Oetz is a small village located on the valley floor between the sites of two ancient rockslides. It lies at the start of the Ötztal Valley, in the shadow of the mighty Acherkogel mountain.
In Tirol, those from the western end of the Inntal Valley and the nearby side valleys are said to be stubborn. This characteristic can result in narrow-mindedness – but it can also be the foundation for determination and perseverance. One thing is for sure: the village of Oetz at the entrance to the Ötztal Valley has many tales to tell of stubborn and determined sons and daughters.
At the turn of the 18th century, long before anyone came to Oetz searching to escape the summer heat in the valley, explore the surrounding mountains or cruise down the slopes, Matthias Bernhard Braun set out from the Ötztal Valley to explore the world. The young sculptor’s travels took him to Italy, where he drew inspiration from the great renaissance and baroque masters, before settling in Prague. Local collector and art historian Hans Jäger (1937-2012) was the first to document and publish many of Braun’s works in Bohemia, including statues on the Charles Bridge in the heart of the Czech capital. Jäger also spent decades collecting documents and artefacts from the farming community in the valley as well as landscape paintings and photographs. He placed these objects on display in a renovated barn next to his own house before in 2004 the Hans Jäger Collection was moved to the Turmmuseum Oetz.