Reproduction of the famous wild boar in Urach Palace

A duke's good luck on the huntAnecdotes: The wild boar

There once was a massive wild boar harassing the town of Urach. Duke Ulrich von Württemberg was able to slay the animal in 1507. To this day, a wooden replica of the enormous wild boar acts as a reminder of this legendary hunting venture. A secret lies hidden inside.

Duke Ulrich von Württemberg, circa 1530, woodcut by Hans Brosamer

Duke Ulrich von Württemberg.

Dukes alone retain hunting privileges

An unusually large wild boar was making the area around Urach unsafe in the early 16th century. It was tearing up fields and destroying crops. Since only the sovereign had hunting privileges, the harassed farmers turned to Duke Ulrich. They begged him to come to their aid and bring an end to the animal's terror. The duke finally set out with a hunting party to slay the animal and safeguard his region from further disaster.

Depiction of a dog in the Golden Hall, Urach Palace

An indispensable companion on the hunt.

A dangerous hunting venture

On the Rossfeld by St. Johann, the hunting party faced the animal and Duke Ulrich killed it single-handedly. Until the invention of firearms, bringing down a wild boar was one of the most dangerous hunting ventures and could quickly become deadly. Its protruding, razor-sharp tusks could inflict dangerous, deadly wounds and it could run down any hunter. Eye to eye, the hunter would have to aim a deadly thrust with a boar spear.

For posterity

At the young duke's command, the boar's entire skin, another name for its fur, was prepared, not just the head and tusks, as is typically done. The slain wild boar was measured and replicated in a wooden model, which was then covered in the skin. This unusual form of presenting a hunting trophy highlighted the animal's size and thus the extent of Duke Ulrich's heroic act for every guests who saw it and for posterity's sake. The life-size statue is 1.35 meters tall and 2.09 meters long. The replica stands on a rolling wooden board.

Replica of the animal that Duke Ulrich von Württemberg is said to have killed in 1507

It once terrified guests.

The boar moves!

The animal appears even more realistic because it moves as if by magic. The hidden spring mechanism moves it towards the viewer, so as to replicate the fear of a real hunting situation. Martin Crusius wrote in his 1596 chronicle: “In Aurach, a wild boar was carved out of wood, a representation of the wild boar that Duke Ulrich really and truly slew… which ran at those standing nearby.”

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