Spinnerin am Kreuz: A Viennese Love Story
An early Gothic column on top of the Wienerberg in the 10th District celebrates the Legend of the Spinnerin (a woman who spins). This medieval wayside shrine, first mentioned in 1296, is one of a few early Gothic structures surviving in Vienna today.
During one of the crusades, (it is not clear exactly which one), a knight named Hintberg bid his fair bride a fond farewell on this spot before joining thousands of his fellow crusaders on their march to liberate Jerusalem. Following the departure of her knight, the young bride returned to the spot of their farewell and daily spun her wool from first light to last, waiting for her husband’s return. The weeks, months, and years passed, as did her youth, but still the Spinnerin persevered in her faith that her long-absent mate would one day return.
Here, the various accounts of the legend diverge. Some sources indicate that the knight Hintberg did return and that the Spinnerin used the proceeds from her spinning to build this column in thanksgiving. Other accounts indicate that, although the Spinnerin’s faith never faltered, her sweet lord and master was lost as were many thousands of other crusaders in those long ago days.
The Spinnerin am Kreuz is located on top of the Wienerberg in front of the George Washington Hof (public housing complex) on Triesterstrasse 52. There is a mural illustrating the legend dating from the 1920s further down on the opposite side of the street.
Article Author: Billie Ann Lopez
Billie Ann Lopez was an American freelance writer, born and raised in Kansas. For many years she called Vienna, the city she loved, home. Billie Ann’s articles tell you about the legends, places in Austria not often on the tourist maps and subjects close to her heart. Informative, descriptive and interesting she acquainted you with her Austria.
Billie Ann Lopez passed away September 13th, 2003. She enriched our lives through her friendship, caring and writings. Billie Ann, you are greatly missed. Silvia McDonald