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Seeking hermit for Austrian mountain hermitage


Would you be willing to live a hermit life in one of Austria’s last remote mountain hermitages (at 1,600m above sea level) with stunning views and no neighbours? The 350-year-old hermitage of Saalfelden near Salzburg, built on a cliff overlooking the town, is currently looking for a candidate to replace its current hermit.

As with anything, there are a few conditions to the position: the hermitage comes without heating, running water, electricity and (of course) internet. In addition to that, the successful candidate has to have a ‘connection to Christian belief’ and to be ‘at peace with themselves’.

However, being in the hermitage doesn’t mean complete seclusion, as it gets a steady stream of visitors who come to enjoy the view, or to pray, or simply to talk to someone – and the hermit has to be there for them. The hermitage is only open from April to November.

Saalfelden has been continuously inhabited since its creation, but there was no successor to the last hermit – a former priest and psychologist who returned to Vienna after one season. Although life was spartan but enjoyable, the former hermit mentions that he received criticism from the arch-conservative Catholics because of his lack of cowl or beard.

Keep that fact in mind if you wish to apply. The deadline is March 15, and applications are only accepted by post. Did we mention that the job is unpaid?

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