Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Knowledge concerning the locations, harvesting, and processing the spotted gentian

Applicant: Gemeinde Galtür, Bürgermeister LR Anton Mattle
Province: Tyrol
Domain: Practices concerning nature
Year of inclusion: 2013

The knowledge of where to find and how to harvest and process the spotted gentian (gentian punctata) has been passed on for centuries among the people of Galtür in Tyrol. Most of the time, the entire local population is involved in the process of digging up and harvesting the valuable root as well as its further processing into Gentian schnapps. Until today, lots are drawn at the annual parish fair to decide which families will take part in the extraction of the roots and the making of the schnapps. Since the 17th century, local regulations for root collection as well as general nature conservation rules have sustainably safeguarded the survival of this rare type of Gentian.