Su 14:00-16:00 (every second and forth sunday)
Guided tours on arrangement
A fountain, located at the Buchel above the city of Marktoberdorf within the recreational park is consecrated to the mountain spirit Rübezahl. Promenaders are often wondering to meet a fairy-tale figure from the Giant Mountains from far-far away here in the Ostallgäu. But Rübezahl is an expellee. A stranded one, after the Second World War. One, who was offered asylum, who became integrated and now belongs to this place. The story of how and when Rübezahl came to Marktoberdorf, why he is so popular and what meaning he has for the people is all displayed in a descriptive way at the only Giant Mountain Museum in Germany.
Escape, banishment, restarting abroad. Assumably current topics – dramatically timeless. During the enforced expulsion of german community members in autumn 1946, 1800 people came from the Giant Mountains to Marktoberdorf. They found a new place to live in the city and the surrounding villages.
Rübezahl has many shapes, sometimes well-tempered Giant, sometimes gruffy Guard of the mountains treasure. The kings daughter Emma promises to him, if he can name the number of beets growing on his field. (Rübe = beet / zahl = number, count). While the giant is still counting, the woman flees. Rübezahl is rather a mocking name – the correct title is Lord of the Mountains. Close to the mountain Schneekoppe lies a habitat with an especially large variety of plants, named Rübezahls garden. This connects to the Giant Mountains to the Dolomites, the Giant Rübezahl and the Dwarf-Lord Laurin with his rose garden.
The Heimatkreis Hohenelbe/ Riesengebirge Assoziation wants to preserve the memories of this long-lost Giant-Mountain-Homeland. At an early stage and just in time, people started to collect every day utensils from their former homes. Typical household and crafting tools including things like traditional hay carts, tools and even the original costumes. Pictures, books, old maps and yellowed images: The Museum is a true treasure trove.
From the very beginning, the people of the Giant Mountains have declared abandonment of violence, revenge and vengeance. Never backwards oriented, the collection tries to build bridges, connects times and people. For some, the museum is a piece of heritage for the younger ones it builds consciousness and knowledge with historic documents and authentic proves. The towns flag of Hohenelbe was saved under life-threatening circumstances during May 1945 and reminds of the flourishing german city at the upper reach of the only river in the low mountain range and running from the bohemian region to the North Sea.
At the north-eastern area of the bohemian valley between the Iser Mountains and the Eagle Mountains, lie the Giant Mountains, third largest height in Europe behind the Alps and the Carpathians. All this can be learned during the round tour. Most fascinating: the highest elevation of the Giant Mountains is the Schneekoppe, 1603m. Natural paradise for wanderers and hikers.
The beginning of the town of Hohenelbe is around the 13th and 14th century. In 1533 the emperor Ferdinand the First renamed the City of Wrchlab/Griesdorf to Hohenelbe and imposed the old fort to a mountains city. Of all 62 communes within the county of Hohenelbe the following four were given the market rights: Hohenelbe, Arnau, Rochlitz and Schwarzental.
The Giant Mountains are the cradle of modern winter sports. In 1898 the first “Association of German Skiiers” was formed and racing-events took place around the change of centuries. For many years the German and Austrian Skiing Association were managed from this site. Wooden monstrosities with adventurous bindings are recalling to that time.
Rübezahl is one of the legendary figures, an adorable familiar ghost, that the expellees brought with them from the Giants Mountains to the Ostallgäu. He is part of the local heritage now. The City of Marktoberdorf and the Homeland association Hohenelbe are inviting kindergardens and school classes to take a guided tour, led by Rübezahl himself.