Page 1

The Speik Reader Nockberge gold

Welcome to the Nockberge National Park! Ladies and gentlemen, visitors and guests, With this little booklet we’d like to extend a very warm welcome to the Nockberge mountains and to present to you one of our botanical specialities: the true speik, valeriana celtica ssp. norica. This plant has huge significance for our Region; speik has already been used for many centuries here in the Nockbergen. In the first part of the booklet, you’ll learn some intriguing things about everything to do with speik. In the second part, you will have the opportunity to record any personal impressions of your time here, and any anecdotes or experiences. With this booklet – which we affectionately call the “Speik Reader” – we would like to make it possible for everything that is speik-related to become a real experience for you too. We wish you lots of fun reading it. Enjoy exploring the Nockberge National Park as a first-hand experience, and have a lovely time in our Region.

Contents Why I love the Nockberge mountains


The gold of Innerkrems


Family tales


My long journey to Cleopatra


More carefree travellers’ tales


How I helped Jesus


Inspector Speik


Boosting the economy


My health tips


Beauty with Speik


Well protected


Follow me – Speik online


Visit me – the Speik huts


My Speik adventures


Imprint: Publisher: Nockberge National Park Authority, 9565 Ebene Reichenau 117 Concept/text: Mörth & Mörth Werbeagentur GmbH, Photos: NPA Archive, Helmut Moik, Mörth & Mörth Werbeagentur GmbH, ©, sculpies Translation: Christine Wildpanner-Krois BA(Hons) MLitt,



ik pla



ik fo







gel m

ko peik

Introduction Introduction

Thank you. Mind you, it was high time too. At last you’ve got round to reading my memoirs. I feel honoured. Are you asking yourself just who I am? I am the brightest star of the Nockberge mountains! Passionately sought after and wildly fought over. Slight of build, small and inconspicuous, but oh so powerful! The power is particularly in my roots. They made me a world celebrity! And that, at a time when I had to discover the Earth onboard ships, and not at the click of a mouse. Accompany me on my exciting journey – live, at Innerkrems in Kärnten, Austria. That’s where they have even created a dedicated ‘Speik trail’. It’s a journey around the whole world - well nearly. My life story spans right across the centuries and the oceans. With much love, great pains and a fair sprinkling of humour, I have packaged my memoirs as a collection of anecdotes. Like me, they are small, simple – but powerful! Your own Valeriana Celtica ssp. Norica wishes you much joy.


ik sc




Why I love the Nockberge mountains

Why I love the Nockberge mountains Fresh air, gentle hilltops and slopes, lush meadows – reason enough perhaps to appreciate the Nockberge mountains? Sure. But I’m spoilt. And, for me, all that’s still not sufficient reason for loving them! I do love them though and dearly, with all my heart. Why? Because of the Nockberge people – after all, here I have always been waited on hand-and-foot! The local people have honoured me for many generations. I am an established part of their history. Let’s mention a particularly lovely custom: the blessing of their houses and barns. On magic dates in the calendar, like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night,


’s em




ark nal P




Why I love the Nockberge mountains

the residents wanted to drive away evil spirits and attract good ones. I was happy to help them there! So it was that the smoke of a mixture of Speik plant, juniper and palm fronds was used to bring good luck. That’s a special honour, in my opinion. We should also point out that I, the Speik plant, have lent my name to all of the following: the: Speikkogel, Speikböden, Speikleiten, Speikbicheln as well as the Großer Speikkofel and Kleiner Speikkofel.




