“We’ve got a cosy bar here but most people are drawn to the Montafon tables in the lounge”, says Bianca Mangard, the landlady at the Krone in Schruns. They’re real gems, the oldest were commissioned in 1823. Crowns have been inlaid like coats of arms into some of them while others have been decorated with flowers, tendrils and diamonds. Bianca Mangard runs her hand over the marquetry pattern, which appears almost three-dimensional. Pear, cherry, oak, beech, walnut, elm and maple are still used today by St. Gallenkirch cabinetmakers to achieve this effect, using only local woods that have been air-dried for 25 years.
It can easily take around 100 working hours to complete the artistic inlays. And then the table will last – not only for a lifetime but also for the next generation and the one after that. Most of these tables are still with Montafon families today. In the past, they were the central meeting places for dining, playing cards, socialising: “You can put hot pots and pans on the slabs of slate in the centre without needing coasters and guests playing cards can chalk up the scores on them.” Montafon tables may not only be found at the Krone but also at Gasthaus Löwen in neighbouring Tschagguns. This is where people come together or as the people in Montafon say, ‘Kon’d’Lüt zemma’.
Gasthof Krone in Schruns
How about a round of Jass? Playing cards is also something you can do at Montafon tables
Tip of Bianca Mangard, Krone in Schruns
“The ‘Fellimännle’ alpine hut in Silbertal. That’s where Montafon locals meet at the weekends and on holidays – first we walk or cycle deep into the valley and then we stop for a ‘Brettljause’ – snack platter.”
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