Oona & Matthias

"A place of magical encounters."

Oona Horx-Strathern & Matthias Horx are futurologists…

"We have been coming to Bad Gastein for many years. Probably four times a year. In the meantime, one could speak of a ritual, of traveling to a place with which we are familiar, where we feel welcome and secure. It feels like we've been here 100 times.It is above all the contrasts that bring us here. Some people speak of a morbid charm in connection with Bad Gastein. To our ears, that sounds too negative. From its history, the place radiates a constructed tension that attracts us and that particularly interests us as zeitgeist analysts. Specifically, it is the tension between modern mass tourism and archaic ruins, coupled with the individual aspirations of some hoteliers and restaurateurs, but also artists. We experience a lot of modernity and variety here, especially in the form of thought. In Bad Gastein there exists a cluster of people to which we feel very connected.
Bad Gastein is a place of magical encounters. You meet people from the cultural scene here who come from all over the world. Bad Gastein can certainly be seen as a European meeting place, although this has not yet manifested itself in the form of institutions or architecture, if we leave aside the art festival. We believe, however, that all of this will intensify in the coming years. The pandemic will also play its part in this. The need for new experiences of self and nature will massively increase a new individual tourism.
We see ourselves as rather non-conventional vacationers, so we don't just come here to relax while cross-country skiing or mushroom hunting, but also to work and engage with things that reflect our interests. There must have been five books written here already.
One could compare the history of Bad Gastein a bit with the Corona crisis. Here, many things were in the dark, but now many things in Bad Gastein are pushing for a new beginning, because crises release forces. Of course, the grandiose times with their glamour of yesteryear will not return. After them, there were those modernist attempts of the 70s, to which we, as children of the 70s, feel very attached. At the same time, the place then fell apart from the inside as a result. All this challenges creatives like us to deal with this fate. Now that a new, innovative and creative movement in gastronomy and the hotel industry has been underway for some time, there is also talk of new mobility concepts. One could speak of a "sign of the times". Bad Gastein cannot be compared with any other traditional vacation resort. Here there are simply unique combinations in an impressive, creative variety. This gives rise to a magnetism that has an impact all the way to major German cities."
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