Why I love the Nockberge mountains

Let’s accept it, that’s not bad already, but I can give you a lot more evidence for my pre-eminent status in the Nockberge mountains! Just think of the special Speik walks. Scattered across the Nockberge are places right next to the huts, where you can enjoy refreshing Speik footbaths in rustic wooden troughs. Afterwards you will walk much more freely, newly fortified and revitalised by my fragrances! You bet! (By the way there’s a general overview of the huts in the final chapter.) A true star needs a monument. I agree. But if you put it like that, then I’m a multi-star! Monument number 1 is a dedicated Speik trail at Innerkrems. Here visitors can explore my world in my own company. I attract people’s attention because I’m larger than life and dressed in gold. (But more on that in the next chapter.)

ture in sculp im Speik inkirchhe Kle Bad


I think now you can see that I really am the star of the Nockberge mountains! And despite that, I’m still completely modest.

ail in eik tr

Why I love the Nockberge mountains

Monument number 2 can be found in Bad Kleinkirchheim. There I dominate the whole place as a huge Speik sculpture, lovingly handcrafted from burnished wrought iron. At night my petals glow with many colours. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, I even had my own Speik fairies dancing in a circle around me. This made me very proud.






The gold of Innerkrems

The gold of Innerkrems I’m sure you know the saying “Diamonds are for ever”. What I say is: “Gold is much better still!”. And in the Nockberge mountains I’m the gold! This particularly applies at Innerkrems. A designated Speik trail was created there. It’s a place for play and adventure that will draw you into my world.





ik K




f the old o

The gold of Innerkrems

I am waiting for you at the valley station of the Blutige Alm chair-lift, in the shape of a larger-than-life golden statue! But remember, “all that glitters is not gold”. I am indeed radiant in golden splendour, but I’m not actually made of that precious heavy metal... After the ascent, either by chair-lift or on foot, you can start your journey of adventure straight from the Blutige Alm hut – and the kids have the chance to become Speik King or Queen!




The g


The gold of Innerkrems

I won’t give too much away, but at the exciting stops with places to play and rest it won’t only be the kids’ eyes that light up. And at the same time, hardly noticing it, you will learn lots of interesting things on the subject of Speik. For example, what a ‘Speik arrest’ looked like, the way I was traded out across the continents, how I conquered the world and much more. Climb a ship’s mast and gaze out over the wonderful panorama of the Nockberge mountains. Smell the pleasant fragrance of Speik (by the way, it’s already there on the cover of this reader – just scratch away at it and put your nose near the paper). I’m very much looking forward to seeing you!





Family tales


na ce

ia Valer

Family tales

As in every family, we in the Speik household don’t always share the same opinion. Still we are open to negotiation. Valerian plant varieties traditionally have a calming effect. But that wasn’t enough for my family. It also wanted to be a stimulant. Therefore we agreed on a compromise. Now we are capable of everything! If you are of a sullen disposition, Speik will work as a stimulant; if you are agitated, I will help calm you down. It’s amazing how many family disputes are resolved. It’s not only we who get the benefit, but you as well! Of course I wouldn’t want to hold back on botanical information. I am a perennial herbaceous plant. I reach a height of up to 15 cm (though, my monuments are up to 3 metres tall!). Between June and August I blossom in all my glory. My fragrance is usually produced from the roots, and to this day it is impossible to produce it synthetically. It takes four years before I can be harvested, which only a few local farmers are allowed to do – and that under strict conditions. Indeed, all disputes within the family are resolved, but we still need to be a bit careful about outsiders. So not just anybody is allowed to pick us.


My long journey to Cleopatra

My long journey to Cleopatra You can imagine just how excited I was when Cleopatra invited me to visit her. I, Valeriana Celtica from the Nockberge mountains, travelled to Egypt at the personal request of the Empress. My excitement grew metre by metre along the journey. Looking forward to having a bath with Cleopatra! Massaging her soft skin. I travelled with longing towards my destination. It’s well known that anticipation is amongst the most beautiful of pleasures, and so I experienced weeks even months – of bliss. But then, it was always going to be a very long journey. Without aeroplanes, without freight trucks. In any case we can give it a date – hang on – no way, was it so long ago? It feels to me like yesterday! Anyway, it was in the time before Christ was born, that much can be said for certain. So, my journey of adventure started at home, in the gentle Nockberge mountains. After being hand picked and made ready for transport, I first went to Judenburg. Situated on one of the most important Roman roads, this town flourished as early as 600 B.C. and became wealthy thanks to the trade in Speik. Many centuries later, in 1460 to be precise, the Emperor Frederick III gave Judenburg exclusive rights to the Speik trade. So it was I who helped the town blossom. In the literal sense of the word.



