Josef Krainer leads you from Wildon to Fernitz
In Steiermark, Austria
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[EN:] This multi cache invites you for a walk of around 17 km along the Josef-Krainer trail from Wildon to Fernitz (with the option of a slight route variation). The focus is on the journey and not on searching a container.
[DE:] Dieser Multicache lädt zu einem Spaziergang von ca. 17 km entlang des Josef Krainer Weges von Wildon nach Fernitz ein (mit der Option zu einer kleinen Routenvariation). Im Zentrum steht der Spaziergang und nicht die Suche nach einer Dose.
At your own risk you can jump directly to Part 3 (Field work) and also skip the parts about background information. The stage info is collected in boxes - this is all what is needed for the puritans.
Part 1: Information about the trail/cache route
Target audience/Mode of visit
- The recommended mode of visit is on foot. The route is also suitable for MTBs (however biking is prohibited in some segments). Car cachers are not appreciated. This cache has been hidden for those who enjoy outdoor physical activity.
- There are several options to break up the tour into pieces: Allerheiligen, Buschenschank Fedl, St Ulrich and Gnaning are potential starting/terminal points of legs.
- The cache description is addressed both to those who only care about the walk/cache and to those who like to be informed about the locations along the way.
- Please do not visit the final when it is dark.
The Josef Krainer trail
The Josef Krainer trail is approximately 17 km long, connects Fernitz and Wildon and shares the route with the segment of the Grazer Umlandweg (GUW) between Fernitz and Wildon. It has been set up to commemorate the long time (1948-1971) provincial governor of Styria, Josef Krainer senior.
The route involves a mixture of forest trails, meadow paths, field tracks as well as paved roads and will lead you through a variety of diverse landscapes (settlement areas, forests, agricultural areas, view points) and will let you pass a number of impressive sacral buildings. To get an impression of what to expect have a look at my photo collection (photos taken at different days).
Some parts of the trail are marked well (trail number 1), in other parts a map, track file or route description (see the links provided below) can be very useful as this time I tried to keep the number of waypoints small.
The cache route follows the Josef Krainer trail with one exception. You can choose between two options for the way between Afram and Aframberg : the original route (visit Stage 2a) and an alternative (visit Stage 2b) which shortens the walking time along paved roads. I recommend the alternative if the ground is not too muddy and if you do not insist on strictly following the Josef Krainer (GUW) trail.
Expect a walk of 4-6 hours (depending on your speed, the length of your breaks and the route you take) which involves only moderate elevation changes and is suitable for all seasons (except hot Summer days), but some parts can be quite muddy after rainfall (take this into account in your choice of shoes and clothing!).
This is not a round trip cache which makes prior planning necessary. Both the start point (Wildon, train station, parking available) of the trail and the end point (Fernitz) are well reachable by public transportation.
Relying on public transportation you have several options for your return travel from Fernitz including the following
Those who decide to come by two cars and want to shortcut the way to Stage 1, might consider parking at waypoint P2 (not an official parking lot).
- Verbund bus lines 510 and 521 bring you from Fernitz to Graz and 521 also to Wildon (no bus service on Sunday).
- Walk to Hausmannstaetten (ca 3km, along the Ferbersbach) to take bus 76U or even to Dörfla (along the left bank of the Mur or along the marked trail which is an extension of the Josef Krainer trail) to take bus line 74. Both lines also are run on Sundays.
- Walk to the train station in Kalsdorf and take the train to Wildon (if your car waits there for you) or to Graz (with lots of further connections if required).
- Another variation would be to leave your vehicle in Kalsdorf or Fernitz and then go by train or bus to Wildon. In this manner you can avoid waiting times upon your return.
Food and beverages
Inns along the way are Walch/Kirchenwirt (closed Tue, Wed) and Windisch/Windischhansl (closed Mo) in Allerheiligen, Schaffler-Fruhmann in St Ulrich/Waasen (closed Mo, Tue), Purkarthofer (closed Mo, Tue) and Kirchenwirt (closed Mo) in Fernitz. Buschenschank Fedl in Mittergrub (closed Tue, varying opening times) might also be an option for some of you, as well as the ice cream parlor and coffeehouse Purkarthofer in Fernitz.
