Semerwirt, today music school

Marienplatz, 86956 Schongau, Germany(710 m über NN)

In the 16th century, merchants who stored their goods in the nearby Ballenhaus stayed at the "Zum Stern" inn. In the current music school, bourgeois palace from the Baroque period; rich stucco work by Franz Schmuzer on the first and second floors; 1902 to 1926 town hall, oldest mention 1580 as inn "Zum Stern".

Audio commentary on station 3, Semerwirt, today music school

Excerpt from the audio commentary by Oliver Pötzsch

I hope you are dressed decently and your shoes are clean because you are now standing in front of the classiest bar in town. Well, in reality you are now standing in front of the municipal music school, but in the executioner Kuisl‘s time the inn "Zum Goldenen Stern" was located here, which was owned by the Semer family for a long time. You can also see how powerful this host family was by the fact that in some of my novels a certain Karl Semer is the first mayor of Schongau. The Gothic town house was built in 1515 and served temporarily as the town hall at the beginning of the 20th century. Staircase, some door scaffolding, the valuable stucco and the preserved house chapel date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

The executioner‘s meal was by no means water and dry bread. In a chronicle I found the menu sequence of an Augsburg executioner‘s meal from the 18th century. It dragged on for three days. To list the menu in full would go beyond the scope here - and I don‘t want to make your mouth water unnecessarily. Let me just say that there was coffee with lard, veal butter pie, baked fish, roast chicken and capons. And of course lots of alcohol. Before the execution, the innkeeper served an extra liter of wine, and not the worst!

Why the ritual of the executioner‘s meal exists is still not entirely clear. In the olden days, people probably wanted to placate those sentenced to death so that they would not return from the dead as a hungry spirit of revenge. Imagine such a poor gallows bird who never had more life than barley porridge and groats - and then this! Just whether the delinquents really always ate with a god-blessed appetite so shortly before going to the scaffold? At least the alcohol served its purpose: the convicts did not notice much of their execution.

Rich and well-known guests stayed at the Stern at the time, including the French writer Michel de Montaigne, who mentioned the inn in his travel diary in the 16th century. In my novel "The Hangman‘s Daughter and the Curse of the Plague" it is someone of princely blood who moves into a few rooms there. We will not meet Magdalena here. She‘s just looking for her father, who hangs around in the seedy taverns behind the Ballenhaus, for example in the Glocke. Jakob Kuisl likes to drink too much here. Because even an executioner needs a beer sometimes. However, the executioner had his own jug and also his very special place. Before entering the tavern, he had to ask permission. But who says no when the executioner asks them to do something?

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