Anna Plochl was a strong and skilful woman. Her story begun with her first encounter with Johann Archduke of Austria.
That by itself, was a very special love story. It started back in Grundlsee at a dance evening. That’s when Johann fell in love with the gorgeous postmaster’s daughter from Aussee. She was only 15 years old from a middle-class family. He was 22 years older and the Archduke of Austria.
Several years passed before Archduke Johann got permission from his brother, Emperor Franz I to marry “his Nanni”.
For this, he had to renounce the succession to the throne and his heirs were not allowed to wear a title of nobility. Many years passed until the two got their son Franz and finally Anna was awarded the lower noble title “Dame von Brandhofen”.
After intense efforts of Archduke Johann at court, his son was appointed “Count of Merano” and Anna “Countess of Meran“ – and thus the ancestress of a linage about 1,200 decendants in eight generations.
Since Anna and Johann were not allowed to publicly show their love for years, Johann found an unconventional solution and brought Anna as housekeeper to Vordernberg.
Johann spent a lot of time away on business trips, so from 1824 on, Anna was very successful in helping at the Brandhof.
The Brandhof, was a model farm which was expanded according to the wishes of Johann, where he wanted to show what could be achieved with diligence and confidence.
In the end, it was Anna who successfully ran the farm for Johann.