Saturday, 19 February 2011

Time Capsule

The other day I mentioned a visit to a town on an Austrian lake. The name of the town was Pertisau and the lake was called Aachensee. Despite the fact that the tourism business was booming there, one hotel right beside the lake stood empty - and had done for decades. The hotel appeared to have been very suddenly abandoned - through the windows we could see furniture and crockery and linen, all left as if someone had just popped out to the shops.

Locals explained to us that there had been a battle about inheritance between various relatives who thought they had a claim to the hotel - which, apparently, was the inspiration for a series of novels about a chalet school. When that dispute was resolved, the losers transferred their attention to the trees that had grown up between the hotel and the lake in the meantime. They decided to take legal action to block the victors from removing the trees and reestablishing the hotel's 'million dollar view'. And so nothing changed, while the various parties fought each other in the courts in Vienna.

After so many years, ceilings and floors were beginning to look a bit rickety and we were not brave enough to go inside. Someone else was less easily deterred though, and he has created this wonderful flickr stream, showing the hotel's interior, complete with all sorts of objects left behind from the 1940s. There is something eerie about these pictures, as if one is looking straight into the past.


  1. That was interesting. In 1951 I honey mooned in a similar hotel - Scesaplana in Brand in the Voralberg. I wonder what happened to that?

  2. For the sake of your marriage, Pat, I trust it was still being maintained during your stay.