St Anton – or St Anton am Arlberg – to give the Tirolean resort its full name celebrated the 90th anniversary of its formal naming last year.
If Shakespeare was a skier, he may well have written that St. Anton am Arlberg by any other name would still ski as steep (!), but it’s almost impossible to imagine the resort called something else.
However, the award-winning resort could easily have been known as ‘Nasserein am Arlberg’.
These days, Nasserein is a ‘suburb’ on the edge of St. Anton am Arlberg ‘dorf’. While most Ski Val chalets are located nearer to the centre of town in Oberdorf, many years ago, Nasserein was the name for the whole village.
In fact, it was only in 1927 that the world renown name of ‘St. Anton’ was formally chosen as the official name for this farming village.
You could argue that St. Anton has had an identity crisis over its 750-year history. In that time, St. Anton am Arlberg had five different names, before settling on the current one:
- In 1275, records show that the village was first known as ‘Vallis Taberna’ (‘Valley Track’ in Latin)
- The name ‘Stanzertal’ (‘Stanzer Valley’) was then used for centuries
- In 1691, the newly built church was dedicated to St. Antony, and an area of the village subsequently named ‘St. Anton’
- Jakob was used for a short period in 1805
- From 1811, the municipality was designated Nasserein. According to Helmut Mall, mayor of St. Anton am Arlberg, this was because the important ‘Post Guesthouse’ was located in Nasserein.
Victory for St. Anton
A key change that led to the ascendance of St. Anton was the new road that bypassed St. Jakob and Nasserein. When the railway station was built in the 1880s, the stop was named ‘St. Anton am Arlberg’.
This meant that for holidaymakers and travellers the defacto name for the resort was clearly St. Anton, but domestically there was still debate.
Ultimately Walter Schuler, the owner of the town’s first hotel, the Hotel Post lobbied for a final decision and the Tirolean state government agreed to the official change of name in 1927.
The town was awarded a unique coat of arms in 1929, including a rarely used and high valued Tyrolean eagle.
Celebrate the 90th Anniversary at the St. Anton Museum
If you’re in St. Anton this winter, whether with Ski Val or another company, we highly recommend a visit to the St. Anton Museum.
As well as giving an insight into the history of how this small farming community turned into an international ski resort, there is a special exhibition celebrating the 90th anniversary of the village being given its name.
The museum is in Oberdorf, only a few minutes’ walk from many of our Ski Val chalets and it’s well worth investing half an hour or more of your holiday in a visit.
The museum is open from midday to 10pm seven days a week.
Ski Val offers a choice of 17 chalets in St Anton: