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Intangible cultural heritage

Traditions, knoweldge, craftsmanship techniques  
Photo: © UNESCO/James Muriuki

National Inventory

Since Austria ratified the Convention, the Austrian Commission for UNESCO has been entrusted with creating a National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria. Thanks to their unique qualities, each listed tradition contributes to cultural diversity beyond the nation’s borders and conveys the richness of Austria’s living cultural heritage in an understandable manner.  
Applications are accepted throughout the year. For more information on the application process and the criteria for inclusion, click here.

Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

The Custom Tailoring of Men’s Full Evening Dress

The Custom Tailoring of Men’s Full Evening Dress

The Knowledge of Artisanal Millers

The Knowledge of Artisanal Millers

Manual Graphic Printing

Manual Graphic Printing

Production of Bregenz Forest Juppen and Wearing of Women’s Traditional Dress

Production of Bregenz Forest Juppen and Wearing of Women’s Traditional Dress

Historical and Decorative Painting Techniques Using Traditional Materials

Historical and Decorative Painting Techniques Using Traditional Materials

Garnierspenzer, Hat, and Steppmieder

Garnierspenzer, Hat, and Steppmieder

Knowledge of Alpinism and Skills of Mountain and Ski Guides

Knowledge of Alpinism and Skills of Mountain and Ski Guides

Nativity Scene Traditions in Austria

Nativity Scene Traditions in Austria

Gautschen

Gautschen

South Bohemian Brass Band Music in Brand-Nagelberg

South Bohemian Brass Band Music in Brand-Nagelberg

The Traismauer Nativity Play

The Traismauer Nativity Play

Traditional Craftsmanship in Gmunden: Pottery Flaming

Traditional Craftsmanship in Gmunden: Pottery Flaming

Dry Stone Walling

Dry Stone Walling

Anklöpfeln (Knocking on Doors) in Stans

Anklöpfeln (Knocking on Doors) in Stans

Bad Mitterndorf Saint Nicholas Play

Bad Mitterndorf Saint Nicholas Play

The Saint Nicholas Play in Bad Mitterndorf is presented each year on 5 December at various locations. The play is acted out in indoor spaces as well as in the form of a procession. The performance was originally held in farmhouses and inns, but since 1959 the event has been presented on Bad Mitterndorf’s main square, thus making it accessible to a wider audience. The Saint Nicholas Play is made up of various figures that form a procession between the performance venues.
“Odlatzbia Oröwen” in the Wiesenwienerwald

“Odlatzbia Oröwen” in the Wiesenwienerwald

While the wild service tree ("Sorbus torminalis") occurs in many parts of Europe, it is very rare today and found for the most part only in woods. In Lower Austria, where the tree is referred to as “Odlatzbia” (High German: "Adlitzbeere"), the knowledge and handicrafts surrounding the “queen of the wild fruit” are passed on from one generation to the next. “Odlatzbia Oröwen” is the culmination of the work process that extends from the planting of the tree to the destemming of its fruit.
The Amras “Matschgerer”

The Amras “Matschgerer”

According to sources, the custom of the Amras “Matschgerer”, celebrated each year during the carnival season, dates back to the 17th century. This tradition, which has its roots in the village community, has been preserved to the present day despite the annexation of Amras by Innsbruck, the provincial capital, and urban influences. At the centre of the custom is, aside from the processions, above all the performances of the masked figures called “Matschgerer” before small audiences, with certain…
The Vintner’s Crown and the guardian tree in Neustift am Walde

The Vintner’s Crown and the guardian tree in Neustift am Walde

The customs of the vintners in the Lower Austrian town of Neustift am Walde date back to the reign of Empress Maria Theresa (1740-1780). The Neustift Fair is held annually on the feast day of the village’s patron saint, St. Roch, in August. The centrepiece of the four-day event is the festive procession of the traditional Neustift Vintner’s Crown and the erection of the “Hüterbaum” (“guardian tree”) after the special Holy Mass.
Stinatz Wedding - Stinjačka svadba

Stinatz Wedding - Stinjačka svadba

When they settled in the Southern Burgenland town of Stinatz/Stinjaki in the 16th century, Croats brought specific elements with them that, influenced by regional characteristics as well, made the weddings in this town a testimony to transcultural relations. The wedding custom combines orally transmitted traditions, such as the Stinatz dialect and folk songs, with traditional handicraft techniques like the production of the local (wedding) costumes. This custom illustrates the identity of the…
Kneipp therapy as traditional knowledge and practice according to the theories of Sebastian Kneipp

Kneipp therapy as traditional knowledge and practice according to the theories of Sebastian Kneipp

The Kneipp therapy (also known as “Kneipping”) is a traditional curative method that promotes the prevention of illness and the preservation of health. It is aimed at stimulating circulation, strengthening the immune system, and improving the vegetative nervous system. Kneipp therapy is a holistic method and encompasses five foundational pillars: Exercise, Nutrition, Water, Plants, and Balance. Classic Kneipping consists of multiple affusions of water as well as additional therapies including…
The craft of bookbinding

The craft of bookbinding

The knowledge surrounding the art of bookbinding was developed and passed on by monks in medieval monasteries. The handwritten books and their book covers were often elaborately decorated with gems and gold work. With the invention of book printing in the 15th century, the handicraft of bookbinding established itself as an independent trade, and this craft continues to be practised up to the present day with traditional means.
The "Fuhr" on Lake Hallstatt

The "Fuhr" on Lake Hallstatt

The wooden, flat-bottomed boats called "Fuhren" have a long history on Lake Hallstatt as a means of transporting goods and people. As early as the 13th century, following the reopening of the salt mine in Hallstatt, shipping on the lake and on the Traun River became necessary in order to transport the salt. Today, only very few people still have a mastery of this type of navigation.
The art and craft of stonemasonry

The art and craft of stonemasonry

For millennia, stonemasons have been responsible for the creation of countless religious and secular buildings and pass on their knowledge surrounding the use and cutting of stone, a naturally occurring raw material. Still today, the workpieces produced by stonemasons shape the appearance of many cities and towns.
Ceremonial Marksmen in Upper Austria

Ceremonial Marksmen in Upper Austria

The traditions of Upper Austria’s ceremonial marksmen are diverse and characterised by various regionally specific elements such as traditional costumes, the "Schützentanz" [Marksmen’s Dance], and special marksmen’s terminology. The practices in which they engage follow the annual calendar’s sequence of religious and secular celebrations. Marksmen’s traditions are hence an important element of regional identity for the communities of people who practice them.
In d’Grean gehen – An Outing in the Greenery

In d’Grean gehen – An Outing in the Greenery

On Easter Monday, the northern Weinviertel region’s winemakers invite people to the various cellar lanes ("Kellertrift") for an “outing in the greenery” (referred to as "in d’Grean gehen" or "Grean geh") to enjoy food & drink. This particular type of outing, which is practised in several of this region’s communities, is characterised by regionally specific religious and secular elements.