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The Podenhaus and its history

by Michael Seifert

When we leave the town center and walk through today's Meranplatz into the slightly uphill Kirchengasse, after a gentle left bend, approximately at the same area of the "Blauen Traube" (owned by Ermann Tollinger), a sublime, almost defiant building comes into view. Perhaps defiant because of the surrounding wall with a large portal that still surrounds it today. It is the building known as the Podenhaus or formerly Tauer House (No. 28), which dates back to the 14th century and, like all the other historically interesting buildings, has had a rather eventful history. The name "Poden" frequently appears in the history of the market, often in connection with other significant buildings. And just as some structures have experienced ups and downs, the generations of the "Poden" family have had a similar fate.



The origin of the house, possibly in a not-so-magnificent form at that time, likely dates back to around 1319, the time of the Hallinger family. In 1431, the seal-bearer Achaz Praun, also called "Edler" (nobility), presumably serving as the market judge around 1432/33, is granted ownership of the house at Gasteig with an orchard (today's parish garden). In the same period, a certain Jörg Galsberger is also mentioned as the market judge.


Achaz Praun claims two houses in a property dispute, the origin of which is unknown: one belonging to Ullreich and Elspet Pehaim, and another "with an orchard at Gasteig" (No. 28), "from which Katrey the Dyvessin pays an annual 60 pennies" (presumably rent for the garden?). A document from 1431 states:

"I, Heinrich Czechner, current market judge of Aussee, who sat in the open granary with a jury of 17 honorable men (note: names known) - hereby acknowledge with this letter that the house with the orchard is awarded to Achaz Praun, and the case against Pehaim must be postponed."

However, it is certain that Achaz Praun also held a position in the Hallamt (district office) in 1435, which he later "bestowed" upon his son Wolfgang. In 1462, Wolfgang sells House No. 28 for 550 pounds to Emperor Albrecht VI. Subsequently, the property passes to Emperor Frederick III and Maximilian I.

It is quite certain that the building dates back to the 14th century, although a direct mention of it is only found in a document from 1501. During the renovation in 1994, it became apparent, especially in the cellar, that the building had undergone expansion at least once. The different stone and brick materials, as well as the craftsmanship, suggest this. A brick with the year 1658, found during the renovation in an obvious extension, provides a reliable indication.


As mentioned before, a record from 1501 states that the "Gesellpriester" (chaplain) Hieronymus Strauß sold House No. 28 to the Aussee citizen Andre Scherer. Market tax books used to exist. In the oldest available one in Aussee, dating back to 1556, the house designation appears again as the property of the baker Wolf Hueber. Until 1599, he had to pay one gulden in tax annually. Wolf Hueber's son, Matthäus, who was also an innkeeper and baker, becames the owner in 1614. We also find Matthäus, who was a market judge five times, associated with another significant building.


Associated with another significant building, the "Moser House" (No. 26). In 1629, Matthäus Hueber is involved in a lawsuit over the property with the widow of Hans Moser. The case eventually reaches the highest legal instance, the Hofkammer in Graz, which declares the Moser House as Hueber's property in 1640. This legal dispute sheds light on the close connection between the two neighboring houses.


In the following years, the Podenhaus changes hands several times. In the tax books of 1673, it is listed as the property of the Schmidt family. Around 1680, it is acquired by the Kurzbauer family, who were mill owners and innkeepers. The Kurzbauers, too, had their fair share of legal disputes over the house, as they were involved in conflicts with their neighbors.


In the 19th century, the Podenhaus undergoes further transformations. The Wiesinger family takes ownership, and in 1837, they expand the building by adding a new wing and a garden pavilion. The architectural style of the expansion reflects the prevailing tastes of the time. The Wiesingers, who were merchants and innkeepers, establish a popular inn in the house known as the "Wiesinger Inn."

During the 20th century, the Podenhaus experiences various uses and owners. It serves as a guesthouse, a hotel, and even a police station at one point. In the 1990s, the building undergoes extensive renovation to restore its historical features and convert it into a modern hotel while preserving its unique character.


Today, the Podenhaus stands as a remarkable architectural gem, representing the rich history and heritage of Aussee. Its distinctive design, historical significance, and central location make it a notable landmark in the town center, attracting visitors who appreciate the charm of this centuries-old building.

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