Part 2: Information about Josef Krainer
Josef Krainer senior was born on February 16, 1903 in St Lorenzen bei Scheifling as illegitimate child of a maid servant and died on November 28, 1971 during a hunt due to a heart attack in Allerheiligen bei Wildon.
His ambition, natural talent to deal with people and hard work made the amazing rise possible from working as woodcutter starting when only 15 years old to one of the most powerful men in Austria's political life in his era. He served as provincial governor of Styria from 1948 until his death in 1971 and was elected seven times into this office. To shorten the cache description, some further details about his life and a few pointers to literature about Josef Krainer can be found on my blog.
Part 3: Fieldwork
Collect the variables A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L at the Stages 1-10. (I never use E to avoid confusion with East and never I for readability issues.)
|Start (Train station Wildon)
N 46° 53.060' E 015° 31.192'
Let's start into the Josef Krainer trail (trail 1) in Wildon. Parking is available at the train station. Coming by train might be preferable however.
Route information: Cross the Mur at the large bridge and follow the road (Aframer Strasse) to Stage 1.
|Stage 1 (Castle Marienhof-Afram)
N 46° 53.759' E 015° 31.747'
You are now standing in front of the castle Marienhof-Afram in Afram.
Watch out for a circle-shaped flower-like decoration element above the rightmost window in the upper floor.
- A: The number of "flowers" that grow out from the centre.
Background information: The origins of today's castle Marienhof-Afram go back to a feudal estate. The castle has experienced many changes of ownership and several rebuilding activities. Until the mid 19-th century the estate was named Aframhof - in 1853 it got renamed to Marienhof after its owner Maria Barbara Freifrau von Gorizutti . 1955 Helmut Frizberg (1910-2014, an influental and interesting man, until 1993 CEO of the Hereschwerke, the largest employer in Wildon) bought the castle which is still in the possession of the Frizberg family. Unfortunately, neither the garden nor the castle are accessible to the public and can only be viewed from outside from the road. For more information consult www.burgen-austria.com.
Route information (important) Continue from the castle Marienhof into the direction of Sukdull. Near waypoint H1 close to a flood protection installation you have to make a choice between the following two options (one involves Stage 2a and one Stage 2b - you just need to visit one of them):
- Option 1 (Original route, Stage 2a): Follow the road to Sukdull and head for Stage 2a. You will pass a fallow deer enclosure on your way.
- Option 2 (Variation, Stage 2b): Take the trail into the forest towards Stage 2b.
|Stage 2a (Cross in Sukdull)
N 46° 54.206' E 015° 31.713'
You have arrived at a wayside cross in Sukdull.
- B1: The number of long benches directly in front of the cross.
- B2: The total number of wooden planks of all long benches together.
- B = (B1 + 1) * B2
|Stage 2b (Border marker)
N 46° 54.023' E 015° 31.949'
Watch out for a border stone with a yellow wooden post next to it.
- B: Add 5 to the positional number of the single letter on the stone in the alphabet (A=1, B=2, etc).
Route information: Follow the forest trail further. You will reach a road after a while. Soon you can enter a forest area again. Head towards waypoint H2 where you will reach a road again.
|Stage 3 (A very old building)
N 46° 54.462' E 015° 32.613'
You stand in front of a very old house, Allerheiligen 1, which once belonged to the castle Allerheiligen. It is believed to be the oldest house in Allerheiligen.
Look at the windows at the front side (side facing the road) of the house.
- C: The number of these windows which are marked by an X (=two wooden bars forming an X-shape).
Route information: The trail continues close to the raised hide at waypoint H3 and leads downwards. After a while you will pass the Reishofer ponds.
|Stage 4 (Allerheiligen/Wildon)
N 46° 54.816' E 015° 33.177'
You have now arrived in the centre of Allerheiligen/Wildon.
In front of you there is a large house which accomodates several businesses. Raise your head and look at the painting on the facade of the little tower.
- D: The Arabic number which results by converting the largest Roman number shown in the painting.
