The story: we where always told that our forefather traveled with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He brought a painting to Jerusalem but nobody in our family knew where the painting was anymore.
The first time I went to Jerusalem I searched all over the different churches and holy places to find the painting but had no success.
Back to Jerusalem in 1994 and the last day there I met my former fellow from elementary school in Ortisei, Karin Goller. She is professor at Jerusalem Low School and it is always a great pleasure to meet such a bright, successful but still unpretentious and charming women. I spoke to her about the missed canvas and she said: "wow I feel like shivering, a couple of weeks ago I met the Austrian Ambassador at the Austrian Hospice and we saw an old painting and the Val Gardena was mentioned on it".
The next morning, a few hours before my plane left I run to the beautiful old hospice on the Via Sacra at the 6th station. I rang the bell and in my excitement I mumbled a few phrases about a painting I was looking for. People there was very friendly and they allowed me in. In the main hallway at the left I saw the above painting with the following inscription:
Dedicata ab Aloisio Kostner pictore St. Udalrici valis Gardenae Tirolis Austriae.
Everybody was excited when I told them my story and they allowed me to take pictures. A few months later I had some more incredible luck. In an antique book store in Bolzano I found the book on the pilgrimage of 500 Tyroleans to the Holy Land in l898. It is a very detailed account on the tour which took them one week on the ship to traverse the Mediterranean, one week to visit and an other week to come back on there steamboat.
The pictures are from this book. The people on the outskirts of Jerusalem are:
fltr: unknown man in the typical Sarntal costume; Alois Kostner da Pertan, my ancestor; Dr. Konrad Moroder (physician); F. Anderlan the parish of Urtijei; the parish of Laion Trenkwalder; Alois Kostner da Slujuc (he carved a wooden statue for the Austrian Hospice's chapel); on the white mule F. Senoner da Costa and along the wall the organ player (urgrister) Metz; finally a teacher of Dorf Tirol.
Pater Angelus Stummer: Tirol an des Erlösers Grab. Brixen 1899
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