le gent







My long journey to Cleopatra

A ‘thank you’ is long overdue! But let’s get back to Cleopatra. There I was, in Judenburg, which was still unbelievably far from my destination, and I had to start my journey to the Orient. It was a real adventure! Over rocks and mountains, on carts, carried on people’s shoulders, on foot and on horseback, I finally reached the Adriatic Sea. This was the first time that I had seen the sea. Now it really wasn’t so very far. Speik was very popular in eastern countries. The trade in it is mentioned as early as 500 B.C. Indeed, I was highly coveted! I must admit I was flattered. After all I gave perfume to the baths and skin lotions of the major and minor stars of the ancient world! After a relatively uneventful voyage, I reached Egypt. I was excited and full of expectation. So many myths surrounded Cleopatra, her life and in particular her appearance. I can confirm first hand that she was a wonderful woman, intelligent and extremely charming. She too had been looking forward to meeting me. She had prepared herself for an unforgettable encounter. After her bath she was completely taken with me. From then on I was allowed to serve her on many other occasions. Before her meeting with Mark Antony she was particularly excited and she used Speik oil to calm herself. So fortified, all worked out well with the object of her desires…

of G

iza 15

More carefree traveller’s tales

More carefree traveller’s tales Having grown up in the sublime landscape of the Nockberge, surrounded by gentle mountains, crystal-clear air and lovely people, I then set forth to captivate the world with my fragrance. For our neighbours to the north I travelled to Nuremberg and Antwerp, via Salzburg. I can tell you that these were very adventurous trips! Still, to me no road seemed too long or too exhausting - if I could only make people happy! The drovers transported the Speik by horse over the Glattjoch saddle, that links the Mur and the Enns valleys. Through storms and foul weather, we galloped to our customers along bumpy roads and across steep slopes. On our route was a small town called Oberwölz. There we liked to stop for a bite to eat! As early as 1305 there were already 1,200 permanent residents in this place (more than there are today!). Thanks not least to me, the traders ensured a lively town life. The locals in Oberwölz haven’t forgotten me to this day; after all I am an integral part of their traditional Sunday costume!


My h 16

After so much excitement, new impressions and new acquaintances, I enjoyed my time at home to the full. Today I’m delighted when people from across the whole world come to Innerkrems to visit me!


ing t

he N

More carefree traveller’s tales

It was even more difficult to go south. From Venice and Trieste large quantities of Speik were shipped by sea. Foreign cultures awaited me and I was ready to delight North Africa too and the Orient with my fragrance! So began my peaceful, triumphal procession to Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Morocco and the Sudan. I stole the hearts - and noses - of the people! The women of North Africa were particularly enthralled. On their greatest day of rejoicing, their wedding day, brides used Speik oil as a perfume!




How I helped Jesus

How I helped Jesus I admit that’s a risky title; it was an episode in my life that was equally daunting. Should I allow myself the presumption of linking myself with the Son of God? I think so, at least a bit. Or maybe not? Best would be for you to judge. Strictly speaking what it is all about is a controversial mix-up, to which I owe my nickname. People call me Mary Magdalene’s flower. And that’s where the mix-up starts. The name derives from Mary Magdalene’s anointing of Jesus’ feet. With fragrant ointment. Made from Speik. Now that’s a special honour. The feet of Jesus – imagine! After an exhausting day, tired and pensive, Jesus’ feet were anointed. Thanks to me, that evening he walked on soft, delicate feet. An honour of that magnitude still makes me feel proud, to this very day! So much is certain. What remains disputable is if it really was Mary Magdalene who anointed the Son of God.

