Andreas Grein of Purbach

a legend about Turkish slavery
from Burgenland, Austria
translated by

D. L. Ashliman

© 1999-2020


  1. Andreas Grein of Purbach (Burgenland, Austria).

  2. Links to related sites.

Return to D. L. Ashliman's folktexts, a library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.

Andreas Grein of Purbach

Burgenland, Austria

During the Turkish wars the wild hordes of riders advanced as far as Purbach. On such occasions the townspeople of Purbach fled into the nearby Leitha Mountains to seek refuge there from the hordes. During one such attack Andreas Grein remained at home.

When the Turkish horde found Grein, they placed him in handcuffs, tied him to a horse's tail, and thus forced him to run along behind. The Turks took Grein back to their country, where he was housed in a stall and forced to pull a plow by day. For food he received nuts and millet.

After seven years of terrible suffering he succeeded -- with the help of a fellow countrywoman -- in escaping from Turkey. In October 1647, after traveling on foot for many months, he arrived at Purbach. He stopped to rest on his own property, about 1000 steps from the town. He then went to his home, where he encountered his wife, who had recently remarried. She did not recognize Grein, because of his wild appearance. After much discussion she recognized her husband from his voice. She asked him for forgiveness, and they lived happily together until they died. The second husband, of course, had to step aside.

At the place where he had rested, Grein erected a Holy Trinity column, inscribed with the year 1647.

Links to related sites

Revised February 1, 2020.