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Reith‘s Cultural Walking Trail, with ten stops of interest along the way, leads from Reith bei Seefeld to Leithen and back again. Along the cultural trail you can find a wealth of information about Reith’s historical monuments and about the village’s cultural highlights.
Station 1: Reith Information Office
Designed by the Innsbruck-born engineer Josef Riehl, the Karwendel railway, with its magnificent bridges and tunnels, is still today considered a masterpiece of engineering. Our village enjoys a unique location on the so-called ‘Sunnroan’ – a sun-drenched slope. Savour the wonderful view across the Inn Valley…
Station 2: Music pavilion
Between 1914 and 1918, all men fit for military service were sent to the front line. Thirteen men from Reith never returned home from World War I. During the Second World War (1939-1945), at least 15 men from the village were killed in action. Towards the end of the war, the village was completely destroyed. Six heavy bombing raids were carried out over the area with the aim of destroying the iron bridge over the Gurgelbach stream.
Station 3: Sunnroan path
Twenty-two houses were completely destroyed, and a further 12 houses, the church and the school were badly damaged. The reconstruction work carried out significantly altered the villagescape, as some people resettled elsewhere to avoid the cramped conditions in the village.
Station 4: The parish church
The patron saint of our church, Saint Nicholas, has always been highly venerated by the village inhabitants. A statue of St. Nicholas was erected beside the wayside.
Station 5: The milestone
In 1703, Bavarian soldiers plundered the village, toppling the statue of St. Nicholas from its pedestal and smashing it. Since then, the milestone has remained here as a memorial. The milestone is located on the main village road in the direction of Leithen where the road forks to the right towards Meilerhof.
Station 6: Our Lady
Since time immemorial a votive shrine, with a beautiful carved statue of Our Lady, has stood at the uppermost point where the two municipalities of Zirl and Leithen meet. After 1900, the wood of the wayside shrine began to rot, and so volunteers from the local Young Farmers’ Association erected the brick column that still stands today. It is said that when someone once tried to examine the carved statue with a knife, blood flowed from the wood, so he immediately stopped. Sadly, the statue of the Madonna with Child was stolen in 1972.
Station 7: St. Magnus Chapel
The St. Magnus Chapel in Leithen used to be in the middle of the village next to a milestone and, according to local lore, is even older than the church in Reith. The chapel was dismantled in 1980 and re-built in its original form just 50 metres further north, on a small hill. St. Magnus’s Day, 6th September, has always been the day of Leithen’s parish fair.
Station 8: Gasthof Hirschen
There are several traditional taverns and inns in the village of Reith. One of them is Gasthof Hirschen in Leithen – a genuine Tyrolean tavern serving dishes prepared using products from the landlord’s own farm.
Station 9: ‘Riesenhaus’ – the house of the giant
According to legend, the giant Thyrsus became gravely ill during the time of the plague. In order not to pass the infection on to the other villagers, he allegedly hid in the vaulted cellar of his house. (When the road was widened after the Second World War, such a cellar belonging to the ‘Riesenhaus’ on the main road was exposed). It is said that food brought to the giant was passed to him through a cellar window. He recovered and thus, so the legend goes, Leithen was spared from the plague.
Station 10: The plague column
At the edge of the village of Leithen, in the direction of Reith, stands a column on which you can see images depicting the pain of the crucifixion as well as plague saints. The column serves as a memorial to the time of the Thirty Years’ War, when troops passing through brought the plague that scoured the region for three long years. A prosperous businessman from Innsbruck fled the city with his family to Leithen. He too became gravely ill and feared he had been infected with the plague. He swore that should he recover, he would erect a shrine.