Raimund and his work, his life as a blacksmith in Steinegg
Raimund Resch is a man of many parts; he is the village blacksmith, lord of a castle, an art lover and a former cowboy. Yet above all, first and foremost he is one thing: a dyed-in-the-wool Steinegger!
Steinegg is one of the few places in South Tyrol to have been the home of a so-called “double castle” in the Dark Ages. However, anyone today who sets out from Steinegg towards Tschatscher Bühl along the steep walkway to the castle should not be disappointed if they only find a half-ruin there. There is very little left of the residential part of the castle, but the remains of the erstwhile fortress are always worth a quick look. It even still has a “lord of the castle”, even if he is concerned less with stone and more with iron, less with decay and more with creating things. He is the Steinegg village blacksmith, Raimund Resch.
Forging his Own Fortune
Raimund, known in the village as Schmunzl, was evidently in quite a hurry to get on with life. That is to say that he did not even give his heavily pregnant mother the chance to drive to the hospital in Bolzano to give birth to him. Instead he was born in his parents’ home. Perhaps he just wanted to see the light of day for the first time in Steinegg – just like his mother and father before him – so that today he would be able to say that he is a “proper” Steinegger. No matter what, the hurry of the past has today given way to peace and quiet. Soberly, Raimund stands in front of his forge working at the fire-spitting gas oven on delicate iron rose petals for a cross for a grave. Whilst his brothers all went abroad to study, Raimund remained in Steinegg and learned the blacksmith’s craft from his father. When the latter passed away, he took over the smithy and today still lives and works in the building where he was born and brought up.
This impressive stability is something that, incidentally, he shares with the remaining stones of his fortress, and it is therefore no surprise that he became the lord of the castle. Since then he has been mulling over what he could do with it. The idea of building an exhibition space for all kinds of artists was born out of his interest in all things creative. Yet sadly this nice idea proved too much for his budget. So in the meantime, Raimund is content with the wonderful panoramic view towards the Eisack Valley and the Rosengarten mountain, since, as he says: “The castle has been here since the 12th century, so I think I can take my time.”
The Middle Ages are, however, not Raimund’s only foray into the past: for many years he rode with Steinegg’s cowboy formation team, the “Stone Corners” - naturally in proper style with his own horse and in full cowboy gear. Every year it took him with his 20-strong formation from Steinegg to Verona to a large international horse fair. To get there the “Stone Corners” travelled for four days with their caravan through northern Italy, together with four coaches packed with everything that a cowboy could dream of, but especially beer and whisky. They even had living chickens with them, but, according to Raimund, they mostly ended up in the soup. The cowboys slept under the stars, there were camp fires and singing, in other words a real adventure.
Nevertheless, Schmunzl (which means “Smiler”), always felt the pull of home in Steinegg. This is where he feels most comfortable! Steinegg, according to Raimund, lacks nothing: it is peaceful, sunny and full of lovely people. And if, on top of all that, one is lord of the castle, why would one want to be anywhere else?
"Mir Kloatznstingl" are stories from Collepietra, insights into what makes us locals, who we are, what we do and love, what moves us. Let the videos move you, too: Breathe our life, feel our pulse beat, feel our feeling for life.
Author: Sonnleiten Dolomiten Residence