Kraft Kuchen

Art Trail of the anniversary of the Landeskirchen of Thurgau, Fischingen, 2020

Fischingen 1180. Earl Heinrich of Toggenburg unconditionally fell in love with a young lady called Idda of Kirchberg and eventually married her. However, one day she’s lost her wedding ring which got caught by a raven. Poor Idda didn’t have the courage to tell her jealous husband about that very unlucky incident. Just a few days later one of the royal hunters found the ring in a bird’s nest. But when his majesty discovered the ring of his wife worn by one of his hunters, he suddenly believed his wife must have cheated on him. Driven by anger and jealousy he pushed his wife over the castle wall down into the deep moat. Furthermore, the hunter got tied on a horse until he was dragged to death. Idda on the other hand didn’t die owing to her unintended fall, God has rescued her. She’s found a cave and was willing to stay there forever. Seventeen years later a hunter found her and delivered the unbelievable news about Idda being alive to the Earl. He begged her to come back to him but she refused. She preferred a lonesome life which was dedicated to God. Later on, she moved on and lived her modest life in a hermitage at the monastery of Fischingen. Everyone who visited her always received consolatory words. She has even been rumoured to be a healer. She was canonized and even until today people pilgrimage to her grave to put their feet into Iddas burial vault to recover from joint pain or similar physical handicaps.

This wayside shrine called “Kraftkuchen” is influenced by this legend of the holy Idda of Toggenburg. It is made out of everyday items. On the inside of this wondrous box grows comfrey. This plant was already used as a medicinal plant in antiquity. It helps against bone-joint diseases, contusions or sprains. The box was placed on the hiking trail which leads up to a forest chapel.