Neukirchen bei Altmünster

...has been the name of this place only since Maria Theresia had a church built here. Before that, people called the high valley between Traunsee and Attersee "Viechtau" Even today, this old name is still very commonly used by locals.

One would expect such a name to suggest a cattle economy, but as a matter of fact, the rough climate, infertile soils, and small pieces of property made only for the smallest of grain or cattle economies.

Most Viechtau inhabitants lived in impoverished conditions. The men worked as lumberjacks and provided enormous quantities of wood for the heating of salt pans. That did not suffice for a stable subsistence, though. As a result, the peculiarity that was the Viechtauer house industry was born. Wood commodities were produced by family units. Every house had its own "specialty": brush handles, splint boxes, plates, spoons, toys. The majority of these goods were exported to crown lands.

One of these houses remained intact: the "Rabenwies;" today's Viechtauer Heimathaus. It's not just worth seeing because of its loyalty to its original state. Here, one can marvel at the onerous peasant life at the turn-of-the-century; the everyday life of a family consisting of different generations under one roof. A Schaudrechslerei (a turner's workshop exhibition) offers a look into the manufacturing technologies of the "Viechtauer goods," some of which are given the highest prices by some antiquity retailers.

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