Traditional handicrafts, some using methods handed down for centuries, are very much alive in Styria. Fifty master craftsmen making hand-crafted treasures can be found on a journey along the Meisterstrasse.
The small village of Obdach has just 2,000 inhabitants, but connoisseurs from all over the province know it well, because this is home to Josef Kern, who produces hand crafted Zirbenkugeln – dark chocolates filled with a truffle made of cocoa, fresh cream, pine schnapps and honey from the local beekeeper. In Bad Aussee, Sekyra Stoffe produces beautiful, hand-printed fabrics with century-old pattern blocks. In Kainisch, shoe maker Sonja Grill hand crafts the original Aussee Haferschuh, a double stitched leather shoe that is worn with traditional costume. In Neumarkt, Coloman Strohmeier produces air-dried ham from local game, much coveted by gourmets. All these craftsmen form part of the network known as the Meisterstrasse, which extends into Lower Austria, Salzkammergut and Tirol, and which is an umbrella organisation dedicated to preservation of authentic handicraft culture. www.meisterstrasse.eu