laces tains n rful p Powe erge mou b ck o N in the


Inspector Speik Inspector Speik

I’ve been considering for a long time whether I really should tell you this story. Of course, I feel proud that I have been actively involved in crime fighting but then again the way it happened wasn’t very flattering. Despite that, I shall share my dark secret with you. The time was the Middle Ages, in the Nockberge mountains. It wasn’t always an easy life for people then. In order to get a grip on petty crime and to deter potential culprits “Speik arrest” was introduced at that time. No, you didn’t misread that. Speik arrest. Whilst in other epochs empresses had perfumed their baths with Speik, now there was a Speik arrest. Convicts had to (I’d say they “were allowed to”!) spend an extended period confined in a Speik barn. After that they were identifiable for a long time because of the scent. Thus, for weeks their deed was made visible - or sniffable - to all. Obviously they didn’t appreciate my fragrance in the Middle Ages. But that time is long gone as well, thank goodness… Even so, I did people a valuable service! Still I’m glad that today I’m no longer regarded as a deterrent but that they recognise that my oil is what it is: the most precious plant product of the Nockberge mountains!

An frag unforge ranc e ex ttable perie nc

e 19

Boosting the economy

Boosting the economy Beguiling fragrance, delicate physique, enchanting blooms – that’s me, Valeriana Celtica, as was already pointed out in earlier chapters. Apart from these loveable features, I’m also very generous. I share my success with special people. Personally I’m content with board, lodging and travel. Clean air, a little space with nutrient-poor soil, which is the perfect base for me, trips around the world and people worshipping me in an unparalleled fashion – that’s enough for me! It’s also worth mentioning that I’m treated very carefully. For centuries I’ve only been hand-picked. In the Nockberge mountains the families of just two alpine pasture farmers are allowed to get their hands on me. For decades I’ve been processed at the Walter Rau GmbH & Co. KG Speickwerk factory. The production of cosmetic products has provided jobs for many people.

ucts prod ences Care ss e ik Spe with



y Sp

Boosting the economy

I’m also a boost for tourism in the Nockberge mountains. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you! Thank you for your interest in my humble self. As the star of the Nockberge, I already have many places where I can receive guests properly, yourself included! On the Speik trail in Innerkrems, I invite you to take part in a trip around the world! And the Speik sculpture in Bad Kleinkirchheim is an especially romantic little place. And then the Speik huts invite you to stop for a bite to eat. All these places provide you with unforgettable trips into a gentle landscape; and we all benefit from them: I get many new acquaintances and people living in the Nockberge have many happy visitors.

eik u



My health tips

My health tips An important part of life. First of all: I’m not a universal miracle remedy. That needed to be said straightaway. Rather, I belong in the Wellness area. Being a valerian plant I have a calming effect on people, especially their central nervous systems. On the other hand I can also be a stimulant if one’s wanted, in particular for the autonomic nervous system. My name already gives the game away about my positive effects: the Latin word “valere” means “health maintaining”. In folk medicine numerous applications have been known over the generations: Speik was for instance used against gastric trouble, fever, toothache, fainting and dizziness. Also to strengthen the heart and nerves. I recommend using Speik as a Wellness and beauty product. When it comes to health problems it’s always safer to consult a physician.




tive fo

tora A res

My health tips

As you’ll see, I, the star in the Nockberge, can also take a back seat if need be, and defer to the region’s other medicinal plants. To find out which plant it’s best to use against which complaint I recommend asking Mrs. Kräuterlis! She has her own column in the Nockberge National Park magazine, where she describes how to make various kinds of herbal tea, ointments and other remedies using local ingredients. Every edition can be found in the download area of the homepage, under Get well soon!


Beauty with Speik

Beauty with Speik Do you know what gives me most pleasure? Looking into the faces of happy people. Sometimes I can even make people smile when they see me and I bring a twinkle to their eyes. As once I did for Cleopatra, I still look after people all over the world. But now there’s a lot more than just soap and bathing oil. Apart from these two successful products I will pamper you in a variety of ways. Particularly dry and sensitive skin enjoys Speik products, such as body lotions and deodorants.

s to hank tion t age oil a x la Re mass Speik


Beauty with Speik

By the way, I go down really well as a present (a little advertising and blowing my own trumpet – it’s something you have to do, even more so because it’s true!). With hand creams, Eau-de-Cologne, body oil, bath essences, products for shaving, sauna infusions and many more, you can give other people a lot of pleasure. By the way Speik care products did very well in the “Ökotest” (ecological evaluation), for instance Speick Natural Soap.

