Saturday, 20. December 2014
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."
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.
Kid Left In Coma After Beaten By Teacher For Talking
This is the shocking image of a little Chinese girl before and after she was punished by her teacher - for talking in class.
Freezing Rain Causes Chaos In Central Europe
Freezing weather has arrived in Europe with a vengeance with a layer of ice blanketing parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic and causing traffic chaos.
Holey Smoke As Car Disappears Down Sinkhole
Motorist Wei Hsiao found himself in a hole lot of trouble in China when a giant sinkhole opened up on the road beneath him, swallowing his entire car.
Shock Moment Police Helicopter Explodes On Street
This is the moment a police helicopter exploded into a spinning ball of flame in Chile when a fire truck clipped one of its rotors.
More Than Twenty 100,000 GBP Motors Used In Bridal Convoy
A Chinese couple who wanted to have the most expensive wedding convoy possible arranged for a convoy of top of the range cars including a stretch Hummer followed by Lamborghinis, Porsches and other VIP motors.
Riot Police Star In Downs Syndrome Calendar
Spanish riot police have joined forces with Down's syndrome kids to take part in a special calendar for charity.
Chinese Nuclear Winter Smog Leaves Clinics Full
Fresh proof of Chinese scientists' claims that the country's toxic air pollution resembles a nuclear winter are shown by these images that show clinics and hospitals packed with patients suffering with trouble breathing.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|UN Security Expert Says One Jihad Poster Girl Is Dead|
|Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student|
|Russian Cops Beat Man To A Pulp In Front Of Children|
|Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus|
|Porsche Driver Crushed After Ploughing Into Lorry|
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.