Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Ceremonial marksmen´s guards in Salzburg

Applicant: Herbert Handlechner i.V. Landesverband der Salzburger Schützen
Bezirksverbände Flachgau, Stadt Salzburg, Tennengau, Pongau, Pinzgau und Lungau
Province: Salzburg
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2010

Shooting clubs are an important component of Salzburg traditions. Even though the actual shooting equipment used differs from place to place (it ranges from traditional wooden weapons to different types of canons or fireworks (“Prangerstutzen”)), club activities are quite constant across different communities.

Today’s shooters (“Festschützen”) mainly developed from urban or market town militias that played an important role in national defense. About 400 years ago, Salzburg developed the tradition of incorporating shooting clubs in the organization of lay and ecclesiastical events. This gave rise to this noise-making tradition which slowly became a fixed point in traditional church and private events, such as the honouring of dignitaries or baptisms, weddings and funerals.