Costum & tradition

Costum & tradition

copyright Erzberg, picture: August Zoebl

Montan-custom in the Montanuniversity Leoben

Studenten beim traditionellen LedersprungLedersprung, © Montanuniversity Leoben

Till today play the tradition and Montan-custom a big part at the Montanuniversity. Through tradition and custom is the much summoned Leoben spirit alive.

  • Saint Barbara, the miner patron saint
  • Ledersprung – the major student event in Leoen
  • Beer extract – farewell to the big holiday
  • Philistrierung - the successful completion of the study
  • Der Bergkittel – the custom of the miners

Saint Barbara the patron saint of the miners

Saint Barbara is the patron saint of the miners. She lived in the 3rd century after Christ in Nikomedia in Asia Minor. Her father, a heathen kept her in a tower to protect her beauty. When she got to know the Christian religion, she saw the task in a Christian life and got baptized.

Barbara was then consigned by her own father Marcianus the roman governor, but even he couldn´t bring her to renunciation of faith, although she got tortured. 9 years after her captivity at 29 years of age, she got sentenced by her own father and beheaded.

The miners commemorate Saint Barbara on December 4th a special significance and this day has a special meaning in the whole region. Around Saint Barbara day the “unofficial holiday” – is also the yearly Ledersprung.

The Ledersprung – the students’ big event in Leoben

The Ledersprung is an old custom, which is only in a view cities lived like in Leoben. The middle-point, the deep meaning plays the origin about the Bergamannsleder known as “Arschleder”. In olden days was the Arschleder the tool on which the miner sled down on his butt into the deep shaft and with hard work the treasures from the mountain snatched. From a small wood barrel jumps the student with both legs, full determination in its new profession – the Montanisten. Even today the Ledersprung is being committed, living custom, living tradition. Origin of this custom is Schemnitz, with time the custom also came to Leoben.

The Bierauszug - the students are being dismissed into the big vacation

The Bierauszug is a Leobener tradition and is over many years preserved. At the end of the summer semester, end of June meet all students for a last time bevor they go on summer break. The origin goes back in 19th century, a time where summer break wasn´t leisure time: for most students it was hard work in mining and metallurgy. But nobody knew about surviving unscathed this dangerous time.

That is also the background of the Bierauszug: on the last Wednesday in June are all students being dismissed into summer break by the Rector of the Montanuniversity. And with them goes the beer drinking, that is where the name “Bierauszug” comes from.

The Philistrierung - the successful completion of the studies is being celebrated

Also the Philistrierung is a lively piece miner tradition. It is a special ritual in which the Philistrant, the one who finished his study with the titel Diplom Ingenieur Mont. celebrates that completed study. The Philistrant celebrates that on the Gösser beer wagon an old horse carriage. On the portal of the university is the Philistrierungs ceremony held. The Neophilister calls his student semesters and will be correspond to the number mentioned and beaten at the gate hanging semester board. The pageant then sings to the main-square, where the “Bergmann” (which represents in student custom the disguised Saint Barbara) his farewell-kiss receives.

The Bergkittel – the tradition of the miners

The Bergkittel, the tradition of the miners is very closely connected to the mining history. It is worn by Professors and students of the Montanuniversity Leoben for official celebrations, like academic celebrations or the Ledersprung. The Bergkittel is still today a symbol for hard and dangerous work of the mining and metallurgy. But whoever looks closer can find more symbols: The black cloth stands for the darkness in the shaft and the golden buttons symbol the sun light.

The Bergkittel points in total 29 buttons, the age of Saint Barbara, when she was beheaded by her Father. The first three buttons are worn open. Saint Barbara wanted to have a memory of the holy trinity - the three windows in her tower. The Pelerin-collar originally had a protection function from dirt and wet, he points at the origin of the Bergkittels and has nine spikes, which represents the captivity time of Saint Barbara.

The spike ending on the sleeve represents the wick of the miner lamp. Depending on the study field are on the sleeve various emblems worn. The Leobener master dressmaker Hans Woschner is an expert for tradiotional custom and Bergkittel to measure (according to delivered original cuts) appointed sales consultant of Styria.


 Tourismusverband Leoben
      Hauptplatz 3
      8700 Leoben
  +43 3842 48148


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