An Austrian Town Is Hiring a Full-Time Hermit

It's a quiet job. But somebody's gotta do it.

January 19, 2017 9:00 am

Have you heard of the Austrian town of Saalfelden?


Maybe you’ve heard of beautiful Vienna, once capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and home to turn-of-the-century Europe’s most vibrant community of artists and intellectuals? Or lovely Salzburg, home to the Von Trapp family singers? Or Lech, where the Dutch royal family goes to ski? 

Maybe yes, maybe no. But we bet you’ve never heard of Saalfelden. Until now. Because Saalfelden is hiring a hermit. 

Saalfelden, it turns out, has had a continuously occupied hermitage for many years. But the current resident, a pastor/therapist, is getting out of the life and heading for more populated pastures. Town leaders want to fill the post — so they’re conducting a hermit search.

Pros: “The applicants need to know that the Saalfelden hermit does not lead a lonely life,” a local priest told Agence France-Presse. “Many people come and want to confide in someone. He has to be there for them.”

Cons: “Potential applicants are also warned that the position is unpaid and part-time, since the lack of utilities means the hermitage is only habitable from April to November.” Also: “No digital delights are allowed, either—the hermit is banned from furnishing the place with either television or computer.

If you’ve been serious about that digital detox, here’s your chance to make good. 

We’re assuming some German is required. Deadline: March 15. 


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