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History

Waldviertel
The altitude of around 500m above sea level and strong winds give the wood its strength, the herbs their intense flavours, and the people a deep honesty.
Who comes here is looking for the true, inner adventure.

SONNENTOR is Waldviertel’s child. The way we harvest and process the produce of the land shows our love and appreciation.

Prehistoric times 900 b.c.
Waldviertel was first inhabited 50.000 years ago.
In 1884 the Benedictine priest Leopold Hacker from Goettweig discovered a cultural site from the paleolithic period, the "Gudenus Cave".
Its inhabitants were hunters and gatherers who later became farmers, but dense forests stopped the people from expanding further.
Farmable land could only be found on the banks of rivers and streams like the rivers "Krems" and "Kamp". One of the first tribes to settle there were the "Boier", a celtic tribe, followed by slavic and other ethnic groups.

900-1500
The colonialisation by German speaking settlers didn’t start until 955 with the victory of
Otto 1st over Hungary. It was him who conferred the margraviate "Waldviertel" to the Babenbergs from the Bavarian high aristocracy.
Always on their side were the pugnacious Kuenrings. For their loyalty they received a large piece of land around "Eggenburg". In the second half of the 11th century and under their reign the systematic clearing of woodland in Waldviertel began, the population increased and the eventful history of the region began.

1500 – 2000
With the new souvereigns, the Habsburgs, the Swabians and Bavarians also came to Waldviertel. And with them, Protestantism. This changed at the beginning of the 17th century during relentless religious wars. Only the protestant aristocracy was allowed to stay in the country.
From the 16th to the 18th century Waldviertel together with the rest of Europe suffered under the plague, bad harvests and wars.
The beginning of the 19th century brought the rise of the economy and the start of the industrial aera. During that time the aristocracy enjoyed Waldviertel for its tranquility and it was the place to go to escape the heat of the city.
The name Waldviertel (the place of large forests) dates back to that time.