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Sigmund Freud

“Here, where it is beautiful in a very special way”

“Here on the Ritten plateau it is divinely beautiful and comfortable.
I have discovered in myself an inexhaustible desire to do nothing, tempered by two-hour sessions reading new material, and I simply do not want to think about the beginning of next month and the heavy workload it will bring.”

These lines were written by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the world famous Viennese psychologist and the father of psychoanalysis, at the beginning of September 1911 from the Hotel Bemelmans-Post in Klobenstein to his professional colleague C. G. Jung. The two had been in frequent contact by letter since 1906, also meeting from time to time, although they broke in 1913-14.
Sigmund Freud is surely the most famous guest to stay at the Bemelmans-Post. He is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century and his theories and methods provoke discussion even today.

In 1911, Freud spent the months of August and September at the Hotel Bemelmans-Post together with his family. Here he wrote the first of a total of four essays for his 1913 work “Totem and Taboo. Resemblances between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics”. Here Freud tried by means of psychoanalysis to clarify issues that were exercising the ethnologists of his time.

In “The horror of incest”, an essay he wrote on the Ritten, he asks why the horror of incest is so pronounced in primitive societies. The second part is “Taboo and emotional ambivalence”, the third is entitled “Animism, magic and the omnipotence of thought” and the fourth “The return of totemism in childhood”.

Freud discovered his holiday home in Klobenstein on a journey that at Easter 1911 led him to Trento, Bozen and surroundings. Initially the Freud family had planned to leave Klobenstein at the end of August 1911 after a stay of some weeks and then to travel to Caldonazzo in Trentino. But the unusually warm temperatures on the Ritten caused them to decide to extend their stay.

“I want to stay until 14 September here, where it is beautiful in a very special way [...] Since my mental powers have now been reawakened, I am working in an area where you will be surprised to find me”, Sigmund Freud wrote to Jung on 20 August. He only actually left Klobenstein on 15 September, because on the 14th Martha and Sigmund Freud had celebrated their silver wedding anniversary there. Celebrations and special events are to this day staged in the room where the ceremony was held, which now bears the name of the “Freud Veranda” in honour of the illustrious guests. Visitors to the Bemelmans-Post also use it for reading or playing cards.

The furniture from the room occupied by Freud at the Bemelmans-Post has also been preserved and is still in use: you are standing in one of the two “Biedermeier” studio suites.

In September 1913 the Freuds again holidayed in Klobenstein, this time just wife Martha and daughter Anna, however, as Sigmund was at an international congress in Munich. “The weather is also most surprisingly fine, with snow on the mountains and wonderful sun. [...] I am not sure, but I think I find Klobenstein perhaps more beautiful than all the other places we have been until now”, wrote Anna to her father on 11 September 1913. A great compliment to the Hotel Bemelmans-Post and to the Ritten, as the Freuds were a much-travelled family.