Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Friday, 28 June 2013

Painted houses

One noticeable custom in the Tirol, and for all I know elsewhere in Austria and southern Germany, is painting pictures on the otherwise plain white plaster or mortar exterior.
It may be just for decoration, or often a painting of the Madonna or saints, sometimes of some allegorical or perhaps local reference, and sometimes to announce the function of the building, as in this modern addition to a village post office.

The same wall has a much older, and much less modest announcement. A previous owner clearly wished to show how important he had become, and where that importance was derived from, in an inscription which reads:

Karl VI, Roman Emperor and German King, King in Castile, Aragon, Leon, the Two Sicilies, in Jerusalem, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Navarre, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Mallorca, Seville, Sardinia, Corsica, Cordoba, Murcia, Jaen, Algarve, Algeciras, Gibraltar, of the Canaries and West Indian Islands of the American Continent, and King of the Atlantic Ocean; Archduke in Austria, Duke in Burgundy, Brabant, Milan, Styria, Carinthia, Krain and Limburg, Luxembourg, Geldern, Wurttemberg, Upper and Lower Silesia, Calabria and Athens, Prince in Swabia, Catalonia and Asturias, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire in Burgau, Moravia, Upper and Lower Lausitz, Prince-Count in Habsburg, Flanders, Tirol, Pfirt, Kieburg, Gorz and Artois, Landgrave in Alsace, Margave in Christano, Count in Namur and Roussillon, Lord of the Wendish March, in Portenau, Biscaya, Molins, Salins, Tripolis and Mechelen,

grants to ERNST FRIEDRICH DEBER, Counsellor and Chancellor of the Weingarten Imperial Foundation, who achieved the academic degree of Licentiate in Laws from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau and thereupon entered the service of the Weingarten Monastery, where he has now occupied for 35 years the post of Counsellor and Real Chancellor, and on account of his experience of the entire Imperial Prelatic College in Swabia was accepted as Syndicus in 1720 and as such appointed as representative to the Swabian community and related himself by marriage to the ancient and noble family of Pock von und zu Arnholz,

hereditary rank of nobility with arms and the additional freedom to style himself "VON DEBERN".

Vienna, 5 July 1725.

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