Walking time without breaks: 0.5 hours

Height difference: 100 m

Total length: 1,5 Km

Difficulty: easy

It is a truly legendary place. A place charged with old stories and legends in the middle of a tall spruce forest. This becomes clear after the first few steps of this short hike towards "Ursulaquelle".

The wind rustles in gentle gusts through the tall trees, here and there the soft flute of a bird. Otherwise, a lot of silence and a lot of view. The path to the spring repeatedly offers a distant view in the direction of St. Lorenzen, an unspoilt mountain village a little further west of Hochrindl. In former times, this saddle was a pilgrimage route from the Gurktal to St. Lorenzen to the pilgrimage church of St. Anna. The highest parish in Carinthia is still located there today. Along the way, the pilgrims repeatedly stopped at the Ursula Spring to recharge their batteries and quench their thirst. According to legend, a chapel once stood next to the spring. "But because so many people led a dissolute life and did little good, the chapel was supposedly swallowed up by the earth. Only the spring remained. To wash away iniquity and guilt."

Some legends should not be made public, because otherwise this place of power in the forest might soon be haunted by anti-aging hordes. The story goes that a maid used to come here regularly with her cattle. Apparently she was really not a beauty and therefore did not find a husband. But because she washed her face with the fresh water every time she visited the spring, she became more and more beautiful over time. She literally washed herself beautifully with the water. A beauty secret from ancient times, in other words. Good to know.


So we chat away as we walk. And after a good half hour we reach the destination of our alpine walk. As we approach the Ursula Spring, we both become quiet as if on command. Indeed, there is an extraordinary atmosphere around the wooden and moss-covered well where the spring is held. The monotonous gurgling and bubbling of the water forms the almost meditative soundscape, slightly muffled by the soft, green forest floor all around.

Then there is this weathered wooden fence. It encloses an area of a few square metres where, on closer inspection, cross-like structures made of fallen branches, grasses and plants stand between small conifers and tall blades of grass. A rather mystical sight. Many people use the walk to the Ursula Spring to unload their worries and troubles here. They do this by tying a small cross out of dead branches and other material they find here in the forest. As you can see, many feel the need to get rid of something here.


Fortunately, I don't have to make a cross today. But a sip of the wonderful spring water is a must while you're here. First hold your hands in the leisurely splash: The water is bone-chillingly cold and always comes to light at a temperature between 4 and a maximum of 8 degrees Celsius. The spring does not freeze even in the iciest winter. The bubbling water is said to be dextrorotatory. This water is said to contain a lot of energy and power. Of course, science always has a hard time with such statements. But people's experiences stand in contrast to this. It is probably not without reason that the Ursula Spring was considered a healing spring for eye diseases and impaired vision as early as the Middle Ages. This is one of the reasons why many people with such problems still come here on pilgrimage.

But now I am really thirsty and take a few hearty sips. Regardless of whether it makes me beautiful, healthy, full of energy or frees me from burdens, I immediately notice: This water tastes unique! So fresh, so soft, so velvety in the mouth, as one can enjoy it - as a passionate water drinker I can judge that - only rarely where anymore. That alone is worth a trip to the Ursula Spring. And I can still try out all the other benefits of this water. Now that I know where to get them...

by Johanna Wohlfahrt