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April 25, 2007

The Hexenturm Files: Searching for a sign

Hexenturmpostcard2_1For anyone who's been holding their breath for the last part of my 'witches of Salzburg' series, you can exhale...here it is.

According to book-shop man, the original Hexenturm sign was now darkening the doors of the Fortress Museum, high up on the Monchsberg mountain. This sign had once been situated, much like a weather vane, on the roof of the Salzburg Hexenturm (witch tower).

So, before I left Salzburg I re-visited the Fortress Musuem. Martin and I had already been there back in November with his parents, but I was now on a mission.

I did think it was strange that we hadn't noticed this witch sign on our first visit. I naturally gravitate to all things weird or magical, but I suppose we hadn't known to look for it.

Off I went back to the museum. I practically galloped through the place - I'd found the display of military regalia fairly dull the first time around, so didn't feel the need to peruse the artifacts. Guns, other weapons, and pictures of soldiers have never really floated my boat.

Having just about covered the museum, I was starting to feel that it had perhaps been a wasted visit.

I was certain I would find the sign in the small room where the torture implements were displayed. Where better to house the remains of the hexenturm - the biggest injustice of all? But it wasn't in there either.

That was the last room in the museum...well, just about.

Luckily, before I continued to the exit, I noticed one last doorway that I had not been in. We had definitely missed this room when we had last visited the museum. This little room was set up like an old fashioned kitchen, complete with pots, utensils and some fake food. Not exactly the most riviting section of the museum, and I'm sure most people took one look and walked straight out again.

However, being on my mission, I had to make sure I searched every inch of every room before I admitted defeat. The room was J shaped, and round the corner there was nothing but a door marked 'no entry'. Hang on...wait a minute...

...and there it was, at last.


The sign I'd been searching for was hanging from the wall above this non-descript doorway. There was no caption or explanation as to what the sign was or where it came from. This piece of metal that had witnessed the unjust downfall of many an innocent man, woman and child - it had even survived a bomb attack by the US in 1944 which destroyed the tower it sat atop.

The sign has lost it's original colour (due to the bombing), but was otherwise completely intact.


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