La s'Paules und s'Seppls Haus è una delle ultime testimonianze rimaste intatte della cultura contadina dell'Oberland tirolese.
The Oberinntaler Durchfahrtshof farm
Still in its original state, the farmhouse is one of the last of its kind to bear testament to the rural building culture of the Tyrolean Oberland region of Austria.
The building expanded over the centuries to become the classical "Oberinntaler Durchfahrtshof" and reached its current state during the Baroque era. People, animals and carts all used the same door; people were born, people died, people lived and worked together – all under the same roof. The farm was essentially "a small village under one roof", which is what children discover on guided tours of the museum.
"Gavelkind" – or the division of the estate, in particular the land, equally among all heirs – was once characteristic for the Tyrolean Oberland or supreme court. This special form of inheritance has, in part, been preserved until the 20th century. Under this inheritance law, not only the agricultural land or similar areas were divided, but the farmhouse and farm buildings, too. Very often, as was the case in "s'Paules und s'Seppls Haus", several families lived together under one roof. This also explains why there was not just one kitchen or parlour, but the same number as there were families living in the house.
Even the farm buildings were divided, including the stables, barn or pantries. People lived and worked under one roof, but in different spaces: together, but separately.
The effects of this form of inheritance were not just apparent in the buildings themselves, but also from an economic point of view. The agricultural land was divided into smaller plots and, as time went on, it became more and more difficult to earn a living from these plots. It became necessary to carry out additional manual labour or even to seek seasonal work elsewhere (e.g. as a migrant worker) in order to supplement the income.
S'Paules & S'Seppls
The last inhabitants of this farm were part of the Pale and Pregenzer families, whose 20 members lived under the same roof. The Pale family (s'Paules) moved out in 1963 and the Pregenzer (s'Seppls) family followed suit in 1983.
The families lived and worked together and had very little privacy. The cramped conditions in which they lived and worked must undoubtedly have led to minor conflicts and disputes. Nevertheless, they had to deal with the reality of their situation by either resolving or ignoring the problem – at least in the short term. After all, it would have been impossible to avoid each other entirely...