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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Monuments and Historical Memory: the Andreas Hofer Cult in Tirol

di Laurence Cole
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 2 (1998), p. 29

The article analyses the cult that grew up around Andreas Hofer, the local national hero, amongst the German-speaking population of the Austrian province of Tirol in the 19th century. The leader of an uprising against the Bavarians and French in 1809, Hofer’s emergence as national hero involved a rehabilitation from rebel to patriotic martyr, a transfer from the liberal to the conservative political space, and the metamorphosis of an historical individual into a symbolic political programme. By analysing the most important monuments erected to Hofer in the late 19th century, it is possible to show how the creation of hero-cults are a product of the socio-cultural and political competition that takes place between different social groups in order to define a hegemonic interpretation of national identity.