St. Veiter meadow market

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The St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt in 2008

The St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt (formerly: Michaelimarkt ) in Sankt Veit an der Glan is a traditional folk festival . Over the course of six centuries - the 659th Wiesenmarkt will be held in 2020 - the St. Veiter "Wies'n" has developed into one of the largest folk festivals in Austria .

Duration and procedure

The " Freyung " is set up 14 days in advance on the St. Veiter main square. The medieval legal monument is a symbol of market organization and market freedom.

The meadow market begins on the last Saturday in September with a parade through the city, which has around 1400 active participants. All cultural and traditional associations in the city and the surrounding area take part in the opening parade. Then the market regulations are read out by the " Herold ", the market opening is set up and the ten-day festival is officially opened by tapping the keg .

The Wiesenmarkt lasted 17 days until after the Second World War and was made up of three parts. It started with the " Vormarkt ", developed into the " Hauptmarkt " on the second weekend and ended on the third Monday with the so-called " Nachmarkt ". After the Second World War, the purchasing power of the population sank, the car was still a rarity, the train only ran during the day and so only a few visitors came to the Wies'n on the weekdays and especially in the evenings. Today the market starts on the last Saturday in September and lasts for 10 days.

The meadow market today

While the market character has always been important over the centuries - thousands of horses and cattle often changed their owners - "the Wies'n" has mutated more and more into a folk festival with an entertaining character in the past few years and decades. Nevertheless, hundreds of fieries and barkers still dominate the action on the two weekends . On the Wiesenmarkt area there are grocer's, antique and flea markets, car and agricultural shows as well as a small animal show and economic exhibitions.

The dimensions using the example of the 655th Wiesenmarkt (2016): The amusement park consisted of 40 modern amusement devices and rides with a children's street. There were two large festival halls with dance, show and music performances and 24 Wiesenmarkt restaurants with traditional and international dishes as well as other stalls.

Since 2000, the “Schaubude” association has been trying to revive old structures on around 1700 square meters. The club has a stronger tradition: bowling is again on sand bowling alleys. The “Schaubude” association operates the Wiesenmarkt bowling alley. "Wiesenmarkt Highland Games" are organized, art and craft workshops are revitalized, a bakery is set up and puppet and fairy tale theater and a petting zoo for children are offered.

Economic and socio-cultural importance

The festival is also of great economic importance for the city: During the festival, up to 300,000 visitors from Carinthia, the neighboring federal states, but also from the neighboring states of Slovenia and Italy are counted, and a total annual turnover of up to 20 million euros is achieved. In addition to an amusement park, which is obligatory for folk festivals, music groups as well as dance and show programs provide entertainment in which Udo Jürgens or the Roletts (dubbed the Carinthian Beatles ) celebrated their first successes at the time.

More than 10,000 spectators - more than ever before - lined the streets of the city in 2016 for the large parade with 2000 participants on the occasion of the opening of the 655th Wiesenmarkt.

150,000 liters of beer were served in 2016, 20,000 chickens (chicken) and 50,000 sausages were eaten.


  • After 39 years, the Roletts, the band around singers Dieter Themel and Freddy Bein, returned to the 645th Wiesenmarkt on the St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt. The last time they performed here was in the late 1960s.
  • The 635th St. Veiter Wiesenmarkt took place without the sand bowling alley. The traditional pastime has been banned from the market area. The former bowlers went to the Wiesenmarkt with black armbands. After further protests, the traditional "Wies'nkegeln" (Oktoberfest bowling) found its way back to the Wiesenmarkt at the 636th Wiesenmarkt: it was possible to "push, put on and paw" again. Then it was over again: the market had to do without bowlers for three years. There was no operator anymore and the municipality also threw in that sand bowling is about a lot of money and that livelihoods are endangered as a result. In 2001 the protests broke out. Countless letters to the editor appeared in the Carinthian daily and weekly newspapers. The municipality was accused of destroying customs through "tough economic interests" and of letting the ancient market degenerate into an exchangeable mass event. In 2002 the "Schaubude" association brought the bowling alleys back to the Wies'n.
  • The St.Veiter writer Sebastian Weberitsch described the market of his childhood in the monarchy around 1924: “If the farmer has money, he lets others live; some left their money on the meadow market and scolded a gulden on the bowling alley until the cow was gone. "
  • Then as now, the Freyung was set up 14 days before the start of the market. The Freyung was probably stolen in the 15th century and placed in Maria Saal. Since the market always has to take place at the Freyung site, traffickers, who at the time were considered to be dishonorable, brought the Freyung back to St. Veit an der Glan. As a result, the dealers acquired a number of special rights and led the Wiesenmarkt parade at the beginning of the market for centuries. The St. Veit original “Mote” (correct: Matthias Miklautschitsch) took over this custom and led the move with his goats (Carinthian: his “Goas”) for decades. With his passing, this custom also died. At the beginning of the 1980s the Freyung was stolen again and was found in the courtyard of the Nagele inn. Since then there have been two Freyungen - the one made of plastic.
  • The historical Freyung has been lost over the centuries. When the custom of the ceremonial setting up of the medieval legal monument was tried to be reintroduced in 1932, it could no longer be found. Since then, a specially made copy of the Freyung from the 18th century that has been preserved in Klagenfurt has been used in St. Veit . The coat of arms of the wooden hand that holds the market judge's sword adorns a representation of the city patron Vitus (Veit) in St. Veit . The Lindwurm can be seen at this point in the Klagenfurt original . The wooden copy of the Freyung is only used for ceremonial display in St. Veit, after which it is exchanged for another plastic copy for security reasons.
  • Differences arose in spring 2019 after a stand operator had visitor counts carried out independently of the city and as a result only reported around half of the visitors than had previously been announced by the city. As a result, the mayor disqualified the counting methods as inadmissible.


  • Sebastian Weberitsch : From the life of Doctor Sebastian Weberitsch. Verlag Ferd. Kleinmayr, Klagenfurt 1947.
  • S. Weberitsch: From the life of Doctor Sebastian Weberitsch. Verlag für Kulturpolitik, Munich 1924.
  • Andreas Besold among others: St.Veit an der Glan. Heyn Verlag, Klagenfurt 1997, ISBN 3-85366-840-2 .
  • Municipality of St.Veit an der Glan: The St.Veit city book. St.Veit / Glan 1991, OCLC 452630300 .
  • Karl Dinklage: History of the St. Veiter meadow market and the market system of the ducal town of St. Veit. Self-published, 1962.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Georg Lux: Why the St. Veiter Freyung has Klagenfurt roots. In: Small newspaper. September 20, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017 .
  2. Far fewer visitors to the Wiesenmarkt on ORF from March 22, 2019, accessed on April 1, 2019
  3. According to visitor counting, speaker Egger is counted in mein from April 1, 2019, accessed on April 1, 2019