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How to be a hermit

How to be a hermit
By Catherine Hardy with The Local
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Tired of Trump? Weary of war? Want to escape the trials and tribulations of modern life by becoming a hermit? A town in Austria may have the answer to your prayers.


Are you tired of Trump? Exhausted by austerity? Saturated by social media?

A town in Austria may have the answer to your prayers.

Saalfelden (Austria) is looking for a new resident hermit. Would you apply?

— Culture Trip (@CultureTrip) January 27, 2017

Saalfelden near Salzburg is looking for a resident hermit.

The hermitage was built into a natural cave more than 350 years ago in steep, rocky cliffs above Lichtenberg Castle near the town.

It is currently vacant and the hunt is on for a new occupant.


Euronews takes you step-by-step through the application.

The job spec

“We are looking for a self-sufficient person who is at peace with themselves, willing to talk to people but not impose,” said local cleric Alois Moser, quoted on Austrian state broadcaster ORF.

Many people visit the hermitage to enjoy the view, to pray or talk about issues that affect or trouble them.

The successful candidate must:

  • have a Christian outlook
  • be ready to greet visiting pilgrims and locals

Wanted in Austria: A hermit. Experience not necessary.

— Sam Allen Associates (@S_A_Associates) January 20, 2017


The job is unpaid.

Applicants are advised to have a private or second income.


The hermitage is unheated and there is no running water.

It is only habitable between April and November.

The selection procedure

Moser, along with Saalfelden’s mayor, Erich Rohrmoser, will select the new hermit.

The winning candidate will be chosen more on the basis of personality than training and professional experience.

How to apply

The deadline for applications is March 15th, 2017.

Those interested should send their CV, photo and a cover letter explaining why they want the position to:


Pfarramt Saalfelden,
zH. Herrn Dechant Alois Moser
Lofererstraße 11
5760 Saalfelden

This Small Town in Austria Is Looking to Hire a Professional Hermit

— Country Living (@CountryLiving) January 18, 2017

What to ask at the interview

Why is the position vacant?

The last inhabitant – a Viennese pastor and psychotherapist – left last Autumn to return to his old life in Vienna.

Before him, a Benedictine monk had lived there for 12 years.

Are there any other applicants?


In 1970, shots were fired at the hermitage doors.

Luckily, the resident hermit was not injured.

However, feeling unnerved, he left shortly afterwards to return to his home in Styria.

The offender had reportedly applied for the job himself but been unsuccessful.

Famous hermits

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