Rihtar's sword

The handle of the sword from Rut

In the 13th century, the patriarch of Aquileia settled the peasants of the South Tyrolean town of Innichen under the hills in the upper Baška grapa. Until 1850, when a new Austrian constitution was adopted, these immigrants enjoyed many privileges and benefits.

They were ruled by a "rihtar", a village leader and judge who had special powers and privileges compared to leaders who were in charge of older colonisation areas. A symbol of his authority was a long rihtar’s sword, this example of which has been kept in the Tolmin Museum since 1954. The blade of this sword is embossed with the number 1414, which does not indicate the year of its making, but may have a symbolic meaning still unknown to us. Recent research has shown that the blade was made prior to the 15th century.

The sword, which belonged to the rihtar of the village of Rut, was kept by the inhabitants of the village for centuries. It passed from generation to generation, most recently being in the possession of Matilda Koder, a descendant of the last mayor of Rut, Simon Kos. In addition to archival sources, the sword is the only material evidence of the former judicial and economic organisation of the settlements under Mount Rodica. The German origins and culture that the Tyrolean immigrants brought to the Tolmin Region are reflected today in the well-preserved surnames and the typical dialect of Rut village. 

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