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Ranggeln on the Dürrnberg! Family Afternoons on Celtic Mountain

It all began with a radio segment on Ö1 about "Ranggeln," a traditional form of wrestling.
By chance, Florian Knopp from Museum of the Celts Hallein as well as an employee from Salzwelten had both listened to the segment with interest, and happened to have a meeting scheduled for the following day so as to discuss the upcoming themes for the new season. "Ranggeln on the Dürrnberg, now that would be something else," came the suggestion. And so, the idea took shape. First, contact was made with the Salzburg State Ranggeln Association, which, in turn, was able to enthuse the Pongau Ranggler Club about the idea.

Salzwelten Salzburg Sommerveranstaltung Kinderprogramm Stockbrot  | © HKro Bild Der Auslöser

The event was incorporated into a presentation of the summer program that would be offered in collaboration with the Museum of the Celts. The main aim of the family program is to give local families an exciting, entertaining, and educational time in Hallein and on the Dürrnberg during the summer holidays. The range of activities spans brewing magic potions, crafting Celtic jewelry, along with the "Highland Mini Games" for kids. In total, there are four fun-filled afternoons of activities at the Celtic Village, whilst the entire program includes over 40 events throughout Hallein. The first "Ranggeln on the Dürrnberg" was intended to kick off the series of events.

Salzwelten Salzburg Sommerveranstaltung Ranggeln Sieger mit Salz  | © HKro Bild Der Auslöser

On June 24th, the day had finally arrived. A total of 26 wrestlers from Pongau were eager to become the "Hogmoar of the Dürrnberg," the tournament champion. Since ultimately, the winners would be worth their weight in salt, Salinen Austria AG generously sponsored the event in the form of 200 kilograms of salt, along with samples of the famous gourmet salt from the Dürrnberg known as "Salzzart."
Initially, the whole thing was planned as a mere exhibition competition, but the athletes, ranging from three to 40 years of age, were quickly swept up in the atmosphere, which was raised to a fever pitch with the help of Celtic music. Eventually, in the adult division, the newly crowned state champion Kilian Wallner emerged victorious in an exciting finale. Even the television folks were impressed. 

here some impressions
Salzwelten Salzburg Sommerveranstaltung Ranggler Erwachsene  | © HKro Bild Der Auslöser

The oldest evidence of Celtic wrestlers in Austria can be found on a sword sheath from a grave in the high valley above Hallstatt, depicting two men grappling on the ground. The Celtic style of wrestling has been preserved in its original form, though in various styles, throughout Western Europe. The goal of a match is to bring the opponent down to the ground using a full arsenal of holds and throws, making both shoulder blades of the adversary touch the ground. If neither competitor succeeds in doing so, the match is considered a draw, and both participants are eliminated. “Ranggeln” is particularly widespread in the Eastern Alps, especially in Tyrol including South Tyrol, Upper Carinthia, Salzburg, the Bavarian Highlands, and the Chiemgau region.

More Ranggeln events are planned on the Dürrnberg in the coming years, though a few optimizations of
"Natural Arena Dürrnberg" are still needed.

Salzwelten Salzburg Sommerveranstaltung Ranggeln Sieger  | © HKro Bilder Der Ausloeser

Despite the mixed bag of weather, numerous spectators came from near and far, attending the guided tours of the Celtic Village, followed by a salt tasting at the Salt Manufactory. The children (and even the younger wrestlers) eagerly listened to the tales of goblins told at the chieftain’s house and enjoyed freshly prepared campfire bread with homemade spreads and herbs from the garden in the Celtic Village. At the same time, visitors could savor the delectable culinary delights of "Bergmannsritschert" (a Celtic-style stew made from legumes and meat), the hearty "Pulled Pork Burger," along with other dishes and beverages from "Café Restaurant Salzblick" by Dominik Schilcher at Salzwelten Salzburg. Thus it was that the afternoon concluded in an extremely laid-back atmosphere, with the competitors in the tournament sitting down together in total harmony.

Are you excited to see what else is happening at Dürrnberg?
Then take a look at our event page. We constantly update the latest events here!

Salzwelten Destination Guide & Audio Guide

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