Photographer's Note

On the mountain road, Montafon valley, Vorarlberg

Vorarlberg is the westernmost federal-state (Land) of Austria. Although it is the second smallest in terms of area (Vienna is the smallest) and population (Burgenland is less populated), it borders three countries: Germany (Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg via Lake Constance), Switzerland (Graubünden and St. Gallen) and Liechtenstein. The only Austrian federal state that shares a border with Vorarlberg is Tyrol to the east.


Montafon is a valley in Austria that extends from the city of Bludenz to the Silvretta mountain range. It is also known in the local dialect as Muntafu.

The Stand Montafon is the association of the ten valley villages. The main town is Schruns. Travelling from Bludenz, you enter state road B188 which takes you by the old cement plant of Lorüns and through the town of Lorüns. After driving through the magic Alma woods and past the Tränabächle (brook of tears) the valley opens to its main splendor at St. Anton (in the local dialect: "Santatöni") on the left, and Vens and Vandans on the right. St. Anton, which is not to be confused with its larger and more famous sister, St. Anton am Arlberg, is the hometown of the Stemer clan and the Battlogg clan. On you travel by Rodund, the main center-valley electrohydric plant of the Vorarlberger_Illwerke, through Gantschier and Kaltenbrunnen and on to Schruns and Tschagguns (in the local dialect: "Schru und Tschaggu"). The mountain town of Bartholomäberg spreads its wings above Schruns, with its outliers Jetzmunt and Lutt watching over St. Anton and its southeastern outliers Kristberg and Innerberg watching over the Silbertal valley. The Silbertal stretches from Schruns to the outpost of the Fellamendli in a south-easterly direction pointing towards the Arlberg mountain range. The hamlet of Latschau, with its hydroelectric power station and the main base of the Golm ski resort, watches over Tschagguns opposite from Bartholomäberg.
From Schruns and Tschagguns onward you cross the Montafon midpoint that divides the outer valley ("Außerfratte") from the inner valley ("Innerfratte"). As you arrive in St. Gallenkirch, you will be able to branch off at Galgenul towards Gargellen, another magically rugged branch valley that terminates at the ski resort of Gargellen. Continuing in the main Montafon valley, you will pass through Gortipohl and on to Gaschurn (in the local dialect: "Gaschorra") and then Partenen, where the road starts to snake up to the Silvretta mountain pass.
A number of celebrities, including Al Dassler, have stayed in the valley. Some of the older folks still talk about the long nights in Schruns playing cards and drinking with Ernest Hemingway and John dos Passos. The Snows of the Kilimanjaro and several other novels and short stories were written in, or they contain material from, the Montafon and the Silvretta glaciers. Later, the famous German novelist and poet Erich Kästner repeatedly visited the valley, as did the former German chancellor Helmut Kohl. The noted opera singer Elisabeth Schwarzkopf spent her last years in Schruns, where she died on August 2, 2006.
The Montafon is famous for skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. There are two 9-hole golf courses, one in Tschagguns and one in Partenen. (Vorarlberg & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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