The villages Pertisau and Maurach belong to the municipality of Eben and are the main tourism hubs on the shores of Lake Achensee. They are situated at start of several small valleys leading into the Karwendel Mountains.
If it was good enough for Emperor Maximilian I, then it is certainly good enough for locals and guests today. The ruler of the Holy Roman Empire was a frequent visitor to Pertisau on the south-western shore of Lake Achensee, a picturesque village serving as a gateway to three gently rising grass valleys in stark contrast to the craggy rock faces of the nearby Karwendel Mountains.
Maximilian I, who loved spending time in Tirol, would come to Pertisau to recover from the strain of governing his empire. He may well have known the tale of the giant Thyrsus, who is said to have killed his fellow giant Haymon. Legend has it that the dark-coloured rock oil with a strong sulphuric odour, extracted and sold in Tirol for many centuries, is in fact the blood shed by Thyrsus when he was wounded in battle with Haymon. Oil shale has been mined in Seefeld since the 14th century; in Pertisau this form of rock oil mining was only introduced around 100 years ago.
Long before the modern discovery of oil and its many uses, the stone oil extracted in Tirol was burnt in lamps and applied as a waterproof covering on roofs, but its primary use was for medical purposes. Indeed, many locals today still swear by rock oil. Maximilian I was among those to apply stone oil to bruises or small wounds. The oil is still sold today as a cream used to soothe and heal damaged skin.
If it was good enough for Emperor Maximilian I, then it is certainly good enough for locals and guests today. The ruler of the Holy Roman Empire was a…