This exhibition is dedicated to the "Nikolospiel" (St Nikolas Plays), one of the last preserved and maintained folk plays in the Alps.
Visits to see the figures and masks of the Nikolospiel players are possible throughout the year (by appointment). There are 60 wooden masks to see, all carved by local carvers, and life sized figures in costume to be admired up close. Tours are led by the folk play director Roman Gruber.
Excerpt from the Tauplitzer Nikolospiel:
Every year on 05 December, the silence of the Tauplitz winter night is broken by the sound of jingle bells and crack of "Goassln" (whips) as dark shapes move through the darkness. It is St. Nicholas' Day: or “Miglotog” as it is called in the small mountain village.
Every year the Bishop St. Nicholas marches his entourage of light and dark from Klachau to the village square, where the traditional Niokolospiel is performed.
About 60 masked players take part in this drama.
The Krampus masks have human facial features that have been lovingly crafted by local carvers.
The performance takes place in local Stuben (bars) and in the procession.
The Tauplitzer plays' texts are some of the oldest in the country.
Men of straw ("die Schab") lead the procession and announce their presence with the loud crack of whips.
St. Nicholas is an impressive sight as he rides to the waiting children in Tauplitz on his horse (Nikoloroß).
The "Jedermannszene" (any man scene) in the Tauplitzer Nikolospiel is a must see presentation. It tells the story of a ragged alcoholic who asks the priest to take his confession.