Museum director Annegret welcomes me to the Rätermuseum in the village center. "You shouldn't miss out on a visit here," says the ethnologist with a doctorate. She knows that many people only take a look at the excavations on the nearby hill.
It is actually the pieces on display in the museum that round off the picture we will get later on site. Larger and partly also tiny exhibits line up in showcases finely sorted. Tools, jewelry, vessels of all kinds and more can be seen.
Impressive what was already made in the Iron Age! How skillful and clever people were back then. They even made glass! "The Raetians were also on the verge of a high civilization with language and writing," Annegret explains.
IDEAL ALSO FOR CHILDREN
So that it is not boring for children and adults, you can also watch a film in the museum. Even a millstone from that time invites to lend a hand and it can be calculated in a 2,000 year old way.
A short walk away, we then stand in front of the hill that makes the heart of archaeologists beat faster. In the meantime, numerous buildings have been uncovered on the High Birga. Some have even been partially reconstructed in the meantime. Perfect, therefore, to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the people of the Iron Age.
AUDIOGUIDE PROVIDES ANSWERS
Research, excavations, reconstruction
Excavation director Florian Müller is on site with students, as he is every summer, to continue the excavations. "Iron Age settlements of this size are rare in Tyrol," he says, underlining the importance of Hohe Birga. The fact that he is still enthusiastically at work after many years is evident.
Decades of work
Since the rediscovery of the Rätersiedlung in the 1930s, however, a lot has happened. What has come to light so far amazes me. Several buildings give an insight into days long gone. The audio guide provides the relevant information. And it does so in dialog form, so that the whole thing comes across as snazzy.
As we continue our walk, Annegret tells me that in addition to the local association "Archäotop Hohe Birga", the municipality of Birgitz as well as the fire department and several volunteers help to keep the "operation" running. So there is also a good portion of lifeblood involved.
I like it! If you also want to combine a nice excursion with exciting Tyrolean history, I can highly recommend a visit to the "Hohe Birga" in Birgitz. For the more active among you, a tip on the side: from Völs you can hike beautifully to the scene of the action.
My dear colleague Werner Kräutler has also written a blog article on the topic of Räter in Tyrol.
Text and photos: Tamara Kainz
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Loves being outside and is most at home up in the mountains. A "scribbler" with a wide range of interests and a soft spot for special individuals and their stories, as well as sport and nature.