Saturday, 28. February 2015
01. 07. 14. - 15:00
A nun has been chosen as the new hermit of a Swiss cave.
Sister Benedikta, 51, - real name Franziska Sigel - beat 100 other applicants for the lonesome post.
For the last 20 years Sister Benedikta has been running a childrens' home in Bern, Switzerland. She has four children herself and became a nun after her divorce.
The only qualification she needed for the post - apart from a desire to live in a hole - was the skill to tend a small garden, and of course dispense wisdom to anyone that might turn up at the Verena Gorge Hermitage, as well as giving courses in meditation three times a week.
She also had to be fit as the climb to the cave in the Verena Gorge, to the north of the city of Solothurn in Switzerland, is quite steep.
The name of the hermitage refers to Saint Verena, who is said to have passed near the area and lived in a cave near Solothurn.
But while that may be the legend, the hermitage is known to have been in existence since the 17th Century. The site at the end of the steep hiking trail in the gorge even features stations of the cross dating from 1613, and the first mention of the region's hermit is in a note written in 1442.
Sister Benedikta will get a wage paid by the local council which controversially allowed a woman to get the job the last time it was available in 2008. But 68-year-old Verena Dubacher who was the first woman in 600 years to hold the position, had to step down on health grounds after five years as official hermit. Prior to her, the job was held for 25 years by Johannes Leutenegger.
Mayor Sergio Wyniger said: "We were surprised by the amount of interest we had this time round. We have had applications from all over Europe."
He said: "The cave is a protected monument and a valuable part of the region's cultural heritage. The job of hermit is an important one."
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Lion Fed On Milk To Keep Him Small For Pictures|
|Mentally Ill Girl Locked Up By Parents For 6 Years|
|Porn Star Arrested After High Speed Police Chase|
|Wanted Mafia Boss Captured After YouTube Baptism|
|Czech Oscars Team Fail To Spot Jim Carrey Hoaxer|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.