Kassel tower

86956 Schongau, Sonnengraben 7 (705 m über NN)

Striking tower at the south-east corner of the city wall. When the tower came into the possession of Kasselbräu in the 19th century, it was given the name "Kasselturm".

Audio commentary on station 4, Kasselturm

Excerpt from the audio commentary by Oliver Pötzsch

The so-called Kassel Tower, which you are now standing in front of, used to be part of the city wall. It received its current name in the 19th century because of the Schongau brewery "Kasselbräu", to whose property the tower temporarily belonged. The Henker‘s Daughter Festival has taken place several times in the large parking lot behind you, in front of many thousands of people, some of whom came from Switzerland, Austria, China or even the USA. It was an odd feeling for me to see the characters in my novels live for the first time - as if they were magically becoming flesh and blood.

If you go behind the tower, you will see the Lech flowing below. Where the bridge leads to Peiting was the dirty tanning district in Kuisl‘s time. The executioner lived here, outside of the city, also because as a so-called Wasenmeister he was something like the municipal garbage disposal. Just the look of an executioner brought bad luck, and people avoided him on the streets. Nevertheless, many well-behaved citizens of Schongau made a secret pilgrimage to him for a piece of gallows rope or other magical paraphernalia. For example, the blood of those who had been executed, which was supposed to help against epilepsy, was coveted. And the executioner earned more with the so-called poor sinner‘s fat than with the executions, as well as with bone meal or crushed mummy.

Squint your eyes and you will see the executioner‘s daughter Magdalena down there on the bridge. She has just come from Peiting, where she visited the old lady from Daubenberg. The Peitingen farmers have given the midwife a hard time because a boy was found dead in the Lech, and now they are looking for a scapegoat. Midwives have often had a reputation among men for being in league with Satan because they brought babies into the world—and sometimes, arguably, prevented them from being born.

If you‘re looking for the executioner‘s house... This unfortunately no longer available. When I visited the property a few years ago and spoke to the current owner, he shared bones he found while digging up his garden. I immediately thought of human bones... But they were only old animal bones. As the municipal waste manager, the executioner was also responsible for the disposal of animal carcasses. So please don‘t start digging!

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