Fucking Village in Austria


Fucking is an Austrian village in the municipality of Tarsdorf, in the Innviertel region of western Upper Austria. The village is 33 kilometres (21 mi) north of Salzburg, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of the German border. Despite having a population of only 104, the village has become famous for its name in the English-speaking world. Its road signs are a popular visitor attraction, and were often stolen by souvenir-hunting tourists until 2005, when they were modified to be theft-resistant.

Fucking's most famous feature is four traffic signs with its name on them, beside which tourists stop to have their photograph taken, owing to the identical spelling to the present participle of the English-language profanity fuck. One version of the sign features the village name with an additional sign beneath it, with the words "Bitte – nicht so schnell!" ("Please — not so fast!"). The lower sign — which features an illustration of two children — is meant to advise drivers to watch their speed, but tourists see this as a double meaning coupled with the village name.


British and American soldiers based in nearby Salzburg noticed the name after World War II, and began to travel to the village to have their photos taken beside the signs while striking various poses. The local residents, the Fuckingers, were considerably bemused as they had not previously been aware of the meaning of their village's name when read as English. Since then, the number of visitors to Fucking has increased, with the occasional visit by a tour bus.
The village is especially popular with British tourists; as a local tour guide explained: "The Germans all want to see Mozart's house in Salzburg; the Americans want to see where The Sound of Music was filmed; the Japanese want Hitler's birthplace in Braunau; but for the British, it's all about Fucking."[11] Augustina Lindlbauer, the manager of an area guesthouse, noted that the area had lakes, forests, and vistas worth visiting, but there was an "obsession with Fucking". Lindlbauer recalled how she had to explain to a British female tourist "that there were no Fucking postcards."
The road signs were commonly stolen as souvenirs — the only crime which has been reported in the village. It cost some 300 Euros to replace each stolen sign, and the costs were reflected in the taxes that local residents pay. In 2004, owing mainly to the stolen signs, a vote was held on changing the village's name, but the residents voted against doing so. Tarsdorf municipality's mayor Siegfried Höppl stated that it was decided to keep the name as it had existed for 800 years, and further stated that "[e]veryone here knows what it means in English, but for us Fucking is Fucking — and it's going to stay Fucking."


After a spate of thefts, which included the theft of all four signs in one night, and a total of fifteen over a period of several years, in August, 2005, the road signs were replaced with theft-resistant signs welded to steel and secured in concrete to prevent them being stolen. Mayor Höppl said that officials were fed up with English-speaking tourists stealing the signs, and noted that with the newly-installed signs it would take all night to steal one. Höppl said that tourists, and the money they bring to the area, were welcome, but locals were sick of replacing the signs. Kommandant Schmitzberger, the local police chief, also hinted at other avenues to stop what he calls "foreign criminals" from disturbing order in the village. Regarding these "other avenues", Schmitzberger stated, "[w]hat they are, I am not at liberty to disclose, but we will not stand for the Fucking signs being removed. It may be very amusing for you British, but Fucking is simply Fucking to us. What is this big Fucking joke? It is puerile."


A local resident of the village, Josef Winkler, attempted to cash in on the village's fame by setting up a website (www.fucking.at), on which he sold t-shirts featuring the village road signs, with the slogan "I like Fucking in Austria" printed on them. According to Winkler, they were selling well, and he was in negotiations with Maxim regarding possible promotions, but was forced to stop his venture after being shouted at and threatened in the street. Winkler said, "It was a bit of fun that didn't hurt anyone, but I found out that in this region you just can't do something like that. The whole thing became a real trial for me and I had to stop. People are very traditional here."

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Did you Like this - Must Share