A culinary institution in Gsies with a rich history
Kahnwirt has a long history…
... and it was first referred to in documents in the year 1360 as Chanhof, but it is probably much older. Its origin probably reaches back to the time of the first church building in St. Martin, with which it must have formed a unit. The origin of the Kahn family name, on the other hand, is still in the dark.
A genealogical notice in the “Osttiroler Bote” reads: “After the victory of King Otto I over the Hungarians in the Battle of Lechfeld on August 10, 955, a Mongol prince was pardoned and settled in the Freising territory. The name Chan (=Mongol prince) appears frequently in the Toblach parish, which was known to be under Freising rule until 1141.” It might therefore be the case that the Kahn name dates back to this (Hungarian) Mongol prince. This statement from historian Hans Fink, however, will be more accurate; he writes: “The Kahn name may come from St. Candidus, the patron saint of Innichen Abbey. Previously, Candidus was a popular baptismal name; the Innichen Abbey is also referred to in documents as St. Kannen or Cannen.”
Over time, the spelling of the name has undergone various changes. In 1425, our name was written “Chan”; in 1580, “Khan”; then in 1616, “Kaan”; in 1620, “Khan” again; and since about 1800, it has had its current form, “Kahn.” A complete family tree in the hallway of Kahnwirt shows the line from the first Chan to the current host, Josef Kahn.
It is very rare and perhaps even unique in history that a family has been in the sacristan service for more than 600 years like the Kahn family from St. Martin/Gsies. In the Widum of St. Martin, there is a document from April 24, 1425, from which it emerges that, even then, the Kahns had been performing the sacristan service at the church in St. Martin “from time immemorial.” For these exceptional ecclesiastical accomplishments, Josef Kahn was awarded the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” papal medal of merit by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
Until the end of the First World War in 1918, the Kahns were court lawyers and superintendents (mayors) in the Gsieser Tal. The judge from Welsberg came to St. Martin for trials in the four quarters of each year. These trials took place at Kahnwirt, where the hosts, by virtue of their privileges, performed their intended work.
In 1984, the “Erbhof” (ancestral farm) certificate was awarded to Kahnwirt in South Tyrol. The “Erbhof” plaque is mounted at the entrance to the inn. “Erbhof” is a distinction that has been regulated since 1982 which is only awarded to those families who have operated an agricultural holding for at least 200 years in direct succession.