Wednesday, 30. July 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."
Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.
Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap
A Japanese man inspired by Austrian pervert Wolfgang Priklopil kidnapped a 10-year-old girl and kept her in a purpose-built cellar where he planned to train her to become the perfect wife.
German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.
Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.
Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.
Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.
Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched
Austrian police are hunting crooks who broke open a market stall and stole a 1.5 metre sausage worth over 2,000 EUR in the picture postcard village of St Michael in the region of Lungau.
Multi Coloured UFOs In Formation Over Austria
Austrian officials say they are baffled to explain a UFO sighting in which dozens of people reported seeing between 50 and 100 objects flying in formation.
Priests Furious After Porn Films Shot In Local Parish Church
A furious Austrian Catholic priest has complained to police after discovering a local woman had apparently been using his church as a studio to make porn films.
Two metre snake sends woman motorist fleeing
An Austrian motorist got a shock after noticing something hanging down from under her car – and realising it was a huge two metre snake that had ended up curled around the engine.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Priest Claims Hate Texts Are From Demon Spirit|
|Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong|
|German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid|
|Ice Tea Worth 20K Stolen And Emptied So Bottles Can Be Sold For 11 GBP|
|Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap|
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.