Gresten, Austria: Old Postcard Photos

Here are some old postcards I collected. This is the ancestral Austrian village of the Hasselbachers 300 years later! The one labeled "Gruss aus Gresten" (Greetings from Gresten) is dated 1916. It is a view to the south up the Iron Road to the mountains of the Alps. The other postcard is dated 1917 and is a view towards the north-west and the foot of the Grestenbachgraben–my valley! My German cousin says they are from Viennese visitors to Gresten writing to friends about the rain that cut their visit short, or from prospective pen pals who had a nice holiday in Gresten. My cousin also tells me that in the Schloß Stiebar (Castle) on the south end of the village still lives the family of a grand-grand-grandchild of Kaiser Franz Josef I., Graf Seefried. I visited Gresten in April of 2008 and have been posting my new materials. I will add some modern photos of the Village that can be compared. [I have been adding postcards as I find them.]  Recall that the church is at the north end of town, and the church tower is on the side of the church pointing to the west and the Grestenbach valley.

Help wanted: Can anyone help me understand "Sommerfrische Gresten?

Was bedeutet "Sommerfrische Gresten?

About 1901?

Dated 1950

In the photo above looking south one can see the church, and across the valley, the Schloß Stiebar or castle. (Two angles)

This one shows the best view up the Grestenbach Graben, the valley of the Hasselbachers.


Dated 1950


The two images below show the view down the main street of Gresten.  The first is a post card from about 1972 and the second a photograph I took myself in 2009.  The name of the guesthouse has changed.  The church can be seen on the left down the street.


I recieved a wonderful note from someone who lived in Gresten in the 1940s. Here is her (edited for privacy) note and the postcards she sent.

"In 1941, at age 13, I was sent through "Kinderlandverschickung" from my home town in [Germany] to Gresten. We were about 25 girls and lived in the "Poechhacker's", house with a butcher shop downstairs. Needless to say we had a wonderful time, hiking and swimming in the village swimming pool, travelling to Kloster Melk and Vienna.

We visited Otto Graf Seefried and Schloss Stiebar. I remember a big marble stair case with a armored Knight standing at attention, and a private theater with chests full of old costumes, that we were allowed to use for our arranged plays.

After we left again, I kept in touch with Graf Seefried till he died. I visited Gresten again in 1954 and was invited to dinner by his gracious wife. She was the granddaughter of Emperor Franz Josef.

This is just a snippet of an unforgettable and adventures time in my youth in Gresten."

Here is a screenshot from Ebay that I was unable to purchase. Date from correspondence on reverse suggests as late as 1973. The lower end of the Grestenbach valley is on the left side of the image.

Here is a composit postcard of photos in the Sommerfrische series

Photo of Gresten labeled on reverse as from 1950.

If you would like a high resolution file for any of the above, drop me a line.

Peter Hasselbacher
March 20, 2008. Rev.6-27-08; 11-8-08; 10Sep2010; Aug 2012, Jan 2013, May 2013, Jan 2014, May 2015, Feb 2016, July 2017

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