Myrafälle: a mystical place

Vienna is one of my favourite cities in the world – I try to visit it at least once a year. Highlight of my last visit was a trip to a wonderfully mystical place: the “Myrafälle”.

This cataract about one hour’s drive outside of Vienna is one of those places, that the typical Vienna-tourist hardly gets to see. So my good friend Maria – she and her family live in Vienna – decided to Myra Fälletake me there. The “Myrafälle” are no waterfalls in the typical sense, they are more like cascades, where the water runs down the hill over huge rocks and stoney terraces: the visitors are presented with the beauty of this natural spectacle all the way up the hill. The hike takes about 45 minutes, aside and across the waters in a zigzag path – one never looses sight of the “Myrafälle”.

Legend says, that the waters of the cataract are fed by the tears of a young girl named Mirl. She grew up as a farmers daughter. A young count, living nearby in a castle on top of the hill, fell in love with her, but his father would not allow the marriage. After the old count had died, the young man did marry her despite his father’s wish. Myra Fälle (B&W)The young girl, who had been a humble person, turned into a selfish and supercilious woman and mandated, that everyone called her “Countess Mira”. One day, she she stood in front of an image of Holy Mary and said loudly: “You are beautiful, oh Holy Mary, but not as beautiful as me”. All over sudden, the sun vanished and a dark thunderstorm arose and took Mira up in the air. A big rock on top of the mountain opened up and closed around the malefactor. From that day on, Mira atones for her wrongs inside the mountain – no one can see her, but in quiet nights, one can hear her weeping. Her tears flow out of a crack in the rock and feed the “Myrafälle”.

There are even more myths about that place, telling stories about ghosts, explaining, why fish in the waters there are blind. So hiking up the hill, you might as well start asking yourselves, wether all over sudden, you will come across water-elves or nature-spirits…

That little excursion with my good friend Maria will stay a pleasant memory of a day spent in nature, in a wonderfully calm and serene atmosphere. And as for the mystical part of it – that’s how I remember that very day: