• The town of Saalfelden in Austria is looking for a new resident for their cliffside retreat. (Saalfelden.at)Source: Saalfelden.at
There's no heating, running water, electricity or WiFi - but check out the view.
Alyssa Braithwaite

18 Jan 2017 - 3:20 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2017 - 3:20 PM

The Austrian town of Saalfelden is looking for someone to live in a 350 year old hermitage built out of a cave in the side of a cliff.

Saalfelden officials are looking for an applicant with a "connection to Christian belief" and someone who is "at peace with themselves" to live above Lichtenberg castle in one of central Europe's last hermitages, The Local reports.

"Since its creation 350 years ago, the Saalfelden hermitage was inhabited every year. But we don't have a successor to the last hermit," priest Alois Moser said.

On the up side, there are no neighbours to put up with and the views aren't half bad. But there is no heating, running water, electricity or internet. Oh, and the position is unpaid, and part-time, as the lack of utilities means the hermitage is only habitable from April to November.  

And while they must live alone, the successful applicant will not be short of visitors.

"The applicants need to know that the Saalfelden hermit does not lead a lonely life. Many people come and want to confide in someone. He has to be there for them," Moser said.

The previous hermit was former priest and psychotherpist Thomas Fiegmueller, who only stayed one season before returning to Vienna.

"Life in the hermit's cell is spartan, but the nature is very beautiful. I met lots of nice people and had good conversations," Fieglmueller told Salzburger Nachrichten

"But there was also criticism from apparently arch-conservative Catholics because I didn't have a cowl or a beard... Maybe I was the wrong person."

Those interested in becoming a professional hermit have until March 15 to submit their application by post only.

"We have already had several inquiries, but no formal candidates so far," Moser said.

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