunday in September. The setting is the old mining settlement in Böckstein, where gold ore was processed hundreds of years ago. By the way, parts of the old system can be admired in the Montanmuseum in Alt-Böckstein. The members of the Böcksteiner Knappen, their own sword dance group, only present this tradition once a year. The Böckstein sword dance is of course accompanied, as always, by the festive church service and the peasant rowdy game. This time the young Grossarler and Die Runden Oberkrainer will provide musical entertainment.
Celebrate old traditions and learn more about mining in Gastein. As a Steindlwirt guest you are in no time at all event locations and the high-class museums in the region. Curious? Claim today non-binding vacation offer and experience the Gastein Valley in a different way!
Copyright photo: Gasteinertal Tourismus GmbH, Ausweger