Background information: Below a few important facts are summarized which you might want to read during your stay in Allerheiligen.
- Village: For many centuries the history of the village Allerheiligen has been closely connected to the history of Herbersdorf castle and its owners. The castle and the church are the two dominating buildings in Allerheiligen. More details can be found on the community web site.
- Herbersdorf castle: The castle has been built in the first half of the 12-th century. The Herbersdorf family determined the fate of the castle and of Allerheiligen for almost 500 years until 1609 when the castle came into the possession of the Glojach family. From 1640 until their suppression in 1733 the Jesuits owned the castle and had it rebuilt in the Baroque style. In 1680 during the plague epidemic in Graz the Jesuit college was moved to the castle. After the end of the Jesuit period the castle experienced many owner changes until finally in 1988 it got sold to a master builder who restructured the castle and created appartments there. More details can be found on www.burgenseite.com.
- Church: The origins of the parish church with the patrocinium Holy Saints (Allerheiligen, hence the name of the village) go back to a Romanic chapel which has been extended to a church built in the Gothic style in the 15-th century. An interesting detail about the Catholic church in Allerheiligen is that a memory of the times when the Protestantism dominated survived until today (namely the sepulchral relief which shows the knight Franz von Herbersdorf who did not appreciate at all the cult around saints). The Jesuits rebuilt the church in the Baroque style and also donated the Altar piece originating from the atelier of Johann Cyriak Hackhofer (Vorau monastery) . More details can be found at the website of the parish church.
Route information: Your next goal is the Josef Krainer chapel (waypoint H4).
|Josef Krainer Chapel
N 46° 55.305' E 015° 32.514'
All information about the Josef Krainer chapel and the memorial stone at N 46° 55.275' E 015° 32.584' can be found online and in the description of the meanwhile archived nearby traditional. So I refrained from setting up a stage dedicated to the Krainer memorial site which is a key location along the trail.
The stained glass windows are particularly beautiful when the sun is shining. If you wish, you can also take a short rest at the chapel. There is no question to be answered- so just enjoy yourself.
Background information: The chapel and the memorial stone have been erected close to the place where Josef Krainer died due to a heart attack on November 28, 1971 while being on a hunt.
|Stage 5 (Green chapel)
N 46° 55.441' E 015° 32.501'
This somehow untypical chapel is protected by a green wooden paneling.
- F: The last two digits of the year date integrated into the entrance gate.
Background information: Unfortunately, I could not find any information about this chapel. If someone happens to know something about the location, please share the information with me.
Route information (important): Be careful in the area of waypoint H5. Make sure that you do not take what might seem a shortcut to Stage 6. Stay on the marked trail. Otherwise you end up at the wrong side of a fence.
|Stage 6 (Sign post)
N 46° 55.834' E 015° 32.747'
You have arrived at a signpost attached to a fence. Watch out for a sign with a white text on a red background.
- G: The number of letters of the right hand side word in the red area.
|Stage 7 (Church St Ulrich/Waasen)
N 46° 56.961' E 015° 32.594'
You have arrived in the centre of St Ulrich am Waasen at the church. If you are not in a hurry, have a closer look at the church and the graveyard.
For the cache it suffices to have a look at the tombstones on the side of the facade which points towards the graveyard. Watch out for the tombstone where a grandmother (Großmutter) bemoans the death of her grandchildren.
- H: The total number of letters of the longest word in the four bottom black lines on the tombstone which describe the children.
Background information: For the most detailed publicly available exposition on the history of St Ulrich see the community web site. Below a few important facts are summarized which you might want to read during your stay in St Ulrich.
- Village: Since 2015 St Ulrich am Waasen belongs to the community Heiligenkreuz am Waasen. Settlements of the area are ascertained as early as the Copper Age based on artefacts found at the occasion of excavations in the Kögelberg area (the most famous one is the so-called "Idol vom Kögelberg" (idol of Kögelberg), the second oldest known human representation in Styria after Graz-iella - both are on display in Eggenberg castle in Graz). The younger history of St Ulrich has been influenced by the owners of castle Waasen (also see this archived geocache).
