A showcase in the museum is dedicated to the poet, painter and photographer Karl Heinrich Waggerl, who was born in Bad Gastein in the house of his parents, “House Bergfriede” Karl Heinrich Waggerl Street 23 on December 10th 1897. It was here that he spent his childhood and went to school. In summer he worked as a messenger-boy at Hotel Weismayr. In 1909 the railway-line from Schwarzach St. Veit to Bad Gastein was completed and at the inauguration ceremony, Waggerl was chosen to recite a poem in front of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Later Waggerl takes up many of these occurrences in his short stories and novels, for instance in “Fröhliche Armut” (cheerful poverty). After attending a teacher training college in Salzburg and participation in World War I, he moved to Wagrain, where he first worked as a schoolteacher, but due to a chronic lung ailment had to give up teaching rather soon. He then dedicated himself to writing. He bought a house in Wagrain and was also mayor there for a certain period. The reading of his own stories at the “Salzburger Adventsingen” will always remain unforgettable.
Although Waggerl spent most of his life in Wagrain, the Gasteiners always regarded him as one of them and so on his 60th birthday he was awarded the honorary citizenship of Bad Gastein.
We think it fair to say that Waggerl, through his international publicity and popularity as a writer, was one of Bad Gastein’s most distinguished sons. He died on November 4th 1973 in Schwarzach/Pg.