The small hut on the Plose mountain belonging to the Hinteregger family looked down on the roof of a mysterious building, long since abandoned to nature. Until recently, no one knew what it was.
As usual, Alois was driving through the forest road but one day his curiosity got the better of him. He decided to stop his car in the nearby clearing to have a closer look. The overgrown path soon led to a gate and, after climbing over the fence into the grounds, Alois entered the dimly-lit wooden building. Once inside, he was enraptured at the spectacle. As he later reported: »I was overwhelmed at what I saw in there, and immediately realised this was an extraordinary place. I felt an immense energy in this particular ambience, which seemed to come from the forest and the surrounding mountains«. The sensation that gripped Alois on that occasion never left him and he later went to the South Tyrol Monument Office to see if he could find out more. Here’s what he discovered:
Just before the outbreak of World War I, the Austrian Emperor decided to create a health resort with a sanatorium for lung disorders right here in Palmschoss. He apparently chose this location because of its good climate, pure air and the excellent quality of the spring waters of the Plose river. A celebrity architect of the time, Otto Wagner, was appointed to lead this major project. However, due to the outbreak of the War and the sudden death of the architect, it failed to go ahead as planned. Originally planned as a larger structure, the Art Nouveau building was scaled down. Amidst the turmoil of the successive world wars and their aftermath, the abandoned buildings remained neglected for decades. That is, until Alois Hinteregger’s curiosity led him to the site ...