The K.U.K. Museum
The K.u.K. Bagni Egart Museum in Parcines, in the Vinschgau Valley, is located in Tyrol’s most ancient bathhouse, which was in use already in the first half of the 1400s.
About half a century ago, Cavalier Karl Platino (“cavaliere” is a honorific address similar to the English “sir”) – better known as Onkel Taa (“Uncle Taa”) – decided to combine his greatest passions, cooking and collecting, into a place that is both a restaurant and a regional museum, and which just happens to guard in its hypogeum a hot spring popular since Roman times.
While the restaurant offers extremely refined dishes – some including snails – the museum gives visitors the chance to admire vintage utensils and china, work tools relating to Tyrol’s folk history, Art Nouveau cabinets and furniture, objects from the Biedermaier period, minerals and fossils, 19th century dolls…
There is also a very interesting historical section dedicated to the House of Habsburg, and in particular to Emperor Franz Joseph I and his wife, Elisabeth of Austria, better knows as Princess Sisi.
When the princess came to Merano, she often visited the Egart spa. She enjoyed writing sad poems, such as this one: “I, poor exhausted hare, / need rest, stop it! / Until the horn sounds / I will stay here, without moving […] / Hidden in the leaves’ heart / maybe I will finally be able / to find peace and oblivion.”
We like to imagine she was inspired such lyric melancholy by the peace she found in this corner of the earth.