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Fences are an important element of cultivated land, an integral part of our identity. They number among the oldest witnesses of farming customs and are an expression of legal and property relationships, as well as ways of managing the land. Fences leave their imprint on the face of the earth. They structure the landscape and thus provide the viewer with certain visual borderlines. They have grown and evolved through centuries. They are the work of our own hands – our personal handicraft. Fences border property – they fence in, they fence out. And they protect. They have long served to keep property at peace and to secure the herds, to protect crops or neighbouring
fields. Each property owner’s fencing rights have regulated the height, the type of construction, the use and maintenance duties, as well as the right of passage ever since the Middle Ages. These rights and duties are still recorded today in the property registers of the country. Why were the old fence construction forms abandoned? Why did they disappear from the landscape? There are a number of reasons for this. To begin with, the high cost in labour, materials and time is prohibitive. The time factor is of major importance when asking why modern fences are erected nowadays, when nails and boards can be purchased with ease. This was unimaginable a century ago, when
there was little money for such things. And labour was amply available at the farmhouses to build these old fences. The construction of historic fences is intended to revive the traditions of fence arts, the knowledge and the craftsmanship, as well as reinvigorate the rural character of our village. We hope we can thereby not only beautify the countryside, but also add a significant historic element to our scenery and our culture. However, fences also remind one of limits. What is our modern attitude towards this aspect? Do we occasionally look over a fence to see whether the grass is greener? What is our attitude towards personal limits? What importance do bodily, spiritual and moral limitations have for us? Do we use them to create a home, peace and quiet, community? Or do we misuse them to keep out others and ward off intrusion? The historic fences erected in Mösern are intended not only as exhibition pieces. They are still used by the owners. They were built in a communal effort. The property owners purchased (or felled) the timber and the construction was financed by a several years covering project of the Tourism Association of Olympiaregion Seefeld. The Homeland Protection and Maintenance Club of North and East Tyrol assumed a part of the cost.