Alpine village celebrates a €17m meadow

These cows are enjoying the grass – and the view – on the world’s most
expensive pasture in the form of a 17 million euro meadow.

Look closely and you can see that this narrow strip of land that runs through the village of Trebesing in Carinthia,
Austria, was once a motorway that has now moved underground after protests from locals.It is still possible to see how the road slopes to allow cars
and lorries to follow the bend – and water to run off the surface. The
railings at the side of the motorway are also still there – but now they
keep the cows in place rather than the cars.

Locals in the small village of just 1,200 people in southern Austria
were horrified when the government decided to slice the motorway
through the middle of the village.
Local hotel owner Siggi Neuschitzer said: “We were suddenly the only
village in the country where cars did not have to go 50 kph an hour —
instead they sped through at 130 kph.”

He started a campaign that has lasted for 17 years and finally ended
with the motorway being grassed over with a meadow – complete with cows.

He said: “It was a long battle but it was worth it. There was once a
motorway here but now that it’s gone the village is once again an oasis
of peace and calm.”

It is certainly something his guests appreciate – his hotel which was
the first one in Europe specifically cater for children and babies can
guarantee at least that there is no noise from the outside world – as
well as clean fresh mountain air.

As for the motorway – that still runs as before but now it is
underground where the noise and pollution does not disturb either the
families in the village or hotel — or the cows in their pasture.

The local council has now written to the Guinness book of records to ask
if their meadow can be included as the world’s most expensive plot of
arable land.

Siggi said: “We are obviously not allowed to build on arable land but we
can put as many cows there as we want – so we are hoping it will claim
the title as the most expensive field in the world.