The Salzburg Kolping House
From the Beginnings to Today
The Kolping idea's history in Salzburg goes back 160 years. It was the 12th of May 1852 when Adolph Kolping presented his ideas and intentions to young handymen at the pub “Zum Elefanten” on Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse during his tour through Austria.
This is when the Kolping association started to develop step by step. The theology professor Anton Schöpf was an enthusiastic friend of Kolping's who instantly agreed to become praeses of the newly founded apprenticeship association.
Under the management of Dr. Schöpf the first home of this Catholic apprenticeship association was built in the Bruderhof. The building still exists, but is used for other purposes today.
Kolping in Salzburg
Already in 1892 the successor of praeses Schöpf, don Dr. Franz Anthaller from Salzburg, started to build the new building on Franz-Josef-Straße. After a construction period of two years it was introduced to the association's members and the first travelling journeymen moved in.
The Kolping House Salzburg became an important centre in the following years, not only for the Kolping movement and the journeymen, but also for the city and its locals. Thousands of young handymen found their second home here and with it an opportunity to pursue further training and education. Even journeymen who only stayed in Salzburg for a little while found a bed and a meal at the Kolping House.
The First World War interrupted this first important period of the blossoming life at the Kolping House.
After the war praeses Zeiß took over the management of the house in this economically difficult time. Everyone – prases, staff and association members – worked together to keep the apprentice house from closing. During the big depression with unemployment everywhere the Kolping House provided free meals for up to 60 boys.
Praeses Giglmayer was very well known and appreciated at the time and tried everything to provide a meaningful occupation to the unemployed.
After the takeover of the NSDAP in Austria in March 1938 the association was closed because of its “anti-state attitude”. Praeses Giglmayer was taken into custody pending deportation and the Kolping House was sold to the German Red Cross by the Nazis. On 17th November 1944 an air raid hit the corner of Franz-Josef-Straße and Haydnstraße. A third of the building was totally destroyed and the rest severely damaged and therefore uninhabitable.
After the Second World War the apprentice association was renamed “Kolping Family” and the accommodations “Kolping Houses”. The “new reality” was that there were hardly any travelling journeymen anymore.
Thanks to the outstanding engagement of praeses Volk the first boys were able to move into the Kolping House already in 1947. In the 50s and the 60s it was praeses Grell and the very popular praeses Felber who contributed to further renewals and changes. They extended the house and initiated several renovations in order the modernize the building.
In the following years professor Krispler, Karl Pöckl and Dr. Alois Weidlinger contributed a lot to the Kolping House and the young people who were living there. At the beginning of the 90s the Kolping Family made the very important decision to sell the old Kolping House. Otherwise they wouldn't have had the money for the upcoming major renovations – the old house had existed for almost a hundred years.
Opening of the new Kolping House
Due to the relentless effort of the prases at the time, Mr. Zack, and the head of the Kolping Family the foundation stone for the new Kolping House was laid in spring 1997 after year-long negotiations and bureaucratic obstacles. After a 2-year construction period the house in Salzburg-Itzling was finished and opened on 13th September 1998. On 9th November 1998 it was officially passed on to its main purpose by archbishop Dr. Georg Eder and governor Dr. Franz Schausberger.
The former journeymen house in the Bruderhof and the later Kolping House on Franz-Josef-Straße became the new, friendly and modern Kolping House. More than 200 young apprentices, pupils, vocation college students and other students live here and found a new home at the house. Everyone who takes care of the young people's wellbeing does it with the words of Adoph Kolping on their mind: “If you want to win over the youth, you need to put your heart in pledge.”