Absam is a pilgrimage site along the famous Way of St. James.
Altitude: 632 m a.s.l.
Absam Dorf and Eichat form the municipality of Absam, which is one of the so-called "MARTHA-villages". This term refers to the villages Mühlau, Arzl, Thaur, Absam and Heiligkreuz, a district of Hall, all located along the road from Innsbruck to Hall in Tirol. "Abazanes", as it used to be called, was first mentioned in documents in 995 AD. The economy in the municipality has mainly been based on salt mining of Hall in Tirol as well as on "Swarovski-Optik", a subsidiary company of Swarovski that settled down in 1947.
The highest elevation of the municipality is the Grosser Bettelwurf (2,725 m a.s.l.), a mountain that belongs to the Karwendel mountain chain. These mountains, together with the surroundings of Absam, offer several possibilities to experience nature when hiking or cycling. Especially popular is e.g. the hiking trail from Absam into the Halltal valley, where you come across the St. Magdalena convent and retrace the salt mines of Hall in Tirol. From the Halltal valley you can also ascend the Grosser Bettelwurf mountain, which belongs to the municipality and offers a great view. You either reach the summit via a rather easy fixed rope route, starting at the Bettelwurfhütte mountain hut (2,077 m a.s.l.), or via a trail of medium difficulty via the neighbouring Kleiner Bettelwurf mountain. In winter Absam is located close to several famous skiing areas such as the Patscherkofel with its 18 km of ski slopes.
Absam is idyllically located along the Way of St. James, a famous pilgrimage trail snaking across all Europe. The village itself is a pilgrimage site of the Way of St. James as well as of Mary, despite of the fact that the parish church is dedicated to the archangel Michael. This church, raised to the rank of "basilica minor" in 2000, tells of miracles that are attachable to this site on several votive panels. It was the 18-year old Rosina Bucher, who in 1797 saw a Madonna in a window of Absam, which could not be removed any more. However, the village museum is dedicated to another citizen of Absam, Jakob Stainer (1617-1683), the most famous violin maker out-of-Italy. Also the emblem of the municipality refers to the violin maker and the Madonna in a window, illustrating a violin and the face of the Madonna top left.
Our recommendation: every four years Absam offers a Carnival parade, the "Matschgerer-Umzug". The so-called "Spiegeltuxer" and "Zottler" are the most famous participants of this parade, and are shown in the Carnival museum of Absam (Matschgerer-Museum).