The emporer’s largest “room”
Stuben is a particularly delightful village in the multi-faceted county of Vorarlberg. Stuben – translating as room – could be considered the ‘good interconnecting room’ to the neighboring county of Tyrol and as such to the rest of Austria. The fact that it lies at the foot of two passes which create the european watershed and a weather barrier is of special interest.
The name Stuben is mentioned for the first time in 1330. However, the Earl of Montfort, in the Reichstag of 1218, hands over the ‘Stuben region’ to the order of the Monks of St. John with the particular requirement to construct a lodging for travelers at the foot of the Arlberg and offers them fire, food and shelter.
Traffic increased significantly at the beginning of the 14th century. A new salt mine was established in Hall in Tyrol and the Arlberg developed into a veritable Via Saleria conecting to East Switzerland. Stuben became stopover village for the flourishing goods traffic. The economic miracle of the middle ages helped to fatten the girths of the small mountain village. In the winter the salt had to be transfered to sledges. A toll booth was erected above Stuben “Zu Ecken” and merchants had to pay a toll for the the upkeep of the route. Tolls of one Kreuzer per rider and two Kreuzer per horse were levied. Thoroughfare charges and goods taxes furthermore significantly increased the villagers income. Food and drink was supplied to the travelers and an old deed records:
“At Stuben there are several inns which are most essential…”
The large amount of traffic as a result of the developing salt trade also cost many lives over the harsh winter periods. There were no shelters between Stuben and St. Jakob and so Heinrich Findelkind built a hospice at the height of the pass.
During the reign of the Hapsburgs the village of Stuben became known as the largest of the emporer’s “rooms”. The village’s name perfectly reflects its special character: refuge,warmth and security for all those who pass through be they travelers needing a rest or tourists looking for relaxation in a homely ‘room’.
This comforting feeling is not only transmitted by its idyllic seclusion at the foot of Albona, Trittkopf and Erzberg but also by the warmhearted welcome and friendliness of its inhabitants who have offered hospitality over the centuries.
“The white noise”
The legendary film with Luis Trenker was reissued under the title “White Noise” two years ago and developed an international campaign to do so. “White Noise” was born in the winter of 1931-32 in Stuben am Arlberg.