- Church and graveyard: The church which is consecrated to Saint Ulrich is of Gothic origin (nice rib vaults!) and has been restructured in the Baroque era. Several tombstones are integrated into the facade. The graveyard is directly attached to the church. The wayside shrine dedicated to Saint Ulrich and the Palm consecration chapel are noteworthy objects on the graveyard under monument protection.
- Ulrichsbrunn well: Saint Ulrich's well (located at the North-Eastern edge of St Ulrich, confer waypoint H6) is covered by a well-house stemming from the 15-century (late Gothic style). On top a wayside shrine (category Tabernakelpfeiler) has been erected. The well has been the centre of the local veneration of Saint Ulrich - up to today's age each first Sunday in July a festivity takes place in honour of Saint Ulrich.
|Stage 8 (Power line)
N 46° 57.551' E 015° 32.562'
You have arrived at mast 44 of the controversially discussed 380 kV Styria power line. It's not a nice object, but one that will hardly get lost and so it is a convenient choice to bring you one step closer to the final.
Watch out for a yellow sign attached to the mast with a text written in black.
- J: The number which is composed of the second and third digit in the last line of the sign.
|Stage 9 (Chapel Gnaning)
N 46° 57.952' E 015° 32.011'
Now you have arrived at the village chapel of Gnaning. If you like you can take a rest at the nearby bench where you will also encounter a control post of the GUW trail.
The windows on the left and the right hand side of the chapel are protected with a black iron grille.
- K: The number of little knobs that are positioned at intersection points of vertical and horizontal bars per grille (just for one window, not both).
Background information: The village chapel (dedicated to Saint Mary) has been built around 1820 and been renovated in 1980. There used to be an old Linden tree next to the chapel, but unfortunately that had to be cut down. There is also another chapel in Gnaning, the Einfalt chapel (named to the owner family) which dates back to the last quarter of the 19-th century.
|Stage 10 (Marked tree with numbers)
N 46° 58.046' E 015° 31.609'
Watch out for a marked tree with four numbers (separated by slashes) written in black inside a white field.
- L1: Total number of distinct digits in the white field.
- L2: The second largest number of the four.
- L = L1 * L2.
I cannot offer you a bench for performing the calculations, but a few meter after the last stage you will encounter a large tree stump on the left side of the trail where you can sit down if you wish to perform the calculations below.
Alternatively you Alternatively, you can use make use of the multichecker if you have mobile internet access. (The multichecker option is an experiment - if it gets abused, I will remove this option.)
- U = J + K + ( A + B + F + G ) * D
- V = ( J + K + D ) * ( L - F - H * C ) + C
- X = 57.500 + U / 1000
- Y = 30.700 + V / 1000
N 46° X' E 015° Y'
You have arrived at the final.
The cache container is a small lock and lock container which only contains a log book, two pencils and a cache note. It is hidden at a characteristic hideout. Please rehide the cache container well.
|End (Bus stop Fernitz)
N 46° 58.373' E 015° 29.894'
Now you have arrived in Fernitz, the target destination of this cache. I hope you enjoyed the walk.
Background information: If you have time and have not been there before, take the chance to visit the church and/or the nice Erzherzog-Johann park in Fernitz. There is also a short multi cache nearby.
A lot more about the church Maria Trost (one of the eldest Marian devotion locations in Styria) and other sacral buildings in the Fernitz area can be found in the Fernitz church guidebook. Some basic information on Fernitz can be found on Fernitz's wikipedia page.
April 1, 2016: Added link to German description.
April 3, 2016: Removed "look carefully" at Stage 4. Corrected typo H4 with respect to Krainer chapel.
April 6, 2016: Inserted new waypoint H5 before Stage 6.
April 11, 2016: Emphasized "all" in description of Stage 2a. Added multichecker.
Eine deutsche Beschreibung (Rohfassung) findet sich hier.
[A:] Fvatyr qvtvg
[Plausibility check for U and V:] I-H-1 vf rdhny gb bar bs gur fgntr inevnoyrf.
[Final]: Ebbg nern bs ynetr gerr.
Last Updated: on 11/6/2017 3:26:52 AM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:26 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum