In the middle of the old town, which is often packed with tourists during the day, there is another sight that does not immediately stand out. At first glance, Hofgasse 12 is just a souvenir shop. If you stroll past here at night, you may observe one or two strange things.The late Gothic portal made of Höttinger Breccie is also known as the “whispering arch”: If you whisper a word into one of the grooves on one side, you can hear it clearly on the other side of the arch.
Archduke Sigmund had the Gothic house built around 1490 and placed it at the disposal of his personal prince Niclas Haidl, who was married to a natural daughter of the archduke. Niclas Türing the Elder is to be regarded as the master builder. The statue of the giant, also created by Niclas Türing, comes from the latter’s grave. What is striking in comparison to the neighbouring houses are the high storeys. The house is four storeys high with late Gothic façade decoration. On the ground floor there is a beautiful star vault. The figure of the castle giant, whose niche can be seen on the first floor, is in the Old (Historic) Town Hall.The archway carved in stone is, in fact, a very special one. It has listened to many secrets that have resounded from one side to the other without even the most attentive walker being able to hear them. The arch knows how to keep its secrets.