Traditional cattle drive in Schwarzenberg

Alptag and market – cultural heritage in its most beautiful form

In Schwarzenberg, the farmers cultivate a tried and true form of farming, so-called 3-step agriculture. This distinctive practice was included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.

As part of the seasonal cycle, the animals stay in the stables during the winter months and are fed with air-dried hay from the valley meadows. In the spring and autumn, they are taken to the lush pastures in the mid Alps. These Vorsäß (low mountain pastures) are located at an elevation of around 900 m. After the farmers in Schwarzenberg have 12 cows on average in the stables, the animals spend the months together on the mountain pastures.

At the beginning of July, the animals are led up to the high alpine pastures, where they will graze throughout the summer. At the beginning of September or in mid September, the animals return home to the low pastures or the valley with a festive, traditional procession. The entire village is in attendance on the Alptag when the alpine farmers return safely to the valley with the cattle.

The Alptag traditionally takes place on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Due to weather conditions, it may be necessary to hold the Alptag at an earlier date. We therefore suggest that you find out in advance on which day the cattle drive is scheduled.

The second festival of the year is the Schwarzenberg market. Shaped by over 400 years of history, not only is it considered a large social event, but it also offers a diverse assortment. The focus of the market is merging time-honored tradition with the new: handcrafts, creative items, farm products, art, and the extraordinary. Schwarzenberg restaurants also present a regional offer with local products. The highlight is the cheese award in the Angelika Kauffmann Hall with a tasting of the best alpine cheeses throughout the Bregenzerwald.

Date for the Schwarzenberg market
Saturday, September 14, 2024
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SCHWARZENBERG tourist office
Vorarlberg, Austria
Tel.:  +43 5512 3570

Opening times
Mo, Tue, Thu: 8:00 to 12:00 & 14:00 to 16:00
Fr: 8:00 to 12:00
Wednesday: closed

Extended opening times during the Schubertiade

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