Spe ava ik care pro N ilable ww ationa in the ducts w.n l Pa Noc atio nalp rk and kberg e un arkn ock der berg are


Well protected

Well protected Well, such is life I suppose. There is a time for excitement and a time for tranquillity, a time for action and a time when heightened awareness seems to be necessary. I wouldn’t be Valeriana Celtica, the star of the Nockberge, if I couldn’t contribute something to every area of life! Action, in Innerkrems on the Blutige Alm alpine pasture, on the Speik trail; tranquillity and a deliberate pause, in Bad Kleinkirchheim beside the Speik sculpture. However, especially close to my heart is another kind of awareness, namely an awareness of the treasures of nature. Despite, or maybe because of, my popularity, I am now found less often than I was a hundred years ago. Therefore I have been placed under a nature protection order. So please don’t pick me in my plant form as a souvenir, but buy me in the shape of Speik products, or this little booklet and photos, or simply preserve me in your heart. This will make you happy for much longer than my uprooted friends could do. To remind yourself you can always visit me online, at Thank you! Your Valeriana Celtica


The Sp

eik is a


d plant!

Follow me – Speik online Follow me – Speik online

Each age has its own charm. For instance around the time of the birth of Christ my fame spread by-word-of-mouth, and in the Middle Ages I was shamefully treated and locked away. Today my good reputation is spread by means of Bits and Bytes on the World Wide Web. There are many advantages to this: firstly you can get a preview of the Speik trail, the Speik statue, Speik walking tours and Speik huts. Secondly, I can visit you in your home. I like to travel and it takes me next to no time to get right round the world! Besides, this is the way you can contact me at any time: for all information about Speik, go to I would be delighted if you could upload your pictures onto this homepage after you’ve visited me! The homepage also gives insight into the Nockberge National Park as a whole: from its origins, to its reorganisation as a Biosphere Park. There’s also information about my plant, animal and human friends. On that note, see you soon on the www!




rkno nalpa

.natio www

Visit me

! 27

Visit me – the Speik huts

Visit me – the Speik huts 1

Blutige Alm hut – Speik trail Tel: +43 (0)4736/236 Mobile: +43 (0)650/2004570 or +43 (0)650/6141183


Buschenschank Måtl-Sepp – Speik statue Tel: +43 (0)4240/685 or Tel: +43 (0)664/2638825


