1339 – Pieces Of A Past Life II

As I was not overly productive today, let me bother you with some more images from Saturday’s trip to Linz, and to be precise, more images from Eisenerz.

Now we are where the meat is, or actually where it should be, and that’s already the problem.

All four images were taken at a place in the center called “Bergmannsplatz” (“Miner’s Square”), looking in different directions.

Eisenerz is really a beautiful, picturesque town, no doubt about it, but when you’re there, when you stand in that square, it is completely empty. And it’s not only that we see no people, there are no shops either.

At one corner not shown here, there was a branch office of a big insurance company, closed now. There are some caf├ęs and restaurants, but they are either closed or seem deserted.

That’s what happens when people leave. Seemingly you can’t do much about it. Tourism is probably hampered by the fact that Eisenerz is far off any other attractions. The next city, Leoben, struggles with the decline of the industry in the region as well, and although there is still mining on Erzberg, the processes today need far less workers than they did even only 50 years ago.

People go where the work is, and seemingly Eisenerz failed to attract any new opportunities. It’s a wonder that the town is still beautiful as it is, even though I suppose that much money from the EU has been spent here, ultimately I can’t see how further decline could be held back. And that’s really a shame.

Well, actually that’s not true. I can see what could be done. I think Eisenerz is not only beautiful, it could also be a nice place to live. You only need people there, and that means you need work.

If I were in charge, I would do two things: I would found a technical school for software engineering in this place, and I would make it very attractive for software companies to invest here. How much would it cost? You need first class internet connections, you need to subsidize the school and the workplaces (but that’s something that’s obviously done anyway, only directed at tourism, and that won’t work), and you need a long breath.

In five years we could expect first results, a turning point, and with new people, with new work, the place would become attractive for shops and other infrastructure again. In the end, in ten or twenty years, this town could bustle with life, and it would well deserve it.

The Song of the Day is one more time “Pieces Of A Past Life”, by “The Postmen” from Geneva, Switzerland. Hear them on Jamendo.

4 thoughts on “1339 – Pieces Of A Past Life II”

  1. Reading about this neglected and by-passed beautiful little village made me almost weep. How very very sad that people would move on and not try to create opportunities, like you suggested can be done to enliven this area.

    Two images each show one car. And someone still cares enough to hang baskets of flowering plants in the platz. So there’s probably still interest there, but no vision. Sometimes it takes an outsider to come in and revitalize the local residents’ vision.

  2. Don’t get me wrong: it would take a lot of money to do what I suggested, certainly more than the town itself could bring up. And there are other problem spots as well. The whole region suffers from the decline of the heavy industries. And it would take time. Find politicians today, who supports an effort that costs money in their time and may bear fruit in the time of their successors! It’s not easy, you know?

  3. It’s certainly sad to see beautiful places such as this “abandoned” out of necessity and I wonder how much longer it can remain looking so well tended.

    It seems “unnatural” for there not to be any people in the photos. Still, a beautiful place.

    1. Not only unnatural, outright haunting. It actually triggers thoughts of neutron bombs. I’ve never before seen such a place. It’s just as if everybody had left only the day before. And when you see people, like in the inn where we had lunch, everything is too big for the few people.

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