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May Field Innertafamunt

by Theresa König last modified 2007-02-19 13:22

May Field Innertafamunt

You have reached the viewpoint; Innertafamunt May Field.  The cultural landscape on the Innertafamunt differs greatly from that of the Outer Tafamunt despite the marginal distance between them.  In comparison, the huts on the Innertafamunt are relatively close together, but this can be explained by the greater danger of the area being hit by avalanches and rock slides.  A striking feature on the Innertafamunt is also the high percentage of buildings that are badly in need of repairs.  What makes it even more surprising is the fact that the Tafamunt cable car provides ample infrastructure and makes it easy to get to the huts to use them or keep them in good repair.

A closer look at the function of the buildings, a synopsis of recent use of the May fields explains the condition of some of the huts.  To begin with, the hay barns are not being used any more by their owners.  The pastures on the Innertafamunt just like in the Outertafamunt are not being grazed anymore; in fact they are only being mowed once a year.  The mown grass from the fields is dealt with by one farmer from the valley instead of by the community of May field owners.  The farmer then transports the hay from the May field immediately to the valley by way of the Tafamunt cable railway, which makes the deterioration of the hay barns and stalls on the Innertafamunt understandable.

The huts on the Innertafamunt are not as old as those on the Aussertafamunt.  One of the buildings on the Innertafamunt, the core of which is one gable ended room opening up to the hay barn, dates back to the year 1618.  In the year 1859 a large extension was added to it.  Here, by moving the cattle barn to the valley side, a cellar could be added to the side facing the mountain.  The absence of threshing floors in the buildings of the Innertafamunt can also be explained by the fact that they are a lot younger than those on the Aussertafamunt.  It’s a reminder of how the climate changed during the period from 1600 to 1850.

The preservation of the May Field settlements with their open spaces is an important issue for policy makers and the local population in the Montafon.  Due to the changes in social and business environments, contemporary alternative concepts for the endangered May fields are being thought out.  These concepts allow for the use of or adaptation of the buildings for recreational purposes, as well as guaranteeing the maintenance of the surrounding area.

Of course this could bring up the question of whether or not the preservation of a 400 year old building is necessary.  The importance of the characteristics of a May field settlement, namely, the settlement pattern, regional building materials, traditional building cubature and adjustments are included in the new concepts in order to preserve the traditional cultural landscape.


P08-1 May Field Innertafamunt.mp3

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