Bad Kleinkirchheim Wolitzen hut Tel: +43 (0)4240/858521


Bergrestaurant Kaiserburg Tel: +43 (0)664/8539256


Brentler hut/Nockalm-Priedröf Tel: +43 (0)4240/262 or Tel: +43 (0)664/4300564


Brunnachhof/St. Oswald Tel: +43 (0)4240/477 or Tel: +43 (0)4240/478

ce g pla ms tartin e trail s t, Innerkr ik e Sp lm hu A e Blutig


Buschenschank Hüblbauer Tel: +43 (0)4240/337


Buschenschank Streitnighof Tel: +43 (0)4240/8416


Falkert House Tel: +43 (0)676/5724090 Tel: +43 (0)676/5447763


Lärchen hut/St. Oswald Tel: +43 (0)664/5682666


St. Oswald Bock hut Tel: +43 (0)664/4103186

I’m loo

king forw

Visit me – the Speik huts


ard to y

our visit



Speik Huts key map


Visit me – the Speik huts

Gmeineck 2.592 m



Tschiernock 2.088


Hochpalfennock 2.099 m



Stileck 2.179 m

Millstätter Alpe 2.091 m Rabenkofel 2.059 m

Lammersdorfer Berg 2.063 m Großleobeneck 2.196 m Lamprechtalm

Gr. Rosennock 2.440 m Kl. Rosennock 2.361 m

Gridleck 1.887 m


Naßbodensee Predigerstuhl 2.170 m

Aichholzerhütte Winkler Hütte


Sulznighütte Priedröf 1.963 m

Veidlhütte Petodnighütte

Wiesernock 1.974 m


Kolmnock 1.845 m Hüblbauer


Na t io na





Schwarzkofel 2.168 m

ld pa nnal m Wöllaner Nock 2.145 m Bergrestaurant Kaiserburg Gipfelgalerie

Waldtratte rgbahn Kaiserbu

laner Nock 2.090 m




Steinnock 2.197 m

Seehütte Almstube Halterhütte


Bad Kleinkirchheim

Wegerhütte Rossalmhütte




Falkert Therme St. Kathrein

Strohsack 1.908 m Klamerhütte

Mallnock 2.226 m

Klomnock 2.331 Oswaldeck 1.863 m

chteter Wasserfall Mautstelle


St. Oswalder Bockhütte



Pfannock 2.254 Erlacher Bockhütte

Weger Stadl Falkerthaus Aufegger Lärchenhütte Totelitzen 1.990 m Falkert 2.308 m Handwerksmuseum Moschelitzen 2.310 m Zur alten Schmiede


useum Obertweng welt museum

rkb a

St. Oswald


St. Peter

hn -



Bergrestaurant Nock IN

Brunnachstrand Brunnachhof

Br un na ch




Freizeitpark Heidialm

Thermal Römerbad




2 Matl Sepp


Reptilienzoo Nockalm


hskopf 1.865 m

Höllenberg 1772 m

Ebene Reichenau


St. Lorenz St. Margarethen


Dürrer Baum 1.771 m

Auf der Schön 1.691 m

Aschbacher Zedlitzdorf Kruckenspitze 1.886 m Holzkulturlehrpfad

Hochalmspitze 3.360 m Ankogel 3.252 m Säuleck 3.086 m

Tischlerkarkopf 3.004 m

pitze 2.899 m


Visit me – the Speik huts



Speiereck 2.087 m

Schwarzwand 2

Kremsbrücke Vorderkrems Anderlesee

Hohe Pressing 2.370 m

Kalkofen Gaipahöhe 2.192 m


Peitlernock 2.370 m


Blutige Alm Hütte

Bergbau Nockalmhof

attnock 2.316 m Almwirtschaftsmuseum Pfandlhütte

Grünleitennock 2.160 m

Grü nle


Heiligenbachalm Murmeltierschau


Mautstelle Innerkrems

ite n

tig Blu

lm eA



n oc kB a hn

Eisentalhöhe 2.180 m Bauernladen



Friesenhalssee Dr. Josef-Mehrl-Hütte




Königstuhl 2.336 m


Rosanninhöhe 2.280 m


Tangernerhütte Grundalm

Wolitzenhütte m

Koflernock 2.277 m

Frauennock 2.270 m

Schiestelnock 2.206 m

Reißeck 2.305 m


Gregerlnock 2.296 m Diaschau Windebensee

eg der Elemente


Rinsennock 2.334 m Kornock 2.193 m

r Ko

Mautstelle Ebene Reichenau

Turracher Höhe






Nocky Flitzer

b ck no Panor



Turrach Sonnalmhütte


Eisenhut 2.441 m

Gruft 2.232 m

Wintertalernock 2.394 m

Bretthöhe 2.320 m

Gr. Speikkofel 2.270 m

Lattersteighöhe 2.264 m


31 Hois Hütte Wugganig Hütte




pan ora m

Hirnkopf 1.840 m aw

My Speik adventures

My Speik adventures


My Speik adventures


My Speik adventures

My Speik adventures


My Speik adventures


As a companion for many years I can only say: masterly. Valeriana Celtica takes us on a journey spanning many centuries and many thousands of miles. It has wit, bite and is (virtually) free from vanity – memoirs as holiday reading! Pinus cembra

This little plant has, indeed, produced an outstanding performance. As the animal emblem of the Nockberge, I’m delighted to see that my plant friends are having their say as well. Nevertheless I’m still a bit envious. I too would have been thrilled to take a bath with Cleopatra! Still, as long as I don’t end up inside a Speik prison that’s OK… Tetrao urogallus

Visit me online:

Speik Reader  
Speik Reader  

Welcome to the Nockberge National Park! Ladies and gentlemen, visitors and guests, With this little booklet we’d like to extend a very warm...