Full equipment is necessary at the rock walls
Photo: Stadt Salzburg
In 1669 Salzburg became the victim of a catastrophic rock avalanche. Back then, massif rocks fell from the steep walls of the Mönchsberg and buried the Markuskirche, the “Seminarum Alumnorum” as well as the Lieb-Frauen-Chapel and 13 houses. The misfortune also caused the death of 230 people.
Before the accident, sporadic checks of the local mountains did take place. A document already mentioned mountain polishers for the first time in 1574. After 1669, the work was intensified. At first, the “polishing” of Salzburg’s local mountains only took place every couple of years, after another rock fall in 1778 annually and by now on 365 days every year.
Over the centuries and spontaneously set up by a brave group of citizens at the beginning, a new profession was formed: the mountain cleaners. A troop usually consists of people that rappel from the top and “clean” the rocks, two people holding the ropes to secure and lower the “cleaners” as well as two people on the ground two secure and clean the area.