History & Tradition
BachmayerHof - Ancestral farm
Our farm was built in 1659 and has remained under family ownership to this day. We are especially proud of being distinguished as an "ancestral farm" by the state of Tyrol.
Since 1994, the farm and hotel have been run by Franz and Helga Mair. From 2008 to 2014, the entire facility was completely renovated.
At the Kothüttenalm many centuries ago
In earlier times, there was no trail that lead to the hill farm, so everyday, milk had to carried to the dairy on the farm on someone's back in a "Zumml" (see photo). After maturing, the cheese that was made was carried down into the valley by farmers with a "Kraxe" (a special kind of back carrier with a frame).
During this time, people slept on hay and milked the cows outdoors. During the day, the cows had to be kept together by a "Hiata", so that they would not wander off into steep and rugged terrain. In the evening after milking, everyone sat down to enjoy dinner together in the candlelight by the open fire (where the food was cooked). Since there were no recreational opportunities on the hill farm, the rest of the time was passed with "Fingerhaggln" (finger wrestling) and "Ranggln" (a form of wrestling). The tradition of "Ranggln" is kept alive to this day as a competition, for ex. during the yearly "Zillertal Gauderfest" in Zell am Ziller.
Photos of the Kothüttenalm with Franzal (†) from the BachmayerHof
Zillertal customs and tradition
Traditional, home-style cooking as well as schnapps distilling tips are still passed down from the grandmothers and grandfathers (lovingly referred to as Nadl and Nene respectively) to the following generations.
Zillertal home-style cuisine includes: farmhouse donuts, Schliachtarnudln (noodles in cheese sauce), Holzknechtkrapfen (cheese and potato omelet), Zerggl (fried cheese dumpling), Melchermuas (a type of pancake), Kiachl (a type of pastry), and many other specialties. Of course, after a hearty, delicious meal, we recommend a "Zichna" (schnapps distilled with pine cones).
Musical groups such as Die Ursprung Buam, Die Jungen Zillertaler, Marc Pircher, Zellberg Buam, and Schürzenjäger, and many others come from the Zillertal.
There are many musical groups here, seeing that everyone in the valley shares a love of singing. This includes the Rainer singers from Fügen, who spread the song "Silent Night, Holy Night" throughout the world. In every community, there is a musical group that organizes weekly open-air concerts in the summer from June to September for guests and locals. This is also where guests are honored.
More Zillertal traditions
Other traditions include the cattle drive in September and the St. Nicholas and Krampus procession on December 5-6. On Palm Sunday, palm branches are carried to the church. There are bonfires for Easter, the "Grasausläuten" (which includes ringing bells to encourage the crops to grow in spring) in May, and the solstice festival, which lights up the mountains with bonfires between June 22 and 24.
You also definitely shouldn't miss out on a ride on the Zillertal steam locomotive.
A Zillertal recipe to cook at home
Like many traditional farmhouse dishes in the Alps, the pressed dumplings are a specialty made with local cheese.
One special feature: a pressed dumpling meal is often eaten in 2 stages - as a dumpling in soup and as a dumpling with a green salad for example.
Ingredients for 4 people
- ¾ kg potatoes
- 2 rolls (bread)
- Some milk, 200 g Tyrolean grey cheese or soft cheese
- 100g Tilsit cheese, Gorgonzola, or whey cheese
- 6 heaped tbsp. of flour
- Chives, salt according to taste
- 2 eggs
- Butter or clarified butter
- 1 liter beef stock
Boil the potatoes, allow them to cool, then grate them coarsely. Finely cut the rolls and pour some milk over them. Mix the finely chopped onions with the potatoes, add the eggs, and carefully knead into a dough. Form 1 cm thick patties and slowly fry both sides in butter or clarified butter. Let the dumplings boil briefly in the beef stock, then take them out of the stock. Sprinkle with browned onions and chives and pour melted butter on top.