Open-air market or Egon and the stallkeepers
Here you find out where people in Tulln went to shop and what the maids took with them to market; where Gothic met Baroque and what the Trinity Column on the main square is meant to commemorate.
The year was 1317. It would be twenty years before the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. It was the age of the rising middle classes and of merchants and traders. Even then Tulln was a major economic hub. The medieval historical center of Tulln had a large marketplace with fountain, sewers and paved streets. The first big fair in the 14th century lasted two weeks and attracted traveling tradesman from far away. First people traded, bartered and peddled. Then they talked and celebrated. Nowhere else could people find out so much about what was going on in the world, nowhere else could they backhandedly spread so many rumors and share so much gossip.
Busy daily market
Six hundred years later trade would still be blooming on the main square in Tulln. The Schieles also sent their maid to the farmer’s market. She arrived with a milk can in her hand and a large shopping basket on her arm. She walked from stall to stall. Fresh fruits and vegetables were being sold as well as necessities. There were wooden spoons and cast-iron pans, polish for the fine furniture of her master and mistress, and soft soap for the kitchen floor. The housewives appeared later to shop. They might haggle with the stallkeepers, who were loudly hawking their wares. Or they might take a glance at the big cattle and pig market, where animals were traded live until the mid-20th century.
Another burst of noise occurred with the ringing of the school bell. The primary school pupils came running up soon afterwards. They had no eye for the historical architecture on the main square. A Gothic building was still standing there, the oldest one on the square, with a niche for the city judge’s coat of arms. And there was a Renaissance building with a round corner tower and Venetian crenellations, which once housed a tannery. The little nippers were heading to the Trinity Column. The area around its base was the perfect place for playing tag. It was erected at the end of the 17th century and is meant to commemorate the many plague victims in Tulln. Years later another epidemic would unleash death and destruction: the Spanish flu. It would cause the death of Egon Schiele, his wife and their unborn child.