As long as 2000 years ago, the Romans built a track over the 1366 metre high Loibl Pass, and in the Middle Ages this passageway was extended. Around the year 1500, a farmer from the Loibl valley built an inn, originally known as the “Katruschnig”, for travellers on the lonely road. Jury Tschauggo, one of our ancestors, who owned a cottage in the narrow valley, bought the inn on the Loibl road in 1634.
Emperor Charles VI (1711–1740), being a great supporter of trade and commerce, ordered work to be undertaken to improve the road, which ran from Klagenfurt via the Loibl valley to the port of Trieste.
On 23rd August 1728, the Emperor opened the reconstructed road himself. As he and his entourage travelled high over the Tscheppa Gorge to the small village of Loibl, also known as Sapotniza, he was greeted by mountain farmers from the Loibl and Boden valleys. However, their ruler did not understand a word because they spoke to him in the Wendish dialect. When the Emperor asked the people if anyone could speak German, one man pointed him towards the innkeeper on the Loibl road. The Emperor eventually arrived at the inn – the “Katruschnig” – on the right bank of the Loibl brook, which in those days belonged to Peter Tschauggo.
There, Charles VI stopped here a while and quickly fell into an interesting conversation with the innkeeper. The Emperor insisted on being told everything about the hard existence of the few mountain farmers in this area, the difficulties of building the road through the rocky mountains and the waggoners who enjoyed calling in on the innkeeper at the Loibl road. The monarch was so delighted to have been able to converse in German in this Wendish area that when the time came for him to leave he declared: “Landlord, I thank you for your counsel! In recognition of your services, from now on you may call yourself “Carinthian Peter”. You may pass this name on to all future generations of your family.”
Peter Tschauggo was pleased to carry out the wishes of his Emperor, and so had the famed inscription “Gasthaus zum Deutschen Peter” (German Peter’s Inn) painted on the building. Down the generations, the eldest son was always christened “Peter” and the “German Peters” have remained true ever since to their homeland here on Austria’s southern border.