The Gerstlhaus is one of the most remarkable corner houses of the one-hectare large market square in Schenkenfelden. The first deed registration dates back to 1657, although its foundation walls are even older, whereas the construction year of the late Gothic bowfront is estimated back to 1500. There were two major fires where the Gerstlhaus was devoured by flames in 1809 and partially in 1857.
In 1860, Laurzen Benischek, a Bohemian merchant, acquired the building and found a foundry. In the years to follow, he was able to obtain permisssion for the post office and the tobacconist’s store, both typical facilities in the manner of the former Austrian-Hungarian empire.
Around 1895, his oldest daughter Maria, who was married to Franz Gerstl, a merchant from Wachau (Lower Austria), took over the three facilites (the store, the tobacconist’s store and the post office). They had 4 children whereas Franz Gerstl wanted them to be homeschooled by a private teacher. After Franz Gerstl passed away in 1920, his daughter, Laura Gerstl, inherited the estate. She never married and she had no children. She stayed and lived in the Gerstlaus until she passed in 1977.
Video: Shopping in previous times (in German)